Visualizing Architecture

Architecture is often seen as dusty overhead or outdated modeling. To overcome such feelings architects needs to involve stakeholders a lot. They also have to communicate in a clear way using terms of the business to make their point.

Visualization can help a lot in communicating architecture. However, not all ways of modeling are sufficient. Transforming abstract thought into graphic is a complex process. In search for input for developing good methods I stumbled upon A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. All kind of methods are shown, like data visualization, information visualization, concept visualization, strategy visualization, metaphor visualization and compound visualization. It gives a very nice overview view of all kind of visualization methods, really a must see!

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  1. Luís Soares September 14, 2007 | Reply
    Hello, I found your comment pretty useful! In fact, that's the subject of my master thesis, which I'm writing and I even cited you. I totally agree when you say we should bet on visualization techniques to promote architectures. Jut a note: that periodic table is a good effort and an example of a good visual metaphor. However it has some issues described here: http://www.perceptualedge.com/blog/?p=81 which I also agree. Anyway... good point!
  2. Johan den Haan September 15, 2007 | Reply
    Luis, thank you for the usefull link! I agree with that article that the way it is organized isn’t the best. However, using the digital format for a quick overview can be helpful. I’m very interested in your master thesis! Can you give me more information about it? Or, if you like it, send me a copy when you’re ready?
  3. Luís Soares September 15, 2007 | Reply
    Johan, I'm still writing my thesis. However, I end it till the end of the month. Then, I can share it! For now, let me paste the thesis statement: "Current EA tools are essentially oriented for enterprise modeling, leaving behind visualization. EA models are usually outdated, too technical or inflexible, this way not appropriate for visualization, and interfering with decision-making, enterprise consciousness, solving capabilities, etc. Our proposal is an EA visualization system that uses visual metaphors to represent EA models. With the use of metaphors, the system benefits from the brain's highly patterned and symbolic thinking and learning. We put in test that skill through the city metaphor. We will demonstrate that metaphor representing the applications architecture."
  4. Luís September 2, 2010 | Reply
    My thesis is publicly available. Please get back to me in case of you want to check it.

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