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What I Bring to UX From … Architecture

When I tell people that I have a background in architecture, I usually follow that statement with “as-in-designing-buildings” because people often assume that means that I have a computer science degree and was a software architect. But no, by “architecture” I am referring to the years I spent hunched over a drawing board and building models out of balsa wood and cardboard.

UX and Architecture

I am sure that the connection between User Experience Design and Architecture is not an unfamiliar one; even here on Johnny Holland there is a post “Interaction Design and Architecture: A Video Primer” that highlights eight videos in which people talk about the connections between the two fields. But, as someone who studied architecture and worked as an intern architect, when people ask me what the connection is between them, my response is two-fold. Firstly, an important part of architecture is the design of the navigation, orientation and way-finding through and within spaces. User experience design also encompasses the design of those aspects; the difference is in in the materials used to embody those designs. To quote Christina Wodtke:

Much like our real world namesakes, we design spaces for human beings to live work and play in. The big difference is the materials we work with…

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