IAI Newsletter #2.3 March 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
* Global Member Spotlight
* Volunteers at IAI
* What's New with Our Partners?
* New – IAI Sponsor
* Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
* Job Postings


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

Hi, fellow IAs –

It’s IA Summit time again, which means a lot of us are looking forward to meeting face-to-face in Las Vegas. Even though this newsletter and our members’ discussion list help keep us connected, there’s nothing like seeing folks in the flesh.

The Institute will be represented in force. For starters, we have a fabulous pre-conference workshop scheduled for Friday, March 23, “Designing with structured data.” With presentations by Karen Loasby, Margaret Hanley, John Allsopp, and Thomas Vander Wal, we go way beyond buzzwords, like Web 2.0, to take a highly focused look at deeper content analysis, data modeling, and relevant technologies.

Once again, we’ll also be setting up an informal “Mentoring Booth,” where anyone and everyone is welcome to sit down and share their experiences. In fact, last year, it was fascinating to see how often “mentors” and “protégés” exchanged seats – clearly, you don’t have to be an old hand in this business to share good advice.

Although a remarkable number of presenters are also active members of the IA Institute, we’re incredibly proud that both of our IA Progress Grant winners, Celeste Lyn Paul and Jason Hobbs will be presenting their research. Keep in mind that all submissions went through a blind review to ensure the best possible quality. And there’s lot’s more in store, so check out the full program at http://www.iasummit.org.. Remember, you get a substantial registration discount if you are an IAI member. “Substantial” is the keyword. (“Do the math” comes to mind, too.)

If you're actively involved in an IAI initiative (or would like to be), we invite you to set aside a couple of hours Friday night after the Opening Reception for the Active Members Meetup. This will likely be held in the hotel bar – more details to come.

In addition to the main conference program, attendees are invited to join us for our Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 25 at 6 PM at the Flamingo Hotel. The Board just finished dotting the decimals in the 2006 Annual Report, which can be downloaded from our website here:http://iainstitute.org/news/000571.php

And speaking of the website – there are over a dozen volunteers and staff working feverishly these days to bring our new site together. Although the redesign has taken longer than we had expected, the wait certainly seems justified. Our work goes way beyond “redesign,” it’s a completely new concept from top to bottom in a very literal sense. In fact, the IAI website concept will be featured in an upcoming book on Web Navigation by James Kalbach (O’Reilly, 2007). But you’ll be able to see for yourself VERY soon

With websites and discussion lists at one end of the interactive spectrum, and face-to-face encounters at the other, we realize there’s a huge gap in the middle. So after a couple of months of experimentation, the Institute has purchased its own island in Second Life. Our mission is to make Info Architecture island a useful platform for IAI members and guests, and identify and model good IA practices for virtual 3-D environments. Thanks to Stacy Surla and Andrew Hinton for spearheading the project.

This month, the Institute also got its very first official corporate sponsor, Intuitect (www.intuitect.com). Their product helps designers and IAs create and manage the UX design phase of a web project. The founders have been long-time friends of the IA community and we’re delighted they chose to help the Institute in this manner. Our heartfelt thanks to Adam Bialek and Fred Leise for making this possible.

There’s lots more going on – including some incredibly exciting behind-the-scenes activity (such as a new membership database). Suffice to say, though, the Institute is doing everything it can to live up to our vision:

“Through education, advocacy, services, and social networking, the Institute will lead the way in demonstrating the value of information architecture to the world at large, and provide a framework for members to improve their skills and enhance their professional standing.”

Warmest regards,
Eric Reiss



The IA Institute wants to shine a spotlight on our members around the world. This month, we talk to Jason Hobbs about South Africa.

Who: Jason Hobbs - I own and run a UX and IA design agency called JH-01. I have recently launched a content delivery service called The Fine Content Company and later this year we’re launching a publishing company.

