Ideas from platform design & content strategy

I stumbled across Elizabeth McGuane's talk, Platform Design and Content Strategy, early on in my exploration of UX. A couple of topics stuck with me:

  1. The framing of mental models vs. concept models:
  • Mental models: how users think about a product
  • Concept models: how product teams frame the product to shape users' mental models

The term mental model is often used to describe both ideas, but it can be useful to acknowledge the inherent gap between how products are crafted and how they're perceived.

  1. Concept models lose value when they're not updated with new findings about users and the company itself. However, change adds a mental burden to both teams and users, so change and consistency must be balanced.

For me, the talk cemented the value of understanding how people think and speak about products. This understanding makes products more useful and aligns teams around a clear value proposition.

content design
information architecture