World Information Architecture Day 2017, Slides

In a previous post, I mentioned attending World Information Architecture Day 2017, in New York City, and how I connected with a few of the presentations. I also mentioned a decision to put together a post collecting videos and links from other cities.

Since I only speak English, I’ll only include the videos and presentations that are in English. But, presentations took place all over the world and there are presentations in other languages, so do your own search if you are looking for more presentations.

It was a little difficult to find presentations, but I found some from 5 cities. I’ll post more if I find them.

New York, NY USA

Flag for New York City
Flag for New York City

line drawing of a woman in marker on a sticky note
From the presentation activity
 Leading Creative Ideation – World IA Day (NYC) 2017


Washington, D.C., USA

Coat of arms for Washington, DC.
Coat of arms for Washington, DC.

Monterey, CA USA

Flag for Monterey, California
Flag of the city of Monterey, California

Also available as an essay on Medium.

Okinawa, Japan

Flag of Okinawa Prefecture
Flag of Okinawa Prefecture,  Japan

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Flag of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Flag of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Older man with brown skin standing by a road
Not an image from the presentation
Empathy is Not Enough – Designing Systems for Emerging Markets

I like this insight: “When we look at our products in North America, trust is generated by institutional cues, like how well a company did the past year, how many awards a product has won, etc. But in others cultures, people’s trust in a system is highly dependant[sic] on already uses it.”

Impressions: World Information Day 2017 and Meetup

Several weeks ago, I attended World Information Architecture Day, held at Bloomberg. In case you’re wondering what World Information Architecture Day is, here is an explanation from their website:

“World Information Architecture Day is a one-day annual celebration hosted by the Information Architecture Institute and held in dozens of locations across the globe.”

It takes place in 58 locations, across 24 countries, on 5 continents on one day. Pretty neat. As it was one day long so there weren’t that many presenters. Two presentations stuck out for me.

Favorite World IA Day Speaker Presentations

The first presentation was about team building and team dynamics. It was called Designing Teams for Emerging Challenges – available on SlideShare.

The speaker had a friendly demeanor and it’s easy to feel an emotional connection to the topic of team dynamics. I felt an easy connection to this presentation. On slide 24, the speaker talked about helping people feel comfortable being themselves. He warned that this is not the same as fitting in. He made the observation that sometimes team members can end up forming little cliques, because people like hanging out with others who are like them.

The other presentation was called Beyond User Research. It promotes using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research to continuously improve a user interface. This presentation got me thinking about the field of User Experience and remembering that it’s not all about making things look pretty. The speaker made a well-observed comment about introverts, which I connected with, too. 🙂

The presentation showed that in order to provide real value, UX designers and architects should regularly incorporate a wide variety of research into their practice. UX architects should be open to using web analytics research, in addition to traditional UX research.

I liked slide 36 because it was easy to see the relationship between the different research techniques in one view. The slide comes from an article from Nielson-Norman Group, called When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods:

Summary: Modern day UX research methods answer a wide range of questions. To know when to use which user research method, each of 20 methods is mapped across 3 dimensions and over time within a typical product-development process.

Another Speaker Event, Meetup

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to get out more and attend more Meetups. Shortly after the World IA Day event, I attended a Digital Product Design Meetup for the first time. The speaker for this event gave a presentation called Evolving the Design Game. There is a link to a video of the presentation. (This is video is expertly produced. Very well done.) There is no link to the slides themselves.

I didn’t have the same takeaways with this presentation as I did with the other presentations. However, the presenter did get across that he felt his work was misunderstood and under appreciated, and he felt that was true across the industry.

At one point in the presentation, he asked the audience about their experience with a CEO making a color change request. He said that he did not have a solution to stop that type of behavior.

A dark brown chess piece with a gold crown sitting on top, resembling a queen.

Finding Solutions

At its heart, engineering is about using science to find creative, practical solutions. It is a noble profession. – Queen Elizabeth II (http://Read more at: BrainyQuote)

What popped into my head as a solution to this problem was slide 26 from the Beyond User Research presentation. I was thinking about research, not design.

I’ve observed a growing emphasis on the visual design skill of UX designers, including mandates for specific wireframe software. In contrast, I observe very little emphasis on research methods. My conclusion is that non-UX designers, coming into contact with the field, end up doing the same thing: overemphasizing looks and under-appreciating research.

The solution could be as simple as getting back to basics. A long-term commitment to research, treating every aspect of the work thoughtfully and deliberately, might help designers earn greater respect and appreciation for their work from their clients and co-workers. In an upcoming blog post, I’ll write about using the UX audit as a part of a UX research plan.

Old tube-style TV

Or…maybe the answer is to watch more videos from World IA Day! In an upcoming post, or on my Tumblr, I’ll post videos or links. Or you can search on Twitter at #WIAD17 or #wiad17.


LIVE.MEDIA+PERFORMANCE.LAB : workshop : SUMMER 2010 : EMPAC – experimental media and performing arts center – troy, ny usa

LIVE.MEDIA+PERFORMANCE.LAB : workshop : SUMMER 2010 : EMPAC – experimental media and performing arts center – troy, ny usa.

Announcing our first summer lab for interactive media in performance! Directed by Johannes Birringer and Mark Coniglio, the workshop offers intensive training and possibilities for experimentation with mixed reality and real time architectures, programmable environments, interactive design and the integration of time-based media into live performance and installation.

