IAI Newsletter #1.11 November 2006

The IAI Newsletter features news about IAI and our partner sites: Boxes and arrows and IAwiki. We've also added a list of conferences, workshops, F2Fs, and job postings at the end, so scroll down!

In this issue:

* IAI News
* OZ-IA Spotlight
* What's New with Our Partners?
* IA Event News
* Upcoming Conferences and Event Listings
* Upcoming Workshops
* Job Postings


IAI NEWS - http://www.iainstitute.org

Hi, fellow IAs –

It hasn’t always been easy to figure out what’s going on inside our organization. Oddly enough, one would think that was one of the main functions of a newsletter, yet we’ve never gone the “Letter from the Whomever” route. Well, in the interest of greater transparency, we’re going to give it a shot.

Each month, one of the IAI Board members will be giving you their take on the month that’s just passed. We’ll leave the thought pieces and editorializing to the bloggers; our aim here is simply to let you know what we’re up to. And I drew the lucky first straw.

The new Board has been expanded to seven people – Samantha Starmer, Stacy Surla, Peter Merholz, and I have been joined by Donna Maurer, Sarah Rice, and Christian Crumlish. And we all have specific areas of responsibility. You can see who’s who and what’s what on our People page at: http://www.iainstitute.org/pg/people.php

It’s important to note that these areas of responsibility are not new initiatives – they’re simply a way for us to channel information and thus provide faster action on key operational issues. Yeah, it’s a boring organizational thing, but it’s important and we're sure you’ll spot the benefits of this new structure during the coming year.

Our website project has progressed to the design stage, with Anthony Colfelt as our design lead. Wolf Nöding, whose fabulous German team brought the web project from idea to use cases to wireframes, will be relaxing for a day or two before tackling our translation initiative. Board member Christian Crumlish is coordinating the technical end of things with our Operations Manager, Noreen Whysel. Although the redesign has taken longer than any of us had wanted, I think the results are going to be fantastic.

At this very moment, the Institute’s first independent conference, IDEA (http://www.ideaconference.org), is getting under way in Seattle, WA. Peter Merholz has put together an incredible speaker lineup and not surprisingly, this looks like it could be a sell-out event. And Board member Sarah Rice, our new Events Director, is already in the thick of things after a mere three weeks in office. More – much more – next month.

A couple of weeks back, Andrew Hinton gave a few of us a guided tour of Second Life. We’re exploring the notion of creating a space for IAs. Under all circumstances, the SL folks can certainly benefit from our expertise. Stacy Surla has been hanging out with a group of librarians and will undoubtedly have more to report soon.

The Progress Grants Committee just wrapped up their work. The first USD 1000 grant goes to Celeste Lyn Paul in Gaithersburg, MD, who will be investigating a Delphi approach to card-sorting. Our second USD 1000 grant goes to Jason Hobbs in Johannesburg, South Africa, who will be investigating the role of Internet cafés in developing countries and communities.

Finally, we’ve invited a superb group of Advisors to help out the Board this year – I’ll let next month’s writer fill you in. I can say, though, that with Board and Advisors on four continents, we’re truly an international organization – and the timing of our weekly conference calls is getting very tricky :)

Warmest regards,
Eric Reiss


Musings from the IAI Ambassador
By Judith Merryweather

Judith Merryweather shares her experience as IAI ambassador at the OZ-IA conference in Sydney, Australia from September 30 - October 1, 2006. If you weren’t able to make it, Merryweather’s detailed account will guide through the highlights of the two day IA intensive. Even if you attended the conference, the session synopses, great links, and ideas of what’s to come have something to offer everyone.

Read it on the IAI website http://iainstitute.org/news/000509.php

Meanwhile in Berlin…

The Euro-IA Summit also took place September 30 – October with the theme “Building our Practice.” Information on the program and posters is available at the Euro IA website http://www.euroia.org/posters.html. You can also visit attendee Stig Andersen’s blog for his review of the conference in English and Danish http://informationsarkitekt.blogs.com/.


ASIS&T Bulletin, Boxes and Arrows, IAwiki, and Web Indexing SIG

ASIS&T Bulletin - http://www.asis.org/bulletin.html

Check out the Information Architecture column by Karen Loamsby Changing Approaches to Metadata at bbc.co.uk: From Chaos to Control and Then Letting Go Again in the October/November ASIS&T Bulletin. The issue also features a special section on Cognitive Work Analysis with contributions from faculty and PhD students at the University of Washington’s Information School.

Boxes and Arrows - http://www.boxesandarrows.com
The definitive source for the complex task of bringing architecture and design to the digital landscape.

* New this month. Boxes and Arrows now has a job board

Articles from the past month:

Metrics for Heuristics: Quantifying User Experience (Part 2 of 2)
By Andrea Wiggins

In part one of "Metrics for Heuristics," Andrea Wiggins discussed how designers can use Rubinoff’s user experience audit to determine metrics for measuring brand. In part two, Wiggins examines how web analytics can quantify usability, content, and navigation.

