Analyze the mental design of the product

Analyze the mental design of the product

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Assuming that you have never heard of kindle before, then I will instill a concept for you: kindle is a product for reading. Then you will form different cognitions in your mind. Some people will form the cognition of reading books, and some will form the cognition of smart devices such as mobile phones and pads. These different cognition results are based on each person s different experiences. , Experience the result of growth. To give a simple example, A s surrounding environment was rather dark since childhood. His perception of red was bloody and violent, while B grew up in a sunny environment. His perception of red was enthusiastic and positive; therefore, The same thing will produce different perceptions of different people, and this perception is the mental layer. When doing product design, almost all involve the establishment of the mental layer, which covers a wide range, such as product color matching, layout framework, mascot design, etc. The concept of the mental model in the Internet field is to integrate the psychological The concept of learning is applied to product design, and users mental models are often used to help us understand users better, and also to help us develop, adjust, and research products. This article will tell you what the mental layer of a product is, and how to design the product as a designer.

Theory of Mind

First of all, first understand the concept of theory of mind. Theory of Mind (English: Theory of Mind, abbreviated as ToM) is a psychological term. It is an ability to understand the mental state of oneself and the people around it. To put it simply It is the ability to know what is in the minds of ourselves and the friends around us ; first of all, we cannot observe the minds of others intuitively. We can only assume that others have the same mind as ourselves, and based on this mindset. After coming to observe the surrounding things, the responses and actions that meet the expectations of the society are made.

Give a chestnut: my colleague accidentally fell, and we did not fall, but assuming that the person who fell is ourselves, then I will have pain, innocence and other emotions, and want to get comfort feedback; then we will have Go forward to comfort and support the reaction of colleagues, and go up to support colleagues to give them some comfort. In this way, the overall process behavior can be explained by the theory of mind.

Most of the theory of mind occurs in the subconscious. In psychology, intentionality is mostly used as the metric of the theory of mind. Most mammals can clearly express their own thoughts and intentions, which are called first-degree intentions. For example, a dog does not like bathing. If it is forced to take a bath, it will scream and express its dissatisfaction; it can be guessed that other individuals express their dissatisfaction. We call it the second-level intention. We can feel the dog s anger, knowing that it screams at us because it doesn t like bathing. This is something most healthy humans have. Some primates like chimpanzees also Yes; the third-level intention refers to the ability to figure out the ideas of the third party. For example, I think Xiao Ming is in a crush on Xiao Hong, and I think the boss is angry because Xiao Ming is late. Humans often use this ability in normal social activities. Intentions such as the fourth and fifth levels, but they all exist in our subconscious, which are not easy for us to detect.

Mental model

The mental model is based on the assumption that an individual who tries to make a reasonable explanation for something will develop a feasible method in the theory of mind, and produce a reasonable explanation based on limited domain knowledge and limited information processing capabilities. A lot of simple things are your predictions about the development of things, how you "hope" things will develop, this is not a mental model, and how you "think" things develop, this is your mental model.

As mentioned earlier, I think Xiao Ming is secretly in love with Xiao Hong, and my attitude towards Xiao Hong suddenly becomes better through Xiao Ming. When Xiao Ming sees Xiao Hong, his face turns red. Through my emotion, will, feeling, perception, The judgment given by memory, thinking, etc. is: I "think" that Xiaoming is in secret love for Xiaohong, this is my mental model.

This also leads to the psychologist Norman (1983) summarizing six characteristics about mental models that are not independent of each other:

1. imperfections (is in Incomplete state) : For people held mental model phenomenon mostly incomplete. This is easy to understand. Everyone's growth experience, emotions, feelings, will, etc. are different, so some A thinks that red represents blood and violence, but B thinks that red represents enthusiasm and positiveness.

2. Limitations (Limited's) : people's ability to perform mental models is limited. The limitation here is very interesting. It can be objective or subjective. Let's use Xiaoming Xiaohong as an example. If I like Xiaohong, then my subjective consciousness will affect my secret love for Xiaohong. Judgment, there will be no judgment result that I "believe" Xiaoming secretly loves Xiaohong.

