Blog 1- The Core Model: Designing Inside Out for Better Results

Week #1 by Gina Son

Everything that we put forth into a website all connects to a core model. The way we as designers think, usually is very different from how the viewers think. What may attract us as designers, most times may be different than those who go to view the website, and as designers we have to be aware of that.   Of course it is always exciting to create a website that has many creative design elements, but sometimes it does not follow what the website needs, and we need to be conscious of that. Buzzwords are crucial to creating website, and we must always stay true to the client and what they want their websites core tasks and values to accomplish. This A List Apart article explains how we as designers to need accomplish these goals. The author, Ida Aalen not only explains it through texts, but also through creative models, like the one above.   The core model shows designers a unique, yet different starting point that we can work with. Aalen explains how we can use the core model by starting the design process by “mapping out all the content we have in order to find the pages with a clear overlap between objectives ad user tasks.”   To use the core model, you need:

  • Business objectives: Prioritized, measurable objectives and sub-objectives. What does the organization want to achieve?
  • User tasks: Actual, researched, prioritized user tasks. What is it that people want to get done? (We usually conduct top tasks surveys to identify the user tasks, which is a great tool if you want to align the organization.)

 As growing designers, we need to make sure to not create websites that have a lot of content that does not help the users meet their end goal. We want to stray away from lengthy statements, in which we lost the user’s attention. When you lose the “nonessential content”, you are left with the cores- which creates a website that attracts the users attention. Aalen shows the importance of business goals and user tasks by using the Norwegian Cancer Society (NCS) as a prime example. The society’s core values within the website are to inform Norwegian’s about lung cancer, and the importance of donating to research, thus creating a website that results in core pages.


The core models importance is for designers to use it as a thinking tool. It helps designers create a strategy to create a website with the most valuable pages on the site, and not time wasting pages. Knowing the most important elements within a website helps designers emphasize what is important within the design elements. This article helps designers create a step-by-step module for the core pages when creating a website for a client. Aalen also gives the readers a simple and organized handout that helps us figure out the core pages.


Aalen’s article simplifies the importance of core pages and the design elements by giving us a different outlook on steps to take when making a website. After reading this helpful article, I look forward to taking different steps when starting a new website.


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