Frame & Name

Alastair Somerville
2 min readMay 10, 2024

Original post: https://acuity.design/frame-name/

Rectangle with word Frame embedded in boundary and word Name inside the box with arrow pointing at a dot
Alastair Somerville 2024

A lot of accessibility and wayfinding work I do with organisations is at the start of projects.

It is a form of content design audit and (tho I hate this word) chunking.

It is Frame & Name.

Frame & Name

Frame & Name is how systems & institutions make their zones of activity perceivable and comprehensible to users.

It is a map with edges & titles. It is a static map, like people look at when planning a trip or trying to understand the news about global events. It is map to align their existing knowledge with and to create a new cognitive map space for new knowledge and possible actions.

It is however, just a start because it all shifts when people move thru the space: with their intents, with their words, with their experiences of other places.

Movement changes meaning

Moving with intent is very different to looking at a map.

This is where user-centred design is important in understanding the need for gaps (where people place their own experiences, intents and words) and being curious about how to support curiostity.

There needs to be spaces for both sharing meanings and salience from the organisation and from the users. Frame & Name is merely the first draft and foundation for what is built together by people and institutions.

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Alastair Somerville

Sensory Design Consultant, usability researcher and workshop facilitator. www.linkedin.com/in/alastair-somerville-b48b368 Twitter @acuity_design & @visceralUX