Architectural Application, And Systems Thinking

by on September 8, 2012
in book, design

An Excerpt taken from, The Value of The Infinite

I like to apply architectural or physical thinking to virtual systems and concepts. It can be very clarifying when working in a virtual space. Ask, where does this door go (a button or a link), what is the mood I’m looking to create in the lobby (home or landing page), how long do people have to wait in the waiting area (progress pages)? You might find some interesting answers. After all all design has it’s roots in architecture. All of the core principles started in the physical an analog world. It is also an effective means to communicate complex issues to team members in a simple and direct manner. The physical metaphor can be easily forgotten, but it is a powerful tool.

I also like to articulate system interactions architecturally. It helps me model and visualize how each component of a system works together. If you think about the internal combustion engine as a whole system it can seem quite complicated. but if you break it down into it’s sub-components, or sub-systems it starts to make a lot more sense, even to those who aren’t mechanically inclined. Starting with the base requirements, and engine needs, fuel, fire, oil and air to operate. There is a system for each. They each serve a specific function. The fuel system integrates with extra-system (the gas station) monitors and stores the fuel (gas tank, gas gauge), delivers fuel to the fire system (electrical / spark plugs) and so on and so forth. If you can break down your concept architecturally into sub-systems, or page patterns, it immediately becomes much more tangible.

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