2006 Grant Recipients Announced

The IA Institute congratulates the recipients of the 2006 Progress Grants: Celeste Lyn Paul for her project on "A Delphi Approach To Card Sorting" and Jason Hobbs for his study of Internet cafes in developing contexts titled "Communal computing and shared spaces of usage."

You can see these presentations live at the upcoming IA Summit in Las Vegas. Findings will be posted to our Research section after the Summit. Celeste Lyn Paul's presentation on card sorting has been accepted as part of the sessions and Jason Hobbs will be presenting his work on the research track. The progress grant money is being used to both fund their research and offset the cost of traveling to the Summit. Here's a sneak peek of their presentations:

Celeste Lyn Paul, Maryland, USA
"A Delphi Approach To Card Sorting"

Card sorting is a common IA activity which aids in information design. It can be a valuable tool in discovering important information patterns and testing the suitability of category organization labels. Although a widely used method, it has disadvantages which potentially effect how difficult results are to obtain as well as how reliable.

This presentation will introduce the Delphi method and how it can be applied to card sorting, as well as discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages. It is suitable for practitioners of all levels, however familiarity with card sorting and testing methods is recommended.

Jason Hobbs, Johannesburg, South Africa
"Communal computing and shared spaces of usage"

We are investigating Internet and Web usage in Internet Cafes in Johannesburg. The key hypothesis is that, unlike in developed contexts where the perceived use of Internet cafes is by travelers and those 'passing through', Internet cafes in developing contexts are the primary means of Internet connection for many people. They may travel some distance to use these cafes on a regular basis. Research in Africa has shown that Internet cafes are often used by locals for business purposes or as a secondary venue for connecting when connections go down in private business locations.

We will present the findings of our research into the relationship between these cafes and their users, how Internet cafes are being used and how they assist people in performing daily life and business functions. In addition, we will present recommendations for designing Web-based services based on an audit of websites juxtaposed to the insights we gain through our research. The key question is: "Are we designing appropriately for users in these spaces?"

The IAI progress grants were created to encourage researchers and practitioners to investigate IA-specific issues to publicize useful work that furthers the information architecture body of knowledge. You can learn about the grant program and awarding committee at http://www.iainstitute.org/pg/2006_progress_grant_details.php.

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