Untangle Complex Problems with Modeling

Bring clarity to any process by putting your concepts to paper.

Web practitioners are encountering problem spaces that are more complex than ever before. Cross-channel ecosystems, huge enterprise platforms, and decentralized content delivery are just a few challenges we are having to explore, understand, and gain direction around with stakeholders, before it’s wise to dive into the particulars of interfaces. But how can we collaborate on architecture without the entanglements of design detail? Enter modeling.

Modeling allows us to work with abstraction as tangible objects; it brings physicality to language, decisions, and conceptual relationships that make up and underpin the ecosystems we work with. It allows us to analyze and collaborate more efficiently, with less effort and distraction.


Next workshop: TBD

Take this workshop if you want to:

  • Understand the value of modeling as a process and artifact for making the complex clear. 
  • Understand the fundamentals of why and when to go about the process of modeling. 
  • Working knowledge of best practice tips for creating models to help you understand complex problems.
  • Working knowledge of best practice tips for creating models that are shareable and understandable by others. 
  • Understand what makes certain models more or less effective than others. 
  • Establish confidence in your modeling ability through practice & iteration.

Who is this for?

TUG’s modeling information workshop is for anyone who faces complex problems, from novice to expert. Those at both ends of this spectrum say this workshop provides valuable experience and useful take-aways.

After completing our practical, hands-on intensive modeling workshop, teams will be able to take messy inputs and work through them, using modeling as a tool to increase understanding.


In this day-long workshop, we’ll start the day by defining conceptual modeling and discussing its value. Modeling helps us ask better questions, articulate our understanding, and measure completeness. Models become molds for making—and they are the cheapest, fastest tool we have for making good things.

Activity: Brief Warm Up

Part 1: Beginning to Model: Your Journey to Clarity

We’ll put theory into practice by discussing how to model. We’ll cover how to set up your model for success using the Modeling Intent Framework as well as the process of collecting disparate knowledge to create a comprehensive whole and best practices, exemplified through case studies. 

Activity: Model Your Understanding (Individual)

As an individual, you’ll create your own model.

Activity: Sharing Your Understanding (Group)

In a small group, you’ll share your model.

LUNCH (provided)

Part 2: Extending a Model: Sharing Clarity with Others 

In this segment, you’ll learn how to create models that express the wholeness of a project to those coming from differing contexts. We’ll turn our focus from the act of creating models to honing them for a purpose. Models are an excellent communication tool that can serve as a basis for collaboration and validation, or as a way of presenting and preserving. You will learn how to create an appropriate frame/context to ensure your models are utilized appropriately given a diverse set of consumers as well as a Framework for Critique that allows us to better discern why some models “work” and others don’t. 

Activity: Help Them Understand 

As an individual, you’ll hone & adapt your model so that it can be more-easily understood by others. 

Activity: Sharing Your Understanding

In a small group, you’ll share your model (again) and receive constructive feedback from the group based on the Framework for Critique. 


About the instructors

Joe Elmendorf has been working with information spaces since 2009 and teaching in the field at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 2016. As both a consultant and an educator, he is continually working to refine how models are rationalized, taught, and practiced.

Kaarin Hoff has been helping TUG’s clients understand their users since 2012. Kaarin is enamored with modeling’s power to bring about understanding and its flexibility to rise to any challenge.


We customize training to your needs

Want to bring this workshop in-house? We tailor our training in many ways—including group size, time constraints, budget, desired outcomes, team skill level, learning styles, and product stage. Send us a note—we’d love to come up with something that works for your group.