Where: Johannesburg, South Africa

What would you like to tell us about IA in your part of the world? There's not much IA here. At last years IA Summit Stacy Surla spoke about the condition of being a 'lone wolf' within an organisation. Here it's like being a lone wolf in an entire country (region, continent, industry). There is no community of practice for IA here, no groups, no meet ups. I'm trying to apply a lot of the ideas coming out of the Institute’s initiative for local groups. That kind of help is immensely valuable for someone like me working on a periphery.

There is a massive shortage of skilled Web and digital interaction people in general here and it's a huge problem because our country is getting back into Web (there's renewed interest and spend in the channel) and there are very few good people to do the work. So there's huge potential.

There's also huge potential, and need, because access to information and digitally based transactions and processes will be a key part of how we raise the living standards of the majority of our population. Improving people's lives, at the most basic level, post-Apartheid, is our primary agenda. Information architecture and user experience design is key, in my opinion, to creating a new usable infrastructure for the way people live.

What most excites you about IA in the future?
I will answer this personally. I've spent the greater part of my career in IA working on corporate commercial projects - big brands selling products or services. In the last three years working for myself I've been exposed to other sectors - non profit, public sector / government, arts and culture, and I've realised how much IA and UX can make a difference to people's lives through these kinds of projects. To take all the energy, experience and knowledge I’ve gained from the corporate commercial world and apply it to other areas of people's lives is exciting and challenging for me. It's part of our company strategy to move away from corporate commercial towards these new areas. It makes all the difference in the world to your work when you truly care about your content and the meaning behind the relationships you try to manifest.

Why do you belong to the IA Institute?
Selfish reasons primarily - it comforts and supports me knowing (and being a part of) a larger community. I don't contribute much to the public discussions but I read every email. It's also important to be representing (geographically) marginalised locations by advising to the board.

Where can we find you?

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!


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

Janette Shew joined the IA Institute as the first and only Member Database Migration volunteer. Her work with the migration and set up is integral to functioning web member services. Thank you, Janette!

And of course, the Institute would like to recognize the tremendous work of the volunteer web team and Operations Manager Noreen Whysel in preparing a fantastic new site.

Would you like to volunteer? All members are eligible and there are projects galore – completing and expanding the new website, connecting local groups, leading education, Second Life meetings, improving IAI’s global presence and connection, and more, more, more.

Want to join us at IA Summit? We’ll offer the drop-in Mentoring booth and you’re welcome to come as mentor or mentee at any time. You can also help us as a booth volunteer – meet and greet other members and potential IAI members. It’s a great chance to get to know the staff, network with other conference attendees, and we’ll have special volunteer schwag!

Contact Melissa at volunteer AT iainstitute DOT org to sign up for any project.


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

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

Calling all taxonomists and taxonomy lovers! This issue of the Asis&t Bulletin features an IA column written by David Weinberger. Follow the evolution of taxonomies into a “global infrastructure of meaning” as the author considers how tags and folksonomies communicate a messy but meaningful understanding.

Taxonomy Out of the Box
By David Weinberger

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

Doing Today's Job with Yesterday's Tools
by Patrick Dubroy on 2007/02/25

Where is the software that can help us cope with the massive amounts of information that we deal with on a daily basis? Patrick Dubroy points out the usability problems with current personal information management techniques, and makes some suggestions about how to improve the situation.


Transitioning from User Experience to Product Management: Part 2
by Jeff Lash and Chris Baum on 2007/02/25

What will you need to leave behind to enter the wine-and-roses world of Product Management? In Part 2 of this series, Jeff Lash and Chris Baum give us a preview of what's in store for your new role and give us tips on how to prepare.


IAI Member Interview!

Read Liz Danzico’s interview with Steve Mulder, co-author of the User is Always Right to discover strategies for getting research into shape so real people can actually use it. The key: user personas.



The Web Indexing SIG of the American Society of Indexers announces a pre-conference workshop on web site indexing at the upcoming annual conference of the American Society of Indexing in Philadelphia. The workshop will be offered on Thursday, May 24, 8:00 am - 12:00 noon. "Creating Website Indexes" instructs participants on how to create back-of-the-book style indexes on web sites or intranets.

