Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Systems, Perspectives and Maps

When you look at a system
the perspective you examine it from
can make all the difference.

Below are 3 maps.
They all are essentially made up of the same set of "nodes."

But the meaning is radically different for each one
due to a simple shift of perspective...

Changes to the structure of a map can shift the meaning of the map...

 Changes to the structure of the map can help us to understand the system in different ways...

maps from "Learning How to Learn" -- Novak J.D., Gowin D.B.

What all of this means from a design perspective is important. Often we map a system from only one perspective. If we think about the system in a more elastic way we can generate insights that we might otherwise miss entirely. Including someone on your design team who thinks visually and is a systems-thinker can push this exercise in ever more interesting directions.  See the maps and models of the Dubberly Design Office.

1 comment:

  1. This is why the Unified Modeling Language has so many different models. Some show structure, and some show behavior. Some show concepts, and some show implementation. It reminds me of looking at different shadows cast from the same three-dimensional object, each light source from a different perspective.