Application Home Page – Content model

Picture of a content model sketched on a whiteboard

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A content model created for the home page/screen of a web application.

This is a content model sketched out on a whiteboard for the home page of a web application. On the left is the model for one page/”interaction context”. The red boxes are the content intended to be put on this page, in an implied order. The blue boxes represent interactions on that content. On the right is a list of tasks that users can potentially do or start from this interaction context.

A content model as seen in Constantine and Lockwood’s Usage-Based Design is a model of what content belongs in a particular interaction context and what ways of interacting with that content should be offered. Intentionally abstract, this gives the designer both guidance and the freedom to create within that guidance’s constraints.

For more on the Usage-Centered Design framework, check out their website, ForUse.com, or you can buy their book, “Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design” from Amazon.com (Amazon Affiliate links: paperback edition, Kindle edition).

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