T10: UX Magic: The Conceptual Model foundation of IxD

Monday, 26 July 2021, 08:00 – 12:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time - Washington DC)
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Daniel Rosenberg (short bio)

San Jose State University, USA



A crucial early step in designing a UX is to define a task-focused conceptual model (CM). Unfortunately, CMs are often skipped. Many designers jump to sketching and prototyping before they understand the application at a conceptual level. The result is incoherent, overly complex applications with an order of magnitude more screens than necessary. The conceptual model is the ontology of an application: how it carves the task-domain into objects, actions and attributes – and how those concepts are related. The goal is to devise a conceptual model that is based on the users’ task domain and leads to the minimum number of screens and UX semantic structure with the lowest possible cognitive load. A new book by the instructor (named UX Magic) teaches this powerfull technique. Using it will lead not only to commercial quality UX but it also reduces the time and budget needed to achieve product success.


Content and benefits:

  • What IxD Conceptual Models are, and how using them improves the UI design process
  • Perils and pitfalls of not designing a conceptual model
  • Conversion of Agile user stories into an Object-Action matrix (the foundation of designing a conceptual model)
  • How to represent conceptual models for communication with stakeholders
  • How to prioritize the conceptual model grammar to meet business objectives
  • A hands-on exercise in designing a conceptual model for a simple application.
  • Review of the class exercise by the instructor and classmates
  • Resources to learn how to extend the CM into design patterns and flows

Once understood the benefit to the student/practitioner that masters this technique will be a much faster process to deliver initial higher quality UX designs. And, these designs will require much fewer iterations to become production ready.


Target Audience:

UX practitioners in design and user research at all levels including UX managers.

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Daniel Rosenberg is a well-known UX designer, author and educator, whose design career has spanned over 4 decades. He is currently a professor at San Jose State in the Human Factors Engineering program where he specializes in teaching IxD. In 2019 Dan received the ACM SigCHI Lifetime Practice award for his numerous educational, technical and leadership contributions to the HCI field. He is credited with inventing many of the common design patterns used in GUI’s today. In 1990 he published Human Factors in Product Design the first textbook to bring Human Factors Engineering to the consumer market. He is also the author of new Interaction Design textbook named UX Magic. It extends the practice of conceptual models into the visualization, flow, game theory and graphic design dimensions of IxD practice. In addition, for over 18 years Dan was the global UX “design executive” at two of the world’s largest software companies, Oracle and SAP so he has a great deal of experience apply different design techniques in the real world. More info can be found at rcdoux.com .