Letter from our Board of Directors - February 2009

Dear Fellow IAs,

The new year has started off with a bang—and a crash. Isn't it fitting that this month's message comes to you from our Treasurer?

We've been hearing notes of concern on the members list lately and throughout our community about lost jobs and insecurity about the future. We are working on initiatives related to career development to help address these concerns and provide resources to managers and job seekers.

To start off, we released the 2008 IA Institute Salary Survey, capturing information on compensation, daily work habits, educational background and demographics with information on geographic comparison. We are continuing to add analyses to help you measure your value and job responsibilities against other UX professionals worldwide, and we welcome volunteers who would like to help. Read the survey at: http://www.iainstitute.org/en/learn/research/salary_survey.php

In conjunction with the release of the salary survey, members of the UX-Management list have joined together to create a matrix of IA skills based on various experience levels. We hope that this initiative will help job seekers make better matches, and help all professionals make informed decisions about what areas to seek training in.

This is also a critical time for the mentoring program. As you can imagine, we have seen an increase in requests for mentors. If you can offer time to help a fellow member, please consider becoming a mentor. No matter how long you've been in this game you probably have some experience you can offer to someone coming up after you. This is how we all progress as a community of practice. Details at: http://iainstitute.org/en/members/mentoring/mentoring_program.php

The Education in IA initiative has received a boost of PR from A List Apart. Aarron Walters interviewed Andrea Resmini who spoke of the initiative's goal to create guidelines and white papers toward a recommended Information Architecture curriculum in higher education. Andrea is running a survey concurrent with the EuroIA conference to serve as the foundation for the curriculum development the IAI will begin in 2009. Read the article at:
http://alistapart.com/articles/brighterhorizonsforwebeducation

Speaking of conferences, be sure to register for the Asis&t IA Summit (March 18-22 in Memphis, TN, USA) and the IA Konferenz (May 16-17 in Hamburg, Germany). Calls for papers are closed for these conferences, but there is still time to take advantage of your IA Institute member discount. Contact membership[at]iainstitute[dot]com for discount details and register at:

Asis&t IA Summit: http://iasummit.org/2009/
IA Konferenz: http://www.iakonferenz.org/de/2009/conference.html

The Italian IA Summit was held on February 20 in Forl“, Italy. This year's theme was "Pervasive IA" with presentations on "ecosystems" and the integration of digital and real life, as well as issues of privacy and what we are willing to give up in a world were the information is always more spread and accessible through different devices in real time. A special thank you to Andrea Resmini, Alberto Mucignat, Dario Betti and all the committee who organized the event. Papers and videos will be available at the Summit site: http://www.iasummit.it/2009/

Finally, we feel strongly that we need to improve our support for local groups, so IA Institute Secretary, Stacy Surla, has taken the reins for this initiative. We are excited about the energy powering the activity of the UX Book Clubs (http://www.uxbookclub.org) and want to support it. Big thanks to Steve Baty, Andrew Boyd and Will Evans, among others, for spearheading this effort for the larger UX community! New York, Cologne and Los Angeles have had their first meetings. Sydney, Canberra and Philadelphia debut this month. Also, new IA meetup groups are forming in the US Midwest region. Interested parties contact Andreas Drath (adrath[at]fuse[dot]net) for Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky or Eric Johnson (EricBrianJohnson[at]gmail[dot]com) for Southern Michigan.

We are interested in finding out what other local groups you attend and whether you plan to create a group in your area. The IA Institute website contains a guide and checklist for creating a local group. If you already have a group and would like to list your group on our local groups directory, feel free to contact us at localgroups[at]iainstitute[dot]org.

Christian Crumlish
IA Institute Treasurer

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