The Architecture of Understanding (Peter Morville at Enterprise UX 2015)
Peter Morville, Enterprise UX 2015
The Library of Congress
“To further the progress of knowledge and creativity.”
Fragmentation into multiple sites,
domains, and identities is a major
problem. Users don’t know which
site to visit for which purpose.
Users can’t find what they need
from the home page, but most users
don’t come through the front door.
They enter via a web search or a
deep link, and are confused by what
they find. Even worse, most never
use the Library, because its
resources aren’t easily findable.
“With respect to learning by failure, it’s all fun and
games until someone gets a larval cyst in the brain.”
“There is a problem in discussing
systems only with words. Words and
sentences must, by necessity, come only
one at a time in linear, logical order.
Systems happen all at once. They are
connected not just in one direction, but
in many directions simultaneously.”
(via ice bridge)
“It is the responsibility of the
architect to know and concentrate
on the critical few details and
interfaces that really matter.”
The design and management
of information systems.
Understanding the nature
of information in systems.
structures and processes
(hard to decipher)
Unconscious, taken for
granted beliefs, perceptions,
(source of values, action)
Three Levels of Culture
The outcome is the goal (or problem) you want to work on.
If a problem (Current state, change is needed):
- What is the outcome we are seeing?
- How do we know it’s a problem?
If a goal (Desired state):
- What is the outcome we want?
- How would we know we succeeded??
Behaviors are activities that are
- Ask people to share stories about
good (or bad) experiences they
have had with the culture.
- Look for concrete, tangible
Stated levers are explicit. They
include how people are rewarded
and punished, rules, resources and
budgets, policies, processes, physical
office layout or distribution, and
Unstated levers are implicit. They include
unwritten rules, “the way we do things around
here,” routines and habits, values, beliefs, and
politics that may be unconscious or hidden. They
are not usually discussed openly, although they
may be “open secrets” that everyone knows and
discusses in private.
Use the Culture Map to explore and understand your organization’s readiness for
change or growth. You can also use the Culture Map to design new incentives and
structures that will increase your initiative’s chances of success.
Double-loop learning in organizations (and individuals) is rare.
The relationship between information and culture.
“There’s a secret about MRIs and
back pain: the most common
problems physicians see on MRI and
attribute to back pain – herniated,
ruptured, and bulging discs – are
seen almost as commonly on MRIs of
healthy people without back pain.”
“If you want to accelerate
someone’s death, give him a
personal doctor. I don’t mean
provide him with a bad doctor.
Just pay for him to choose his
own. Any doctor will do.”
“Where architects use forms and spaces to design
environments for inhabitation, information architects use
nodes and links to create environments for understanding.”
Jorge Arango, Architectures (2011)
The library is an act of inspiration architecture and a keystone of culture.