IAI Newsletter #2.2 February 2007

The Information Architecture Institute (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
  • Progress Grant Recipients Announced
  • Global Member Spotlight
  • Volunteers at IAI
  • What's New with Our Partners?
  • Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
  • Job Postings

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

Greetings fellow Information Architects!

I have been designated as the director who will be filling you in on the past month's activities of the IAI Board. We've had a busy month! As the Director of Events, I d like to focus on upcoming events including the IA Summit in Las Vegas in March.

I'm very passionate about offering our membership access to a number of different events -- either events that we sponsor directly or those that provide access to members at a discount through partnership with other organizations. For example, we've partnered with the Enterprise Search Summit meeting in New York City this May to offer an IAI member rate when registration opens. We are working on establishing partnerships with other events in different regions of the world, so please stay tuned for future announcements. And let us know about your upcoming events.

The IA Summit is one of our biggest event partnerships. This year it will be held in Las Vegas, NV in March. The IA Institute is planning a number of activities there, including the following:

* Pre-conference workshop: Designing With Structured Data. We have 4 outstanding speakers who are experts in their field to come and provide lively discussion and interactive learning that address what's going on in the world of structured data and how it relates to IA. We hope to see many of you there! You can read more about this at http://iainstitute.org/calendar/000545.php

* Annual meeting: since the IA Summit is the place where a lot of us are all gathered together at the same place, we have chosen to take advantage of this and have a brief annual meeting. We will review the annual report and have a discussion about where we're headed in the coming year. I hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend!

* IA Mentoring Booth: this was such a huge hit at last year's Summit; we've decided to do it again. For those who weren't there last year, it's a booth set up so that people can spontaneously get and give mentoring advice. Read a little bit about its use last year http://www.graphpaper.com/2006/03-26_the-ia-is-in

* The IA Institute table - this is a space we will use to showcase our many projects that have been active in the past year, including the web site redesign and an update from this year's grant recipients. We will also have information about the Institute and how to sign up if you are not already a member.

This is an excellent place to network! We will be looking for a number of people to spend an hour or so at this table talking with others about why they are members of the IA Institute. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact membership AT iainstitute DOT org. It's a great way to meet people, discuss projects, learn more about IAI, and encourage others to join.

IDEA 2007:

The IA Institute also put on the IDEA 2006 conference ( http://ideaconference.org/) in Seattle last October. As part of our mission to support the design of shared information spaces, this event focused on professionals who work in designing complex information spaces, both on- and offline. The event was a success and many people have asked if we will have another one. The answer is "YES!" We are currently working with others to secure a facility. When we have a firm date and a location, we will let you know!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of different events. Many members have helped by volunteering or providing creative ideas of how to partner with other organizations in order to provide value to our existing membership. We welcome all ideas and encourage you to sign up to volunteer an hour of your time at the IA Summit to let others know why you are a member and what you get out of it!

Sincerely,

Sarah A. Rice Event Director Board of Directors Information Architecture Institute

http://www.iainstitute.org

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PROGRESS GRANTS UPDATE

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. 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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GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT

The IA Institute wants to shine a spotlight on our members around the world. This month, we talk to Jorge Arango about IA in Central America.

Who: Jorge Arango, Founder and Chief Instigator, BootStudio Where: Panama City, Panama

What would you like to tell IAI members about IA in your part of the world?

Central America is undergoing tremendous change; economies and societies are growing after emerging from decades of political and social instability. Although there is a marked digital divide, this is slowly changing, and IA and the related professions can have a positive impact in improving many people's lives.

That said, there are few practitioners working in the different countries of the region, and for the most part there hasn't been much interaction between them. We're trying to change this.

What most excites you about IA in the future?

Every day, information becomes a more important part of our lives. It is everywhere! Information is such an elemental component of our environment that most people take it for granted.

But navigating and making sense of this growing volume of information as it relates to our lives is becoming a bigger challenge. Because of this, I believe that in the future everyone will be an IA. We (IAs) are well positioned to assist folks in this role.

Why do you belong to the IA Institute?

The IA Institute allows me to learn from and collaborate with folks around the world who are passionate about the challenges and opportunities present in what is, in my opinion, the most exciting and relevant field of practice of our time.

Where can we find you? There's more at http://www.jarango.com

Do you want to share your view of the IA world? Write to Melissa Weaver at membership AT iainstitute DOT org and be the next in the spotlight!

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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT - http://iainstitute.org/pg/volunteer_opportunities.php

Please join us in welcoming Stanton Schell to the IA Institute website redesign team. A freelance IA living in New York City, USA, Stanton is both developing sitewide search/tagging strategy and working on CSS and PHP integration to Movable Type. Thank you to Stanton and all of the volunteers building our new home on the web.

What do volunteers do at the IAI? The IA Job Board, Translations, Tools & Library, Local Groups, and Mentoring Program are all examples of volunteer initiatives and programs. IAI wants to give thanks again to those who created these great projects and continue to maintain them for the community.

