Thursday, June 24, 2004

Moving Beyond a Honeycomb Centre

There have been a few comments and postings about Peter Morville's User Experience Design "Honeycomb", and I must admit - with a couple of reservations - that I like the diagram. My gripes with it - which are not large - are that the hexagons appear as independent facets, where in actual fact there is significant overlap and hierarchy within the terms used. To my mind, and many may disagree strongly, "accessible" and "findable" are just children of "usable" (i.e. to use something, you need to find it and or access it); useful is a subset of valuable, and valuable is the mother of all of the terms - they are all "values".

Criticism aside, like Jesse's Pillar diagram, the benefit of these diagrams is in the simplification. While they may be reductive, they are also seductive: messy explanations while often being more accurate, just aren't so convincing. So to my mind, if I can slap this type of diagram in front of a client and gain buy-in, all the better, even if the reality is slightly less distinct.

I'd kind of like to overlay the content/context/users venn diagram over the honeycomb, as I feel that some of the layers feed one into another to build up a clear 3-D picture of how it all connects.

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