Architectural user experience practice: Creating the prefect functions list

May 15, 2019

This simple practice will help you to develop a deep understanding of your project needs.
I use it when my clients is being asked to create a functions list of spaces.

To make it easier to understand, I am going to use an example I used recently in the vision creating process of a concept for a yoga retreat center.


Yoga shala at Atitlan lake, Guatemala





we start by defining the main types of users in the project, in this case we have 4 main ones:
Guests, staff, management and suppliers.


Imagine a full day for each user:


Write down all the activities this user will do during a day:

A guest: wake up in the morning, go to the bathroom (does he\she need slippers?), change cloths, drink a detox juice (where and when?) morning meditation, morning class, breakfast, and so on.

The more detailed you will be, the better we can design the perfect space for each one of those activities or design a multipurpose space that address more than one need.

A staff member: they arrive early in the morning, where do they put their personal belongings? Then they update the daily activities on the board, …

If there are any weekly activities or monthly events write them down as well.

Think as specific as possible: what are the opening hours of your project? Will you host event that are open to the public?


By the end of this practice you will know better what kind of spaces do you need, you can always go back to this document, it will help you review a design proposal or a property.

Your future guests and clients will thank you for taking the time and thinking about their needs.
As always, I am looking forward to your feedback!