IA Institute Workshop "Beyond Findability: IA Practice & Strategy for the New Web"

9:00 - 5:00pm on Wednesday, April 7 2010 in RUSSELL B&C

The IA Institute presents a day of expanding your skills, tools and strategic perspective. It's the power of a whole conference packed into a single day!

New Update: All workshop attendees will receive a free copy of Social Mania - the social patterns design card game unveiled at IDEA09!

Read game co-creator Erin Malone's description at her blog. http://bit.ly/1xv1Mq

Changes are happening fast in technology, the economy, and even the various User Experience fields. In the midst of such turbulence, conventional information architecture can have trouble seeming fully relevant. Some may see it as a commodity, or a narrow specialty that has little to do with the game-changing emergence of social media, ubiquitous & mobile computing, and the rest.

The fact is, information architecture plays a powerful role in business and design, and its critical importance is only increasing. Learn how to expose the broad, but often invisible influence of IA, and why it matters more than ever for what we make, as well as how we collaborate with designers and clients.

Among the topics covered in this session:

1. Designing for context using scalable frameworks: Understanding how IA affects user context can help put it in perspective for designers and clients. Learn pitfalls to avoid, and models for helping us think through the challenge of shifting context in digital experience. In addition, we'll explore how dynamic IA frameworks allow for scalable, emergent architectures, and look at examples as reference points attendees can use in their own work.

2. Design patterns for the social web: Increasingly, all experiences are becoming socially-enabled. Your employers, clients and users are coming to expect almost anything they do to be shareable and re-mixable. If you're not already working on a project with "social" somewhere in the requirements, you soon will be. Learn the essential building blocks for social architecture, and how to determine which pattern combinations could be best for a given situation.

3. How IA can help drive business & design strategy, rather than merely answer to it:
Too often, we find ourselves being handed highly defined “business rules” and being asked to make wireframes and “site maps” for them. But often it feels like we’re being handed a Titanic and being asked to arrange the deck chairs in alphabetical order. How can we do a better job of bringing User Experience to the “strategy table” of our clients and employers?

4. Tactics for integrating IA with other design disciplines & peers: Who’s supposed to do the wireframe? The “Information Architect?” The “Interaction Designer?” The “Developer?” What’s the difference, anyway? We’ll put the elephants in the room right on the table, and explore how to keep the tensions healthy while still doing great design work. In particular, we’ll look at how to manage the dynamics of different practitioner communities on the same project, and the role of IA as a facet of UX design.

This will be a team-facilitated workshop that covers both theory and practice: there will be Big Ideas to fuel discussion, and practical tools to use at work, as well as opportunities for attendees to learn from one another.

Who will benefit: 
Anyone who wants to take their IA practice to a higher level of understanding, performance & significance.

About IAI:
 The Information Architecture Institute provides the IA community with both “practice” leadership and “idea” leadership. Things that support practice (e.g. tools, mentors, discussion list, project opportunities) give UX professionals the methods and tools they need for their day-to-day tasks. At the same time, the ideas and discourse that make information architecture an exciting and hard-to-define profession also drive the development of new tools and practices that serve emerging needs.

While the IAI believes in core, traditional IA practices, we also believe they have relevance far beyond the conventional understanding of IA. Information Architecture has the power to describe and contribute practical solutions addressing the profound disruptions caused by globally networked digital spaces. This workshop is one effort at helping IA practitioners build an excellent toolbox for a broad, strategic, and practical application of Information Architecture.