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Architecture and User Experience, Part 11: The PQRS Model

Finally, after almost a dozen articles, I'm prepared to discuss a framework for a UX architecture, what I've called the PQRS Model, or Puzzle-piece Framework. To review, I've been mining Architecture (as in bricks-and-mortar) in the hopes of discovering ways to discuss UX architecture. Architecture has historically been strategic, no doubt because of its expense, but also because it encompasses so many life-safety and fundamental human needs. Until UX architecture crosses a similar threshold in its enterprises, it will remain a tactical player. That day is coming, for the same reasons Architecture crossed the threshold: enterprises can't accept the costs of…
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Scanned image of Boullee's proposed royal library from 1795.

Architecture and User Experience, Part 10: A Model for UX Architecture

In this installment I propose a need for, and an example of, a model for UX architecture. Models allow us to discuss a system without specifying particularities about the system. This is important if we want to understand how the system can be put to good (or better) use. Models also allow us to look at the relationships among various systems, again to improve their operational efficiency, or to determine allocation of resources. Throughout this series, I've looked to Architecture to inform UX architecture. Architecture's political and strategic positioning, its established processes and shared understanding among professionals provide a rich history…
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Photo of a horseshoe and four-leaf clover, signifying good fortunie

Architecture and User Experience, Part 5: Preparing for Success

We'd like to think we're successful because we do good work. But it's a little more complicated than that. To be successful, our good work has to be recognized as good, and that means the people we work with and for understand what we do. For UX architecture to enable UX success, it must prepare the context to appreciate excellent outcomes.
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Image of front cover of Volume 1 of the UX Architecture: Architecting the Experience.

Architecture and User Experience, Part 4: The UX Vision

The point of these blogs is to sketch out the notion of  "UX architecture," something that many people talk about (or at least they post job descriptions for UX architects; I assume those people will be working on UX architectures...) but for which there is little documentation. I've been thinking about this a lot for the past ten years. I've concluded if there is such a thing as a UX architecture, it needs to be as comprehensive as Architecture, the "Mother of All Arts." Whether that happens depends on UX architecture's evolution over the next several years. The need for (and costs…
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The double-diamond diagram as a representation of UX architecture - UX architecture bridges from the start to finish of the design cycles.

Architecture and User Experience, Part 3: A Sustainable Process Of Design

In the first few installments of this commentary, I propose Architecture is (by definition) a political act and an essential strategic element of business. Within the corporate cubicles, whether as employees or as creative consultants,  user experience professionals advocate for users—their agendas, their needs and their emotional experiences. We promote users' needs up the food chain until they are a strategic element of the organization. Many organizations have reaped the benefits of integrating users experience into their offerings. There are many many more which have not. User Experience strategy and architecture is not achieved solely through visual treatments or updated content.…
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Image of multiple arrows pointing to the top of an enclosed circle with icons of factories, targets and bar graphs

Architecture and User Experience, Part 2: Architecture and Strategy

In this continuation of a series of articles about UX Architecture, I suggest that Architecture, by definition, is a strategic asset. Its strategic impact makes Architecture different from other types of design.
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Image of architect Lebbeus Woods with his quote about architecture: Architecture is a political act, by nature. It has to do with the relationships between people and how they decide to change their conditions of living.

Architecture and User Experience, Part 1: The Politics of Architecture

About eight years ago I published a series of articles on CHIFOO (the Oregon and SW Washington chapter of the ACM's SIGCHI) having to do with UX Architecture. I've re-discovered those articles and made them current, but as it turns out, not so much has changed in the ensuing years. For example, CHIFOO's 2007 speaker series (Mind The Business: Promoting The Value Of Your Work) that inspired these articles is very much like the 2017 speaker series: Thriving Amid Chaos - Strategies Beyond Good Design, so it's timely as well. The term User Experience Architect continues to populate the job boards. What…
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