This post is in reply to Nathanael Boehm’s UX for System Architects.
System Architecture is in many ways similar to traditional Engineering or Architecture.
In both cases the end result is almost always going to be used by somebody (Even if it’s just the maintenance team).
In both cases the client will have a number of explicit requirements – I want a three bedroom, two story house, I only have $400k to spend. There will also be a huge number of implied or hidden requirements – The external doors need to be on ground level, the roof mustn’t blow off in the first rain storm.
Knowing these requirements lets an Architect produce a design that meets the requirements as best as possible. Sane Architects will include some flexibility into the design – say having stronger joists than absolutely required so another floor can be added later.
Even with the most flexible design, there are some fundamentals that can’t be easily changed: These are our foundations, and the limitations which we will need to work within. Hosting a premier league football match in the back yard is clearly outside the design requirements for your average suburban house.
Technology continues to improve at a stunning pace. Some things which were almost impossible are now done with a little effort. Other things which were once difficult are now easy.
The Architects can often do a better job explaining what these decisions are, and what limitations this will place on the system.
Clearly UX and the System Architect folks need to talk more.
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