Long Tails and Short Queries: An Interview with Amanda Spink
By Staff

Why haven't we figured out search yet? Amanda Spink talks with Christina Wodtke on why searchers still can't ask a useful question of a search engine, and how Google may be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Read other recent Boxes and Arrows articles:

IAwiki: http://www.IAwiki.net
A collaborative discussion space for IA. Anyone can contribute; no registration required. Interesting topics from the past month:

October was a month of updates at the IAwiki, including an updated list of international IAs called Where in the World. If you’re looking for IA contacts, you’ll find participants from 26 countries on the IAwiki.

*Added to Blogs of Note – find new additions to the list blogs of interest to professional IAs

New and Updated Member Profiles.

This October, Karl Schultz joined the IAwiki community and added his profile. Gordon McLean added his profile to the IAwiki, including a link to a Scottish bloggers directory which he maintains. Updated profiles this month include Andres Sulleiro and Vijay Luthra.

IAwiki Profiles:

Web Indexing SIG: http://www.web-indexing.org
A Special Interest Group of the American Society of Indexers:

Web Indexing SIG is offering an opportunity to present on the topic of site A-Z indexes at next spring's IA Summit (proposal deadline October 31). The Web Indexing SIG has prepared a PowerPoint presentation which you may use, modify, use as a basis/resource for your presentation at no cost. Through our partnership agreement, IA Institute members have the membership benefits of the Web Indexing SIG and may use this presentation just as Web Indexing SIG members.

Information is at: http://www.web-indexing.org/powerpoint-presentation.htm
(Heather Hedden will provide support and answer questions to anyone planning to present the slides.)



IA Summit 2007
Call for proposals & papers due October 31, 2006!

The Information Architecture Summit seeks proposals for presentations, panels, research, pre-conference workshops & posters. All proposals can address core IA principles, emerging trends and technologies, or the business of IA. The Summit is also interested in cross-disciplinary contributions to the practice of IA from related fields such as library science, user experience, interaction design, and user centered design. Sessions may address core IA skills or advanced IA topics.

Practitioners, academics, and student are encouraged to submit. The IA Summit also seeks research papers of empirical or theoretical contributions to information architecture.

For more information visit http://www.iasummit.org/2007/


UPCOMING CONFERENCES, F2Fs & OTHER EVENTS -- arranged chronologically ----
IAI member discounts may apply.

New Horizons for IA, Latin America: 2006 Information Architecture Retreat
November 10-12, 2006 (note new date)
Santa Cruz, Chile
The retreat registration fee is approximately US$412. There are only 10
more spaces available.
The website, available in English and Spanish, also has an updated the
list of speaker and a page dedicated to Sanitago, the retreat’s host city.

Seventh Society and Information Technologies Encounter Conference on User
Experience and Blogs "In Search of the Lost Customer"
1st Latin America IA Summit
November 13-14, 2006
Santiago, Chile

World Usability Day
November 14, 2006
Events Worldwide

Online Information Conference
Preparing for Information 2.0
November 28 – 30, 2006
London, UK
Opening keynote speaker: Thomas A. Stewart, Editor – Harvard Business Review will review how organizations are using intellectual capital and over 90 international speakers will provide a forum dedicated to learning, debate, professional development, technology reviews and assessments and expert discussions.

IAI members can book now and take advantage of the super early bird discount, saving over 25%. Total price £561 + VAT before 3 November 2006.




"Creating Website Indexes" with Heather Hedden
4-week online workshop November 1-30
Continuing Education Program of Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

“Information Architecture and Controlled Vocabularies: Enhancing User Access to Online Information” with Fred Leise
November 4, 2006
Houston, Texas
Presented by the American Society of Indexers, South Central Chapter, in cooperation with the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Houston community.

Indexers and technical communicators share a desire to provide information that is easy to find and useful, once found. At this workshop, Fred Leise gives us an introduction to both information architecture and controlled vocabularies. By using information architecture, indexers and technical communicators can improve access to online information by providing well-organized content, easy navigation, and good labeling systems. Furthermore, by using controlled vocabularies, we can improve access to our information by using the searching and browsing features in our content management systems, as well as in our Web publishing systems.


The IAI Job Board lists job postings related to information architecture, as well as information design, interaction design, user experience, and HCI.

The following are recent postings:

1.) Information Architect- Interactive- Nickelodeon (Midtown)
MTV Networks, New York, NY USA

2.) Jr. & Intermediate UX Architects
The Royal Order of Experience Design, Chicago, Illinois USA

3.) Information Architect/Interaction Designer
Motionbox, New York, New York USA

You must be logged into the IA Institute website to view job descriptions.
Job board newsletter archives are available at:


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