Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design

Event date: 
May 22, 2013 - 9:00pm - 11:30pm
Yahoo! Sunnyvale
701 First Avenue, Building C, 1st Floor, URLs Cafeteria
Sunnyvale, 94089
United States
See map: Google Maps
Event description: 

The most important step in designing a user interface for a desktop or Web-based application is to design a coherent, task-focused conceptual model. Unfortunately, this step is often skipped in software development. The result is incoherent, arbitrary, overly complex applications that expose irrelevant concepts to users. This talk explains what conceptual models are, why they are valuable, and how to create them. It is based on the presenters' recent book: Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design (Morgan & Claypool, 2011). The talk will include a hands-on exercise in performing an Object/Actions analysis for a simple application.

Yahoo! is hosting this event and will provide refreshments. This is a free event and is open to the public.

Co-sponsors of this event:

IxDA (Interaction Design Association) Silicon Valley


Jeff Johnson is Principal Consultant at UI Wizards, Inc., a product usability consultancy ( He also is a principal at, a consultancy focused on elder usability and accessibility.  After earning B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities, he worked as a UI designer and implementer, engineer manager, usability tester, and researcher at Cromemco, Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard Labs, and Sun Microsystems. He has taught at Stanford University, Mills College, and the University of Canterbury. He has authored many articles and chapters on human-computer interaction, as well as the books GUI Bloopers, Web Bloopers, UI Bloopers 2.0, and Designing with the Mind in Mind. His latest book, coauthored with Austin Henderson, is Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design (2011).

Austin Henderson has had a 45-year career in human-computer interaction, including user interface research and architecture at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, Bolt Beranek and Newman, Xerox Research (both PARC and EuroPARC), Apple Computer, and Pitney Bowes, as well as strategic industrial design with Fitch and his own Rivendel Consulting & Design. Austin has built both commercial and research applications in many domains, including manufacturing, programming languages, air traffic control, electronic mail, user interface design tools, workspace management, distributed collaboration, and user-evolvable systems. The primary goal of his work has been to better meet user needs, both by improving system development to better anticipate those needs and by broadening system capabilities to enable users themselves to better respond to unanticipated needs when they arise in a rich and changing world.


7pm—Socializing and refreshments

701 First Avenue
Room: Building C, 1st Floor, URLs Cafeteria
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Directions to Yahoo! Sunnyvale

From San Jose:
    1.    Take U.S. 101 northbound.
    2.    Exit at Mathilda Avenue.
    3.    Turn right onto North Mathilda Avenue.
    4.    Turn left onto First Avenue, opposite Bordeaux Drive, the street on the right.
    5.    Take the first right into the Yahoo! parking lot.

From San Francisco:
    1.    Take U.S. 101 southbound.
    2.    Take the Alviso/Milpitas exit to CA 237 eastbound.
    3.    Immediately after the merge onto 237, take the Mathilda Avenue exit.
    4.    Turn left onto North Mathilda Avenue.
    5.    Turn left onto First Avenue, opposite Bordeaux Drive, the street on the right.
    6.    Take the first right into the Yahoo! parking lot.



22 May 2013 - 11:33am

Why does the time at the top show 9:00-11:30pm but if I sign in it says 7:00-9:30pm? Screenshot:

23 May 2013 - 1:59am
Yohan Creemers

Hi James,

This is a know issue on this site.
When you're logged in, the time at the top is displayed in your own timezone; in your case LA.

- Yohan

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