Maz Nadjm says, “Simply put, a mental model is what the user believes about a particular system. This system doesn’t have to be a digital product or service, it could be anything from a supermarket store to the entire end-to-end journey of buying a car.

A mental model is about more than just your product

The customer’s mental model, fairly obviously, is the basis for their predictions about how a system will behave, and for the actions they ultimately take.

These models are the product of previous interactions, both with the system at hand (if they have used it before) and with other systems. Pretty much all businesses, even arguably one such as Apple (which has an enormous influence on user behaviour), have to understand that a customer’s interactions with a whole host of other products and services will inform their mental model.

That’s why the keypad interface on your smartphone looks not unlike the keypad on an ‘old fashioned’ landline handset”.

What is a customer mental model?


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