In the last couple of years, I’ve led small groups of colleagues at the Enterprise UX conference on a walking tour of the architecture of downtown San Francisco. UXmatters just published a writeup of this year’s tour.

My tour focuses on how we create mental models of environments, based on the framework laid out in Kevin Lynch’s book The Image of the City. It also explores things UX designers can learn from the architecture of the built environment. We do this by looking at landmarks in downtown SF.

I learned about many of the architectural facts and locations I talked about from a fabulous walking tour of the city led by architectural historian Rick Evans. Looking at the UXmatters writeup, I’m struck by how much of what I talked about I picked up from Rick’s tour. I haven’t given him enough credit, and hope to change that with this post.

If you have a morning or an afternoon to spend in downtown San Francisco, one of the best investments of your time would be to take Rick’s tour. It’s enlightening and a great value.