If you'd like to bring a project or initiative to the IA community, the IA Institute is ready to offer help in the form of expert review, infrastructure, and money. Please contact us at volunteer AT iainstitute DOT org if you are interested in learning more about any of our projects. Visit the Volunteer Opportunities page to find the volunteer fit for you http://iainstitute.org/pg/volunteer_opportunities.php.

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WHAT'S NEW WITH OUR PARTNERS ASIS&T Bulletin, Boxes and Arrows, IAwiki, and Web Indexing SIG

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

If you haven't read it yet, check out Stacy Surla's article on building IA Local Groups and contact volunteer AT iainstitute DOT org if you want to start or join one!

Building IA Means Building Local Groups http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Dec-06/surla.html

Boxes and Arrows - http://www.boxesandarrows.com

The definitive source for the complex task of bringing architecture and design to the digital landscape

So You Think You Want to Be a Manager by Erin Malone Every designer faces a choice at some point in their career Ñ to manage or not to manage. Erin Malone helps you walk through the questions you need to make that choice.

http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/so-you-think-you

Keeping Pace with Change Intuitect Product Review by Samantha Bailey Documentation isn't the most fun part of design and IA, but does it have to be the most painful? Samantha Bailey looks at a tool that may help.

http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/keeping-pace-with

Web Indexing SIG: http://www.web-indexing.org

The Web Indexing SIG has a new manager, Jessica McCurdy Crooks. As of January 1, Jessica took over for Heather Hedden, who is continuing to be involved in the SIG as its treasurer. Jessica, who lives and works in Jamaica, is a freelance indexer, editor, writer, and library/records management consultant with businesses Caribbean InfoZone Consultants and Next Index Services.

Also, Web Indexing SIG has recently added several new links to examples of good web site A-Z indexes and has updated some categories on the page http://www.web-indexing.org/web-index-examples.htm Suggestions for additional A-Z site indexes to add to the list are always welcome. Send the URL of the site index to Web Indexing SIG webmaster: info AT indexing DOT org

IAwiki: http://www.IAwiki.net

A collaborative discussion space for IA. Anyone can contribute; no registration required. Check out what's new in the last month, including blogs of note, IA professional directory, and cocktail hours!

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UPCOMING CONFERENCES IAI member discounts may apply.

IA Summit 2007 Enriching IA Ð rich information, rich interaction, rich relationships Las Vegas, USA Pre-conference workshops: March 22-23, 2007 Conference: March 24-26, 2007

Five days of pre-conference workshops and full conference sessions for IA professionals. This year's conference focuses on interactions and relationships and features keynote speaker Joshua Prince-Ramus, the "other" kind of architect, to show our relationship to this highly related field. The Conference offers 46 sessions, with speakers and tracks you won't want to miss. IAI members receive $150 off the regular conference price.

http://www.iasummit.org/2007/

IA Summit Pre-conference Workshop sponsored by the IA Institute Designing with Structured Data March 23, 2006

IAI presents a full-day workshop featuring four modules on design and development for structured data environments. From Web 2.0 to breaking away from the web, this is a practical workshop for those balancing rich, complex data with multiple, complex environments.

More info at http://iainstitute.org/calendar/000545.php Register at http://www.iasummit.org/2007/registration.htm

Enterprise Search Summit Solving your Findability Dilemma May 14-16, 2007 Hilton New York New York City, NY, USA

Peter Morville, keynote speaker, will welcome you to a three day conference focused on findability. Stay tuned for info on discounts for IAI members.

Program available at http://www.enterprisesearchsummit.com/

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UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

Information Architecture & Search Master Class Led by PETER MORVILLE co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web and Ambient Findability Thursday, 8 March 2007 - Friday, 9 March 2007 Sydney, Australia

This new two-day class from Peter Morville covers information architecture from top to bottom, explaining how search and navigation systems can be designed to support and shape user behavior. There is a special pre-Christmas $200 discount offer available to all IAI members up to 15th December and the first five delegates to register will receive a free copy of Peter's books - Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 3rd Edition and Ambient Findability!

For more information please contact Helen DOT lewis AT keyforums DOT com DOT au, call on +61 2 9436 4255 or register online at

http://www.keyforums.com.au.

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IAI JOB POSTINGS 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 a sample of recent postings:

1.) User Experience Researcher Microsoft, Redmond, Washington USA http://iainstitute.org/jobboard/jobs/job.php?id=2660

2.) User Experience Lead Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, CA USA http://iainstitute.org/jobboard/jobs/job.php?id=2656

3.)Interaction Designer Napier university, Edinburgh, Midlothian GBR http://iainstitute.org/jobboard/jobs/job.php?id=2649

You must be logged into the IA Institute website to view job descriptions. Job board newsletter archives are available at: http://lists.iainstitute.org/listinfo.cgi/iai-jobs-iainstitute.org

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Thanks for reading and we'll be back with another newsletter in about a month!

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