3. unstable (Unstable) : People often forget the details of mental models used, especially after a period of time not to use them. This is easy to interpret. Many things will be forgotten if you don t use them. What's more, your brain processes a lot of things, and your brain will selectively forget if you don t use it for a while.

4. There is no clear boundary (Boundaries) : Similar mechanisms are often confused with each other. If the mental model does not have a clear boundary, the same triggering factors will cause confusion in the mental model, leading to problems in the judgment results, and correspondingly causing problems in behavior.

5. unscientific (Unscientific) : People often take superstitious mode, even though they know that these patterns are not necessary. This is also easy to understand. In life, we often encounter accidentally taking it over, such as judging by various signs that a person has a cold, thinking that he should take some medicine, and will adopt the judgment because of the not too serious "dragging" superstition mode. .

6. simple (parsimonious) : People will do some actions can be planned through the mind and omitted. It is very simple to understand that it is to form a habit or plan, so you don t need to spend time to judge every time. For example, in product design, users see the green button to represent the awareness that they can click on the red button to delete warnings, all because of habit and mental planning The result is "reasonable".

Mental model

The mental model is the mental model, which is the same thing in the sense, except that the subconscious behavior habits under the mental model form the mental model. In the ideal state of the product, the user's mental model matches the performance model. But in fact, different user groups have different mental models. The communication between users and designers can only be carried out through the product platform itself, so what kind of mental model the user has on the product will pass the data through the platform Give feedback to the designer, build a conceptual mental model through such data, and then design a product that conforms to the conceptual model, so that it can meet the appetite of most people.

Mentally designed products

Different products have different minds to convey to users, and the main user groups are also different. The expression concept model established by each product is also different, but the mental models established by similar products can find some commonalities. Place. From the moment we open a product, the product has begun to build a mental model for us. Below, we have collected some similar products on the market to see how to build a mental model to design the mental layer.

Mental layer established by e-commerce products

From the above picture, it is not difficult to find that products such as Juhuasuan, Pinduoduo, and Special Street use strong visual language and copywriting to stimulate users desire to buy, such as "Limited Time Kill", "6 Block 6 2.Kill" and so on. The main users of are all users who are centered in the price-sensitive range, so the product must establish for them mental perceptions such as "limited time", "seckill", "coupon red envelope", etc., to create a special cheap, quick buy, and no more if you don t buy it. You buy it and give you a red envelope coupon super cost-effective atmosphere, so as to achieve the ultimate goal of prompting users to buy goods.

Products such as Taobao,, and NetEase Koala sell a wide range of products, and the user groups they target are universal. It is very difficult to establish such a mental model of expression, so it is presented in the form of the product itself. For users; in terms of color selection, orange and red are selected based on the "recognized" mental model to give users excitement and perceptual colors. By pushing classified products to create a shopping atmosphere, it brings users the cognition of shopping in the mall. The same ultimate goal is to encourage users to buy goods.

The core of products such as Tmall, Netease Yanxuan, and Vipshop is the brand and product quality; for example, Yanxuan wants to bring users good product quality. It is only sold after careful selection, so upload strictly through product images. Establish rigorous, high-quality mental models such as the specifications, icon layout and other elements to attract users with higher quality requirements. Tmall and Vipshop s main brand strategy, through the control of visual elements and product maps, highlight the texture and authenticity of the brand, and give users a perception that they want to buy genuine brand goods and buy them from me. , On the one hand, it attracts consumers who are pursuing the brand, and on the other hand, it establishes a reflective design experience.

They still sell things. Products like Secoo, GUCCI, and Zaozuo sell high-end luxury goods. Therefore, the purpose is to build expensive, high-end products through large areas of white space, cold color matching such as black and white and gray, and control of product maps. Mental models such as luxury goods create the cognition that commodities are expensive and scarce luxury goods. Naturally, the main user group is users who have demand for luxury goods.

