Definition: A portion of space designated for a purpose.
Also referenced as: Places (noun) Placing (verb)
The word place was used 29 times across 12 pages
These concepts don't necessarily live under an established hierarchy or sequence. For example, in the diagram above, I've outlined the various aspects of running a pizza parlor as the owner (me!) might think about them.
The rows represent the user's context (e.g., outside, on the bus, at home). Each point represents an event or a task that makes up the overall journey. Each point is placed sequentially as it relates to the other points.
This example shows events that only involve one person, but journey maps are also useful for showing the movement of pairs, teams, and organizations.
When we reference things, they exist within other things and places too. For example, a mug exists within a cabinet, in a coffee shop, in a building, on a city block, in a neighborhood, in a city, in a state, in a country, on a continent, and so on.
Digital things live within other things and places, including physical and analog places. For example, a user accesses a mobile application on a smartphone, in a coffee shop, in a building, on a city block .
|Object: a specific thing.|
|Interface: a point where a user affects that thing.|
|Location: a particular place or position.|
|Journey: the steps in or between locations.|
|Structure: a configuration of objects and locations.|
|System: a set of structures working together.|
|Ecosystem: a collection of related systems.|
You can turn a space into a place by arranging it so people know what to do there. This act is called placemaking. If you arrange a table and chairs in the middle of a room, meetings, meals, study, and play are all potential uses of that place. But if you add a fancy dining set and linens to the table, you're suggesting that it's a dining area.
In placemaking, you choreograph a sequence of steps users can take and decide how you want them to move. You can recommend steps, but they'll move wherever and however they want. They may move the place settings aside and open a laptop for a meeting. You can prescribe the steps, but they do the dancing.
For example, if you built a public park, you might make a path to walk on, a picnic area, a playground, some bathrooms, and a soccer field. These areas were made with tasks in mind.
If parkgoers wear down a path through your fresh laid grass, you as the parkitect (ha!) could see it as an annoyance. Or you could see it as a space between places and pave over it so people can get where they want to go without walking through the mud.
A space is an open, free, or unoccupied area.
No matter what you're making, your users will find spaces between places. They bring their own context and channels with them, and they show you where you should go next. Find areas in flux and shine a light on them.
Verbs represent the actions that can be taken.
A post (n.) can be: written, shared, deleted, or read.
It's easy to adopt terms that are already in use or to be lazy in choosing our language. But when you're deciding which words to use, it is important to consider the alternatives, perceptions, and associations around each term.
How would your work be different if "authors writing posts" was changed to "researchers authoring papers," or "followers submitting comments?"
Now unload that same bag into a kitchen without rules for where things go. How much longer would it take you? How much more frustrating a task would it be? How much variation would you get when the next person unloads groceries?
We use hyperlinks to allow users to jump between taxonomies instead of duplicating or moving content. For example, we might hyperlink the bolded words throughout this book. If a user clicks on one of them, we could take them to a definition in the lexicon. We're moving the user to the content instead of repeating it.
Because your structure may change a hundred times before you finish making it, you can save time and frustration by thinking with boxes and arrows before making real changes. Boxes and arrows are easier to move around than the other materials we work with, so start there.