The presentation content, examples, and exercises come from the 13-week online course that was taught by Hedden Information Management in 2005. A review of HTML codes will be provided, so participants with no prior experience with HTML may take this workshop, but prior experience with HTML is an advantage. Indexing experience is also not necessary, but a basic familiarity with the concepts of subentries, double-posting, and cross-references is assumed. Indexing techniques and tools specific to web site indexing will be presented. Workshop fee is $135 and includes continental breakfast and mid-morning refreshment break. Information and online registration is at:


A collaborative discussion space for IAs. Anyone can contribute; no registration required.

Last month at the IA wiki, Al Selvin and Stefanie Panke added their names to the Professionals Directory and Regnard Kreisler Raquedan updated his profile.


Inkscape and LucidSpec were added to the great list of diagramming

And Eric Scheid explains category agreement analysis
http://www.iawiki.net/CategoryAgreementAnalysis. Check out this and manyother useful articles, list, facts and fun at http://www.iawiki.net/.



IAI would like to deliver a message from our corporate sponsor, Intuitect.
If you’re interested in learning more about our sponsorship program, please contact volunteer AT iainstitute DOT org.

Intuitect is proud to become an official sponsor of the Information Architecture Institute. At Intuitect our mission as an organization is to create tools and methodologies for information architects and user experience designers.

As veterans of information architecture and user experience design we are excited to offer Intuitect Professional, the first professional-grade tool designed specifically for the IA and UX community. Intuitect Professional enables IAs and UX designers to create, document and manage website projects with a single easy-to-use integrated toolset. With powerful features including drag-and-drop sitemaps, cascading wireframe updates and integrated flowmaps Intuitect Professional will automate your IA and UX process.

For more information including online demos, a schedule of free web-based seminars and to download a 30-day free trial please visit us at:

Intuitect – User Experience begins with you.



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

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

**DISCOUNT for IAI members

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.


Enterprise Search Summit
Solving your Findability Dilemma
May 15-16, 2007
Hilton New York, NY, USA

**DISCOUNT for IAI members

ENTERPRISE SEARCH SUMMIT is a highly intense, in-depth, 2-day conference
that covers how to develop, implement and enhance cutting-edge internal search capabilities. If you are an information manager or IT or search professional, ENTERPRISE SEARCH SUMMIT is where you will learn strategies and build the skill sets you need to make your organization’s content not only searchable but "findable."

As the official association sponsor of the Enterprise Search Summit, IAI has negotiated a discount for its members. All IAI members can register for Enterprise Search Summit for $200 off of the full conference price. Members can also receive significant discounts on the pre-conference seminars.

Contact Melissa at membership AT iainstitute DOT org to learn about the IAI member discount!!!



Spring 2007 Seminars in Portland and Atlanta:
Enterprise Information Architecture Seminar

Discounts for IAI members at Krug and Rosenfeld seminars in Atlanta and Portland, OR:

Enterprise Information Architecture Seminar (with Lou Rosenfeld)
Portland, OR: May 10, 2007
Atlanta, GA: May 31, 2007
More info/registration: www.louisrosenfeld.com/eia

Don't Make Me Think! (with Steve Krug)
Portland, OR: May 11, 2007
Atlanta, GA: June 1, 2007
More info/registration: www.sensible.com/workshops.html

  • After registering, IAI Members can receive $100 off each seminar by emailing either workshops@sensible.com or seminars@louisrosenfeld.com
  • Discounts are also available for early registration, when registering for both Lou's and Steve's seminars, and for groups of three or more.


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:

Senior Experience Architect
VML, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri USA

Interaction Designer
Consultant - helping client, Palo Alto/Bay Area, CA USA

Senior UEX Designer
The Generations Network, Bellevue, WA USA

Senior Web Information Designer
Vanguard, Valley Forge, PA 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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