Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.


Elaborate on research from your Discovery phase.

Mental modeling


A simple reference model that correlates existing and potential interfaces with user behaviors.


To help designers anticipate how design decisions might facilitate future behaviors.

Time required

1–2 hours

How to do it

  1. Create one three-columned table per persona. Label the columns “Past,” “Present behavior,” and “Future.”
  2. In the middle column (Present behavior), list current user behaviors and pain points broadly related to the project, one per row.
  3. In the left-hand column (Past), list the products, services, features, and/or interfaces that the user encounters as they go about what’s listed in the Present behavior column.
  4. In the right-hand column (Future), list possible products, services, features, and/or interface elements that in the future might change behaviors and pain points in the Present behavior column.

Considerations for use in government

No PRA implications. No information is collected from members of the public.


18F Methods

An official website of the GSA’s Technology Transformation Services

Looking for U.S. government information and services?