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Conceptual Model

What is a conceptual model?

A conceptual model is the perception a person has about a product or service. The conceptual model can change or be reinforced over time and is determined by the contact a person has with the product. Reviews and comments from other people can also influence the conceptual model. A conceptual model often cannot be illustrated or described and is instead formed subconsciously.

Examples of conceptual models

An example of a conceptual model could be the idea that using a scientific calculator is difficult. A person could have this preconceived idea, which changes once the person begins to use the product. With a positive interaction experience, the user will then have an improved conceptual model of the product. This will then increase the chance of the user purchasing the product or giving a positive review about the product to a friend. The stronger the conceptual model, the more difficult it is to change. A good example of a biased conceptual model is with Mac and Windows computers.

How to optimize conceptual models

Conceptual models can be difficult to predict. Many companies decide to follow conventions to ensure positive conceptual models. The user will already have a conceptual model based on previous experiences with similar products. If a company can replicate positive experiences, the conceptual model may be positively influenced for the product at hand. Conceptual models can also be influenced by the usability and accessibility of an application. User testing can also be used to highlight weaknesses in this area.

Related terms

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