The last thing is to sell things, but the main attributes of Xiaohongshu, Most Beautiful Youwu, and Lyst are social and content, followed by the sale of goods, so when we open this type of product, the first thing we see is content push, whether it is waterfall flow. The layout, the novel card interaction, or the patchwork of basic modules undoubtedly tell users-what we push is content. By attracting users to click on the content to browse, push products to users, and give users a link to purchase by the way, which is how this type of product is operated. Then the established mental model is of course a cognitive model of content information + social interaction, which brings different experiences to users.

Mental layer established by reading products

Similar to products such as Toutiao, Zhihu, 36 , etc., due to the rich and huge amount of information, the layout structure discovery is the Feeds flow design, and there are different classification modules at the top. The mental model of this type of product for users is rich in knowledge. The amount of information is endless, so it brings endless knowledge of the user community, causing users to immerse themselves in the product.

For similar reading products, Curiosity Daily emphasizes the creation of content quality, design methods such as navigation bar buoys, two types of labels, enlarged spacing and layout, and establishment of push content that are interesting and interesting mental models for users; and the latter two Through the creation of content to convey cognition to users, Qingmang focuses more on the quality of content images to attract users, while single reading focuses on text and content to attract users.

The mental layer established by entertainment products

The current short video can be said to be the hottest product of "Kill time". Next year or in the future, the 5G era will usher in, and short video will enter a continuous outbreak period. Douyin, Kuaishou, Weishi, Volcano, etc. are currently the most popular products on the market. Apart from other aspects, each product is analyzed based on the mental layer established by various products. First of all, it must be Douyin's dad. At that time, there was an Internet phrase "South Douyin and North Kuaishou". Douyin appeared on the stage as "latest comers". The secret of success depends on Douyin's investment in the establishment of user mental models. . Because the interactive form of Douyin is quite domineering, users are forced to watch the content when they open the product, so the quality of the content pushed to users on screens 1 to 5 must be very high. Douyin has invested a lot of money in this area to create the first The creation of a few screens of content is to retain users; when you use the product for the first time, the quality of the first few screens will depend on your immersive capital, and the quality of the content is great. Users will continue to refresh and become immersed Into the product. And Kuaishou completely throws the content to the user to make UGC, then the interactive form cannot be as overbearing as Douyin, because there is a state of uncontrollable UGC quality, if users are forced to watch some bad quality content, then it is for retaining users. It s a dream, so Kuaishou s interactive form allows users to choose the content they re interested in to watch, which leads to a design that Kuaishou has a user-made cover to summarize the video content. Over time, a mental model of "high-end vibrato, low fast" has been established for users. Although it is an illusion, it also confirms the incompleteness and limitations of the mental model. As for the reason why Weishi has such a large amount of traffic as Tencent, it can't help Douyin Dad, that is, because Weishi throws the content to users to make UGC, but uses Douyin's domineering interactive form. (The screenshots in the picture are all the first screenshots of opening the product. I chose Miss Sister anyway, how about you?)

The music products are mainly marketed by QQ Music and NetEase Cloud Music. The music playback interface of QQ Music and NetEase Cloud Music is not much different. QQ Music mainly focuses on the visual presentation of content. NetEase Cloud Music uses a quasi-physical form of expression, which looks more There are some textures, and the mental models that the two bring to users are also different. Recently, the music of Rising Star MOO is very good, and the interactive method is also very interesting. I strongly recommend everyone to experience it. The mental model created by MOO Music is young and trendy, and it also took advantage of the short video craze. When I first opened this product, I thought it was an airplane draft of Chasing Wave BE. It was truly amazing.

For video products, the mental experience brought by Tencent Video and Youku is also different. The mental model established by Tencent Video is concise and clear, allowing users to directly find what they want to watch; Youku s immersive experience is even better Some, the atmosphere brought by the channel icon is also fashionable and interesting. The feeling of opening the eyes to the user group tends to be high-end, and the mental model created is more novel.

