Architecture Diagram Redesign


The architecture diagram is a 5-layer visual representation of a complete solution for a Citrix deployment. It shows how each user group relates to Access, Desktop and Hardware layers, with the Control layer creating the foundation to support the entire environment.

The current architectural diagram grows rapidly based on the number of user groups entered. This makes it difficult for customers to include the diagram in PowerPoint presentations and Word documents. The proposal is to create a simple conceptual diagram.


The goal was to design a one page architecture diagram. Doesn’t sound hard, right? Wrong. It’s not about just laying some boxes out to look nice on the screen and translate to being printable on 1 piece of paper. Sure, one of the requirements was that no matter how many user groups, flexcast models and types of delivery groups there are in the user layer, that all of this information fit nicely on one page, but more so, what was most important was to  needed tobe a correct visual representation to Citrix Architects, primarily, the Principle XenDesktop Architect.


I felt it was crucial that I understood what each of the layers in the diagram meant, did and related to the deliverable. Considering I knew very little about data capture strategy, user segmentation and flexcast models this was a big undertaking. I began by reading the XD Handbook. After that I read anything and everything I could find on the topic from blogs to whitepapers. When I felt slightly confident I sat down with the Principle Architect and got to work. I started with sketches. After the 20th or so iteration, I began to make leeway. From there I went into wireframes. Click on the image to the right to see the wireframes. –>

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After the wireframes were signed off on, I went into Microsoft Visio and recreated the architecture diagram so I could provide it to the development team in .vsd format. The reason I did this is because one of the items in the MVP was that the new architecture diagram needed to be able to be exported to Visio format. It made most sense to provide the “hi-def” to the developers that way vs. a Photoshop file that they would need to recreate on their own. In addition to creating the diagram in Microsoft Visio, I also created a stencil that would contain all of the icons needed for the diagram. It wasn’t part of the req, but I thought it would be useful (It was!)

“Master UX designer. I worked with Kitti to redesign the hardware and sizing table and conceptual design diagram for Project Accelerator. As the technical architect I provided Kitti with a long list of technical and business requirements with no real idea of how they could be met. Kitti quickly analyzed the requirements before designing a truly beautiful user experience. Kitti is exceptional designer and an absolute pleasure to work with. I have no reservations recommending Kitti.”

Andy Baker, Principle Architect

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