Have you ever used a product that did not work the way you expected it to? In some cases it causes frustration in extreme cases we may abandon the product all together because the experience is so bad.
When designing, try to understand the users mental model or thought process behind how they think the product should work. To understand their mental model, ask them to “Think aloud” during user testing. This will expose their thought process.
If their mental model does not match the product there are two areas you can address:
1. Redesign the application so it matches their mental model. One step could be changing the screen flows or the location of content.
2. Help the user to change their mental model. This could mean changing the nomenclature or labels so they are quickly and easily understood.
Applications that are based on the users mental model reduce frustration. They are often easy to learn and use because they work how we expect them to.Tweet