World Information Architecture Day 2016

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of speaking at a meeting of leading designers from around the world in Zürich together with Konstantin Weiss, a friend active in the field of Information Architecture. We wanted to talk about the intersection between information architecture and open data, highlight opportunities for collaboration and examples - such as from applications in Internet of Things and Data Journalism.

Reactions were good, people seemed especially to like the idea of „data-first“ designs, and creating & opening data from IA processes:

After the talk we were invited to help to ‚open up‘ WIAD 2017. This is an exciting proposition that I look forward to following up on!

Additional notes from our research on the subject follow.

  • Oliver Reichenstein at Smashing Conference
    • We are mostly focused on speeding things up, on making sharing easier, faster, more accessible. But speed, usability, accessibility are not the main issue anymore.
    • The main issues are not technological, they are structural, processual. What we lack is clarity, correctness, depth, time.
  • Abby Covert on making sense of data
    • Data is facts, observations, and questions about something. Content can be cookies, words, documents, images, videos, or whatever you’re arranging or sequencing.
    • The difference between information, data, and content is tricky, but the important point is that the absence of content or data can be just as informing as the presence.
  • Our chat with Andrea Rosenbusch
    • clients have analytics data, but often don’t know how to use it.
    • they don’t know how to connect their data to the knowledge that they have - how to ask the right questions? they don’t have time or resources to dig in.
    • making sense out of a lot of data is a big part of information architecture. with all of the [open] data around us there are so many opportunities to use it and create it.
  • Andrea Resmini
    • on placemaking
    • on pervasiveness
      • new architectures embrace different domains (physical, digital, and hybrid), different types of entities (data, physical items, and people), and different media. As much as the boundaries separating producers and consumers grow thin, so do those between different media and genres. All experiences are cross-media bridge-experiences across a breadth of different environments.
  • Frictionless Data principles
    • Narrow focus
    • Build for the web
    • Distributed not centralised
    • Work with existing tool
    • Simplicity (but sufficiency)
  • Laura Downey on building an Information Architecture Checklist
    • Little IA does not focus on formal user experience but more on metadata and controlled vocabulary. Big IA, as the name implies, is approached from a wider view and includes user and organizational aspects with an emphasis on information being useful, usable and acceptable.
  • Marti Hearst on Measuring Information Architecture
    • Putting science into HCI isn’t easy
    • Measuring the results of tens (of thousands) of users completing their tasks should also help
  • Expert Heuristics vs Usability Studies
    • Expert heuristic evaluations do not produce the definitive statistical data that you can gain from a usability study that you’ve conducted with a reasonable sample size, so inevitably, they have less credibility
  • Leo Mukutu on Web analytics as a Research Method
  • Hans Rosling on ignorance
  • Google Public Data
  • Open Web Analytics Datasets of US cities
  • Open Data Handbook