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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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Image of front cover of book, Presumptive Design: Design Provocations for Innovation

Architecture and User Experience, Part 9: Communicating with Stakeholders

Throughout this series, I've been using Architecture (bricks-and-mortar Architecture, capitalized) as an analogy for UX architecture (lower-case). Because Architecture has "had a seat at the table" for hundreds of years, perhaps we can learn from its success and apply those lessons to UX architecture, thereby increasing UX architecture's strategic value. In the next installments, I turn to more tactical concerns: the deliverables and processes required to execute on a UX architecture. In this piece, I discuss how different stakeholders require very different deliverables. I also discuss how Architecture and UX architecture differ in terms of stakeholder understanding about the desired outcome. Awhile…
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Architecture and User Experience, Part 8: Exploring Ecosystems of Use

I argue, in the initial articles of this series, that a UX architecture exists. I argue that it is akin to Architecture itself even if UX architecture doesn't share the strategic position of its older and more established relation. I've also suggested that UX architecture will eventually get a seat at the strategy table because otherwise the costs will be prohibitive. Enterprises will either be replaced by competitors that leverage UX in their strategies, or they eventually evolve to leverage UX themselves. With the business and operational contexts sketched out in the prior set of articles, I turn your attention to…
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Architecture and User Experience, Part 7: An Ecosystem Approach

Continuing the thoughts from the most recent article, I dig deeper into how UX architecture pervades the entire enterprise, assuming the enterprise has anything to do with people. World-class UX architecture is world-class systems design. It takes an ecosystem approach to considering the users' experience of the enterprise's products and services. UX Architecture as System Thinking UX architecture identifies, describes and designs an ecosystem of use for an organization's product or service. What constitutes such an ecosystem? Where does an "ecosystem of use" begin or end? 10 years ago, the answers to those questions were still emerging. Today, we have a body of…
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Architecture and User Experience, Part 6: It’s People, People

In the first set of articles, I’ve argued that Architecture is both strategic and political. These are two ways in which it differs from design. I suggested Architecture isn't just design on steroids: it's a broader activity, extending beyond the brief to which any specific design responds. Architecture is both the context within which a design must operate, and a contributor to any given design. In the most recent article, I proposed that Architecture, and UX architecture are also responsible for the processes by which they operate. Unless the organization understands the value of Architecture in financial terms, it won't be willing to…
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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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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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