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April 2006 Issue

By Laurie Lamar

Published: April 14, 2006

“The delightfully diverse attendees included not just people with the job title information architect, but also librarians, Web developers, business analysts, user experience designers, and others.”

During March 23–28, 2006, over 500 people gathered in Vancouver, Canada, for the seventh Information Architecture Summit sponsored by ASIS&T (American Society for Information Science and Technology). The delightfully diverse attendees included not just people with the job title information architect, but also librarians, Web developers, business analysts, user experience designers, and others. Read moreRead More>

By Pabini Gabriel-Petit

Published: April 14, 2006

“IA Summit 2006 was the best of the conferences I’ve attended recently—in large part because so many of the people who present at and regularly attend the Summit are bright, progressive thinkers who are friendly and fun.”

The seventh annual ASIS&T Information Architecture Summit—IA Summit 2006 for short—was held at the Hyatt® Regency in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, shown in Figure 1, from March 23 through 27, 2006. Its theme was Learning • Doing • Selling. While I attended the IA Summit Redux in San Francisco at Adaptive Path last year, this was my first IA Summit.

Even though I’m not an information architect, I was encouraged to attend by the recommendations of several people who told me the IA Summit is one of the best UX conferences held every year. I was not disappointed. IA Summit 2006 was the best of the conferences I’ve attended recently—in large part because so many of the people who present at and regularly attend the Summit are bright, progressive thinkers who are friendly and fun. Read moreRead More>

By Pabini Gabriel-Petit

Published: April 14, 2006

“Wisdom is what allows us to figure out what knowledge to get.”—Dr. David Weinberger

IA Summit 2006 comprised three conference tracks: Learning IA—focusing on IA education and research; Doing IA—presenting professional practice, techniques, and process; and Selling IA—evangelizing the value of IA. Read moreRead More>

By Pabini Gabriel-Petit

Published: April 14, 2006

“Wireframes are useful for exploring and communicating design ideas to a broad audience.”

Sunday was another great day at the Summit. Many of the panels I attended during the Summit failed to capture my interest, but two of the best were the back-to-back panels about wireframing and alternative methods of creating design documentation on Sunday. Read moreRead More>

By Pabini Gabriel-Petit

Published: April 14, 2006

“Here’s an interesting IA problem: How could the conference organizers schedule sessions in such a way that attendees wouldn’t experience conflicts?”

The conference lost a bit of steam on the last day. It was hard to find must-see sessions. This made me regret all the more that I’d missed sessions on Saturday and Sunday I really would have liked to have gone to, because they were scheduled against other sessions I really wanted to attend. Read moreRead More>

An IA Summit 2006 Workshop: Presented by Kevin Cheng and Jane Jao

Reviewed by Andrew Hinton

Published: April 14, 2006

“Kevin Cheng and Jane Jao succeeded in opening participants’ eyes to a surprisingly versatile and efficient method that lets one express things no other medium can quite capture.”

I have a confession to make. I almost didn’t sign up for the Creating Conceptual Comics workshop. When I saw it listed in the IA Summit program, several questions came to mind.

  • First, how could anyone fill a whole day with a topic like this?
  • Second, with all the “serious” stuff in the same time slot, shouldn’t I do one of those workshops instead?
  • And third, I don’t really know how to draw all that well; so what could I do with comics anyway?

Read moreRead More>

Presented by Dave Heller, Kim Goodwin, Luke Wroblewski, and Frank Ramirez

Reviewed by Russell Wilson

Published: April 14, 2006

Published: April 14, 2006

“Each presenter gave practical advice based on real projects.”

The IxD Symposium—an all-day pre-conference seminar—was presented by Dave Heller, Kim Goodwin, Luke Wroblewski, and Frank Ramirez of IxDA (Interaction Design Association). It was well worth the additional cost as each presenter gave practical advice based on real projects. Read moreRead More>

An IA Summit 2006 Seminar: Presented by Peter Morville

Reviewed by Russell Wilson

Published: April 14, 2006

“We all want to have a sense of forward motion without regard for actual progress. Search provides the illusion of forward motion, playing to a basic human need.”—Peter Morville

Peter Morville, co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web with Lou Rosenfeld and author of Ambient Findability, presented a very informative day-long lecture on the subject of information architecture (IA). He discussed many basic concepts as well as best practices, so his presentation would appeal to both beginner and intermediate IAs. Read moreRead More>

By Russell Wilson

Published: April 14, 2006

The Impact of RIA on Design Processes

“They prophesied the death of the information architect, wireframes, and functional specifications, and heralded the evolving importance of the interaction designer, interactive prototypes, and the business-intelligence strategist.”

I didn’t know what to expect from this presentation. I marked it in my schedule, but can’t remember why. And yet it turned out to be one of my favorite sessions. The presenters focused on the long-term impact of RIAs (Rich Internet Applications) on design and development, and based on their findings, made some bold statements. For example, they prophesied the death of the information architect, wireframes, and functional specifications, and heralded the evolving importance of the interaction designer, interactive prototypes, and the business-intelligence strategist. Read moreRead More>