What is "User Modeling"

User Modeling - trying to make sense out of a large data set

During a Contextual Inquiry project your team will amass a large collection of raw data on your area of investigation.  But after you have all this data, what do you do with it?  How do you make sense of it? 

During User Modeling the Contextual Inquiry team gets together and reviews the data looking for patterns.  The outputs of this modeling will be the creation of personas, goals, tasks, and scenarios.  There are a number of approaches to doing User Modeling which are outlined below. 

This wiki page is meant to be a very practical, hands-on, how-to guide.

How To Do User Modeling

During your contextual inquiries you gathered a lot of data on your users and their use contexts.  This data is now stored somewhere and you need to analyse it and make sense of it.  Here are the steps you need to take to get this seemingly overwhelming task accomplished.

Pre-User Modeling 

During User Modeling

Post-User Modeling