The workshop addresses emerging and professional art practitioners, scientists, researchers, and students from different backgrounds in performance and new media committed to sharing their interest in developing a deeper understanding of composing work focused on real time, interactive or time-based experiences and multidisciplinary collaborative processes (video, sound processing, projection design, lighting, choreography and directing).

Participants will be in residence for the duration of the lab and offered our exceptional facilities for investigating performance and design techniques that will develop skills and inspire new ideas for working in mixed realities and interlinked physical/virtual or distributed aesthetics. The workshop will include examples and references to international stage works, choreographic systems, installations and site-specific works, as well as hands-on experimentation in full resolution with interactive systems.

Methodologies for the laboratory are conceived by theatre director and media artist Johannes Birringer, founder of the annual Interaktionslabor and professor of performance technologies at Brunel University (London), and Mark Coniglio, artistic co-director of Troika Ranch and creator of the Isadora software. Both artists are widely recognized for their pioneering work in the international performance and media network. Interaktionslabor was last offered on tour in Belo Horizonte, Brasil (2008), and Birringer’s and Coniglio’s work has been featured in numerous festivals and exhibitions around the world.

The activities of the lab are open to visitors, and information about the proceedings and the research process will be available soon.

Résumé and informal letter of application due: June 30, 2010. Contact: Hélène Lesterlin: / tel. 518.276.3918

More info available on their site.

MEX: Mobile User Experience Conference, 09

December 1-4, 2009, I attended the MEX 09 conference, held in London, UK. I attended the conference on a scholarship I received from the conference organizers. Flight and accommodation were not included, but thankfully a friend of the family allowed me to stay in her flat. There were presentations over 2 days, but I only have time to write about 2 now. I’ll update more from my notes at a later date.

Sofia Svanteson of Ocean Observations gave a talk on incorporating creativity into your design team. At one point, she asked: “What’s more important? A great idea or a great team?” Answer: “A great team. A mediocre team will kill a great idea, but a great team will save a mediocre idea.” Other points she brought up:

  • Pixar’s operating principles:
    • everyone has the freedom to communicate with everyone
    • make it safe for all to offer ideas
    • stay close to innovations in academia
  • Design process need a mix of culture, people and ideas. If it were all about the process, we could all be Apple.
  • Use the same vocabulary: for instance, go so far as to make a dictionary of terms. As an example, she discussed the ever contentious UX/IA/ID/UxD/IxD etc, terms used to describe pretty much the same job.
  • Be candid but critique with empathy. Remember, ideas are fragile.
  • Finally, she mentioned The Idea Book, by Fredrik Haren.

Sofia also got everyone bringing up the question: What would Jason (Bourne) do? Her reference is meant to link the skills that Jason Bourne has in noticing many details of his surroundings that would also be similar to designing for the mobile user experience.

Dr. Chris Roas of Sheffield Hallan University discussed user-testing in multiple platforms. Some of his pointers:

  • Remember, you’ll never be able to test all possible platform combinations.
  • This is about understanding users; it’s less traditional, in terms of user testing and usability

In experience design, it’s important to keep in mind if you’re designing for an experience or the experience. AN experience, is something that might change your world view, such as your first trip to Africa. THE experience is something with tacit awareness, like going to work.

He quoted this paper, presented at CHI 09: “User experience over time: an initial framework”, by Evangelos Karapanos, John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Jean-Bernard Martens. Here’s a quote from the abstract: “This paper presents an in-depth, five-week ethnographic study that followed 6 individuals during an actual purchase of the Apple iPhone™.” Looks like a good read, actually.

Challenges: Use a provocative situation and embrace the challenges. Reduce any major experience effects, which will help provide a good basis for feedback. For your testing, put randomized tasks all around the building.

And seek stories – what would Jason do?

Michael V. Roeder of Iconmobile, discussed Cloud Computing

He gave a few example of such services:,, Vodaphone 360. He described Cloud computing as an integration of several services with users going to each one individually.

The Cloud User’s Hierarchy of Needs, include:

  • Bandwidth
  • Storage
  • Acces
  • Interface
  • Context
  • Omni Cloud

Peaking, at Chez Bushwick

Peaking is a four-person exhibition of video by Janet Biggs, Heather Cassils, Molly Davies, and Andrew Sroka curated by Maya Ciarrocchi. I attended on October 17, 2009 at Chez Bushwick, in Brooklyn, NY.

While all the videos were impressive, my favorite was by Janet Biggs. A clip called ‘Performance of Desire’, from 2007. In this short video, Biggs cut shots of cadets from The Citadel practicing and then performing a drill using rifles with bayonets, with inverted shots of two synchronized swimmers practicing.

I think what I enjoyed about this film was the distant look of concentration in the cadet’s eyes. In one short clip he looked in the direction of the camera, but it didn’t quite register. I also liked the fact that the synchronized swimmers were in their underwater environment and if distraction was a possibility, they would be virtually immune, except that they had the added distraction of coming up for air.

If you’re interested, you can find a clip of that video on her website. Performance of Desire.

September 23: IxDA discussion

Received Sept 9, 2009

Join IxDA NYC for some interactive discussion and last-of-summer fun at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Look for our IxDA teal-colored balloons. Microsoft will also be on hand to hand out some goodies to promote the recent launch of Expression Studio 3.

No RSVP needed — the event is open to everyone! Show up, enjoy some tasty summer treats, and help us send summer off with a bang! Check out the Shack Shack’s menu here:

The event will start at 5:30 and go until we decide we’re done!