Thursday, March 10, 2005
Strategy. Its all about strategy.

As information architects we have a window into the medium that drives commerce. We have a view of the infospace that no other profession can claim. Well not in the same way at any rate.

As information architects we shape the information spaces where people buy and sell, provide services, showcase ideas, and invest money. I see great value in interaction design and usability but the first is more tactical and the second is reactive. Information architecture is about the creation of understanding and the fundamentals of experience.

At the IA Summmit it became clear that many IAs were taking design and IA skills and moving them up the corporate ladder to positions that influence business strategy. Richard Dalton and Rob Weening's presentation A Foray across Boundaries: Applying IA to Business Strategy and Planning demonstrated the real value in the application of IA methods to business problems.

to be continued ...
8:20:53 AM  #  

 Sunday, March 6, 2005
I know. Lame blog eh. I need to get into a blogging ritual.

Well its IA Summit time again so time for me to capture some thoughts.
11:04:57 AM  #  

 Sunday, February 29, 2004
The highlight of the day was Karl Fast's presentation on Visualization. I won't get into the substance just yet but the big take away were the following ideas:
  • visualization shifts the user from the cognative to the perceptual
  • this shift is not meant to eliminate cognition but to lower the cost structure of cognition
  • the whole purpose of what we do, whether it is visualization or IA, is to create understanding
That last bullet is critical and I will be exploring that idea later.
2:01:42 PM  #  
 Saturday, February 28, 2004
Well, its over! The presentation that Richard Dalton and I delivered on navigation went over realy well. We got great compliments from a whole lot of folks.

I am decompressing at the moment so there will be more on this soon.
4:48:10 PM  #  

Saturday morning at the IA Summit. The first two presentations were awesome! The first was a panel entitled "Taxonomies, Controlled Vocabularies, and Ontologies" with Amy Warner, Katherine Bertolucci, and Kathryn Lewellen. Each of them have deep experience with the topic and each made a great mini presentation.

Some of the quotes in Katherine Bertolucci's presentation really stood out for me:

"The way we order represents the way we think."

- and -

"Clasifications bot reflect and direct our thinking."

Each of these quotes came from Stephen J. Gould - wow.

The whole idea is that taxonomies help us with retrieval but they also help us understand a particular semantic domain and finally they help us to discover new ideas. The other major idea I came away with is that when we create controlled vocabularies they need to reflect the needs of the client as well as the way the client thinks. In short we should serve our clients.

The second presentation I attended was "Making Personas More Powerful" by George Olsen. It was deep and dense and I am still processing so more on that later.
2:27:31 PM  #  

 Friday, February 27, 2004
Amy Warner's advanced metadata and taxonomy presentation was fantastic even though I had to leave early - I had a "my brain is full" episode. She covered the fine points of recognition vs recall, specificity, recall vs precision, and other advanced topics and techniques. Once my head clears I will try to remember to post more notes.
5:32:34 PM  #  
The first Friday (preconference) session is Amy Warner's presentation on Metadata and Taxonomy design. Even though she is covering some basic concepts It was worthwhile to get a baseline for the advanced session later this afternoon and she has also woven some good advice into her presentation.

Some of the key ideas that I want to explore further are:

  • you might need separate controlled vocabularies for navigation and search
  • a controlled vocabulary for browsing categories includes a blend of strict hierarchical relationships and select associative relationships, whereas a controlled vocabulary for search may be more restricted to broader term/narrower term relationships.

11:23:35 AM  #  
Another year another Summit. This year we are the gathering is in Austin and unlike past years I am here with a group. With the switch from IKON to Vanguard I have gone from a solo act to a part of a team.

As the IA Summit progresses I will post observations and notes.

Oh, and by the way, I am presenting this year. Richard Dalton and I are presenting the work we have done on Navigation.

More to come!
11:14:49 AM  #  

 Thursday, February 19, 2004
New blog on the way.

I will be shifting from a personal to a professional blog during the next few weeks so please be patient.


7:55:18 AM  #