Gerry McGovern asks:
Any good digital designer knows that architecture and hierarchy have a very significant influence on how people behave on a website or app. Yet getting designers and orgs to truly focus on architecture design is so hard. Why is that?
The answer is multi-faceted of course. Aspects that are in play:
- Architecture is not shiny, not sexy, it's UX plumbing.
- It integrates and connects with both content and technology. Content because the actual service experience is expressed trough content. Technology because that's where many decisions and trade-offs are made about what's going to be available and possible in the first place.
- Bridging those domains takes a lot of investments in getting to shared vocabulary and understanding. Talking with people is an essential design skill but not always well developed.
- Architecture and hierarchy of an interface requires focus on sequence and flow between individual screens. Individual screens are easier to make nice. Knowing if a flow performs well is harder to define and agree on.
- Blending content, design and tech into coherent services requires the full team to be able to switch between high level architectural principles and the tiny details of implementation.
As such, architecture is the outcome of a group effort, not a specific role. Shared responsibilities are often hardest to take care of.
I personally love working on this UX plumbing level of things, it's where the potential for what the thing may become gets defined and realised.