The above analysis of some products on the market with more traffic and better user experience, and more products have their own different mental models, so the humanized design is nothing more than establishing a conceptual mental performance model based on the user's psychology and behavior , Predict the user s next behavior one step ahead of the user, bring a different cognitive experience to the user, and give the best solution. This logic can be linked to a smooth experience design.

How to do a good job in the mental design of the product

The elements of a product include text size, color matching, typography, etc. The whole is to establish a mental concept expression model for the product. Let's talk about how a designer should design a mental expression model for a product.

1. Clarify product attributes

Whether we design a product from scratch or make a revision design, the first thing we have to do is to define the attributes of the product and establish a conceptual mental model. Product designers starting from scratch can simulate a conceptual mental model of the product through user research and other preliminary preparations, and extract the keywords of the product and what kind of cognition they want users to have. After version 1.0, it will be launched. Pay attention to data collection at the mental level, so as to carry out a new round of version design and iteration; project revision is also the same, because only data can support the design, and through user feedback, more accurate product keywords can be refined to create more accurate products. Performance model, so this step is the core key step.

Clarify product attributes

Night language - Author: Fiasco

2. Collect elements that match the product

Assuming that your product has been investigated and found that more than 50% of the user groups are women, and even more than men, then you can build the mental model of this product in the direction of feminization, and you must also collect some information about women. It s too one-sided to say that the elements of transformation, because different situations have different solutions, and there are many ways to implement them. For example, in addition to feminine, the mental model to be established for a product has other product attributes, such as high-end style, fashion style, cute style, etc., which have different elements. All the designer needs to do is to collect these related attributes. And integrated into their own products. For example, designing mascots and emotional design for products can deepen the brand impression while also building a better mental model.

Mascot design for various products

3. Continuously improve the mental model

Whether the design is reasonable and whether it can solve the user's pain points needs data to verify. By collecting data such as the increase and decrease of the number of users before and after the revision, user feedback, etc., the conceptual mental model of users can be more clearly defined, and the mental model of the product can be continuously improved. The implementation model is program-centered, and the mental model is user-centered. The performance model floats between the two ends, all of which add up to determine the quality of the user experience. If the performance model is more biased towards the implementation model, it will severely weaken the user's ability to learn and use the software. Naturally, the more difficult it is to understand, the worse the experience perception, and the illusion of "what kind of software is so difficult to use"; If the user touch point should be based on the design of a mental model, the more the performance model is biased towards the mental model, the easier it is for users to understand the product s functions and become more practical. Then the user will feel that the product is easier to use and understand, and the natural experience perception is greater. Well, this is what a designer has to do to balance the relationship between the two.

4. Commercial value is the core foundation

Everything we do is to realize the value of the product itself. Whether it is user experience or visual performance, these are all means and methods. The most important thing for designers is to help products achieve commercial value. For example, even if your product has the best interaction and user experience, it has the best visual effects, and finally Commercial value cannot be realized, no one uses this product, it is all in vain. Therefore, with the purpose of enhancing the commercial value of the product, the designer establishes a conceptual model of the mind, optimizes the user experience, and improves the visual performance in order to truly realize the fundamental value of the designer.


In product design, we must not only pay attention to the information structure of the product, but also pay attention to the expression of the product itself, make the performance model close to the mental model, and ensure that the results are within the expected range of people as much as possible. Through repeated feedback and data support Based on the user s psychology and behavior derivation, it can predict the user s next behavior one step ahead of the user, and provide better feedback and services. Only by combining product task analysis and user habits research can we deeply explore the needs of users. In the sense, it is designed for users.

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"Redefining User Experience" Hu Xiao 2018 Tsinghua University Press

"What is the mental model? Liang Jiaqi JackieLiang Link:

Theory of Mind-Baidu Encyclopedia

Mental Mode-Baidu Encyclopedia

Mental Model-Baidu Encyclopedia