2015 IA Summit

The 2015 edition of the IA Summit took place in Minneapolis, MN between April 22nd and April 26th. Its overall theme was “Reclaiming Information Architecture” which was addressed by dozens of top notch speakers.


The Hard Work of Soft Skills

When both Dan Willis and Jared Spool are involved in a workshop you expect it will be fantastic. This four hour session did little to disappoint and offers plenty of material for anyone who has ever orbited too close to the hairball.




IA for Everybody

Jorge Arango kickstarts the IA Summit with a thoughtful exploration of what makes “information architecture” the thing it is today. His ideas should challenge anyone who has ever organized a mess to consider themselves IAs.



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Archeology and IA: Information Jones

The field of user experience likes to borrow from many different disciplines in its attempts to craft better experiences for users. One such field which can inform our practice is archeology. Margaret Alldredge and Andrew Schell demonstrate this by applying lessons from archeology to a site redesign of the FCC.




Wayfinding for the Mobile Web

Constraints are a key part of the life of any user experience designer. One such modern constraint is screen size. In this presentation Dennis Kardys offers up pros and cons for different mobile strategies. His suggestions provide a way for beginners and experienced professionals alike to develop their own heuristics for small screen navigation.




Designing Ecologies

Andy Fitzgerald has a way of challenging information architects to take a deeper look at the assumptions underlying daily practice. Here he examines the impact of increasing complexity on information environments to determine how the profession can adapt to changing trends.




What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

The modern career barely resembles the job experience of past generations. In this presentation Kevin Cheng challenges information architects and anyone doing user experience to consider their career trajectories.




Architecting the News

When you are in charge of the information architecture for one of the largest newspapers in England you need robust approaches. Nick Haley gives a peek into how to manage large scale content with a framework he calls the Container Model.


Structure and Metadata: The On Ramp to Linked Data

Linked (Open) Data has been a buzzword for a long time in the information sciences. Duane Degler demystifies its concepts by peering behind the curtain and demonstrating how it can change the way we construct our models.




Mapping the Way Forward

Constructing accurate maps in the digital environment helps information architects make sense of complex environments. Richard Ingram presents observations on mapping and how it can be beneficial as a tool for sensemaking beyond just navigation.




Living in a Time of (Un)ethical Algorithms

Google, Facebook, Twitter, and more are powered by internal algorithms that filter mountains of information to deliver what they deem relevant. What happens when companies treat these algorithms as a means to profit rather than stopping to consider all the ethical implications. Elizabeth Buchanan serves up her perspective on how information architects can harness the power of the algorithm for good rather than evil.


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Dealing With Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever felt out of place as if you were just pretending to be an expert in your field? Have you ever felt as if you were not good enough to get your job done? Lori Widelitz-Cavallucci and Amy Silvers provide a safe place to practice overcoming these fears of being an imposter along with coping strategies for handling the feelings when they inevitably arise.




What’s Past is Prologue

Any time that Christina Wodtke and Jesse James Garrett sit down for a conversation in front of a crowd the topics are certain to be thought provoking. In this one on one discussion the audience learns ways to continue to grow and evolve as professionals in the information sciences even as the world changes at a faster and faster pace.





Closing Keynote

The IA Summit concludes in Minneapolis with a look at what systems thinking can teach information architects about designing the digital world. Encoding information into systems extends beyond people and into the digital ecosystems themselves.




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