Checklist of features for good conceptual models

[Cross posted at Future Tense]

Another excellent resource courtesy of James Robertson at Column Two. Good mental models are especially relevant in knowledge work arenas where so much of what we do tends to be invisible. This checklist should help you improve the models you make, whether for your own use or for broader consumption.

List of features of models

Idiagram has published an excellent list of features that all conceptual models should share. To quote:

Broadly speaking we use the term ‘model’ to refer to any structured knowledge that accurately reflects and enables us to make sense of the world. Models exist both internally as ‘mental models’ and externally as ‘cognitive artifacts’. Cognitive artifacts can take many forms: written texts, spoken stories, graphs, diagrams, pictures, videos, spreadsheets, equations, computer-simulations, etc. While these different kinds of models vary greatly in their form and function, they all share certain desirable properties.

[Thanks to Mark Schenk.][Column Two – List of Feastures of Models]

Tags: ,

One thought on “Checklist of features for good conceptual models”

  1. Consider:
    The missing element in every human ‘solution’ is
    an accurate definition of the creature.

    Many problems in human experience are the result of
    false and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
    in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.

    Humanism makes man his own standard of measure.
    However, as with all measuring systems, a standard
    must be greater than the value measured. Based on
    preponderant ignorance and an egocentric carnal
    nature, humanism demotes reason to the simpleton
    task of excuse-making in behalf of the rule of appe-
    tites, desires, feelings, emotions, and glands.

    Because man, hobbled in an ego-centric predicament,
    cannot invent criteria greater than himself, the humanist
    lacks a predictive capability. Without instinct or trans-
    cendent criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with
    foresight and vision for progression and survival. Lack-
    ing foresight, man is blind to potential consequence and
    is unwittingly committed to mediocrity, collectivism,
    averages, and regression – and worse. Humanism is an
    unworthy worship.

    Human is earth’s Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
    nature and nature’s God a creature of Choice – and of
    Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
    characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
    foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
    spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
    ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the

    – from The HUMAN PARADIGM

Comments are closed.