IA Survival Guide @ Euro IA Summit 2009

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IA Survival Guide in a hostile context

IA Survival Guide in a hostile context

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  • Sylvie - thanks so much for calling out what has troubled me for the last 5 years. I now have an authoritative link to point people too and say, 'See, it’s not just the ravings of a frustrated American UXer in Strasbourg'.

    Julien Dorra, you are speaking my mind EXACTLY! Let’s connect!

    Anyone else who feels like Julien and me, let’s connect!
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  • Thanks a lot for this presentation Sylvie.

    By summing your experience as an Information Architect in Paris, France, you really show us something : without a new, common, culture (of work, processes, a common vision...) you can't do new things.

    We really need a real UX design oriented web agency in Paris. There is none IMHO.

    They are all either tech-oriented, purely marketing-oriented or strongly graphic-design-oriented.

    But for that, it's clear we need to gather like-minded people around the new culture of the web.
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Transcript

  • 1. IN THE FIELD
    • IA SURVIVAL GUIDE IN A HOSTILE CONTEXT
  • 2.
    • WHAT IS A HOSTILE CONTEXT?
    • 01
    • HOW TO IMPROVE THE CONTEXT?
    • 02
    • ADAPT YOUR PRACTICE
    • 03
    • A EUROPEAN PRACTICE?
    • 04
  • 3.
    • “ The first mission of a revolutionist is to survive ”
    • Lenin
  • 4.
    • IA and, more generally, UCD are not widespread in every European country. In France IA and UX are relatively uncommon.
  • 5.
    • If you want to change this in the long term, you need time … which means that you have to survive.
  • 6.
    • WHAT IS A HOSTILE CONTEXT?
    • 01
  • 7.
    • NO ROOM
  • 8.
    • Some tasks are already performed by people, while other tasks are neither identified nor planned.
  • 9.
    • For instance , project managers are in charge of creating site maps, wireframes, and detailed specifications…
  • 10.
    • but not according to a user centred approach. So, there is no user research…
  • 11.
    • NO TIME
  • 12.
    • IA working time is limited, because the job is somehow perceived as a kind of luxury , something you can easily live without.
  • 13.
    • And obviously , it is something that web agencies have successfully lived without for years before you arrived.
  • 14.
    • For instance, you can eventually be asked to validate a graphic design having not worked on the project before.
  • 15.
    • NO SHARED KNOWLEDGE
  • 16.
    • Very few people, if any, know what you’re doing , what value you can add, and when to get you involved. You cannot count on a common culture.
  • 17.
    • There is no common methodology . For instance, you can be asked to work on a project once the site map and the story board have already been done.
  • 18.
    • NO PARTNER
  • 19.
    • How to work with professionals who have never previously collaborated with UX? There is no established working structure you can fall back on.
  • 20.
    • Usually, nobody is expecting anything from you. You can achieve a deliverable for the client, but the team does not necessarily feel they should use it too.
  • 21.
    • HOW TO IMPROVE THE CONTEXT?
    • 02
  • 22.
    • There are many ways you can improve the context to work in more comfortable conditions.
  • 23.
    • MANAGE TIME
  • 24. MANAGE ROOM AND TIME
    • Focus on user experience : collect everything you can about users’ needs and expectations... You will be the only one doing this.
  • 25.
    • Focus also on the specific problems that only IA can address, i.e. those related to users, journeys...
    • Spend most of your time – if possible all your time – on fixing them.
  • 26. MANAGE ROOM AND TIME
    • Rely on networks for the rest : books, discussion lists, social networks, best practices and case studies are all of great help.
  • 27.
    • SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE
  • 28. MANAGE ROOM AND TIME
    • Explain user centered approach. Help people to understand what you are doing.
  • 29.
    • Organise formal presentations .
  • 30.
    • Teach your discipline informally whenever it’s relevant.
  • 31.
    • Change the company’s methodology to take IA into account.
  • 32.
    • FIND PARTNERS
  • 33.
    • The client can be your best friend.
    • Meet them as much as possible.
  • 34.
    • The user is one of your most valuable allies.
  • 35.
    • The team that you are working with: cooperation is the key to the success.
  • 36.
    • The network helps by giving you expertise and credibility.
  • 37.
    • ADAPT YOUR PRACTICE
    • 03
  • 38.
    • Once you improved the context, change the way you work… to be perfectly adapted .
  • 39.
    • ADAPT DELIVERABLES
  • 40.  
  • 41.
    • Deliverables are supposed to communicate findings .
    • If they are not doing this well enough, depending on the context, change them.
  • 42.
    • For instance, if a deliverable is difficult to handle, it can be replaced by another one .
  • 43.
    • KEEP QUALITY
  • 44.
    • Staying professional with limited means is probably the main challenge to face.
  • 45.
    • Limited budget and time are manageable, zero budget is not.
  • 46.
    • COLLABORATE
  • 47.
    • Re-think team cooperation : a hegemony of UX would be as bad as a hegemony of any other profession.
  • 48.
    • Make space for all professions to create better interfaces and experiences together .
  • 49.
    • Collaborate with strategic planners: combine consumers’ insights with users’ insights.
  • 50.
    • Collaborate with art designers: draw wireframes together.
  • 51.
    • Collaborate with account managers : use the strategy they have already defined for the project.
  • 52.
    • A EUROPEAN PRACTICE?
    • 04
  • 53. ADAPTATING METHODOLOGY
    • UX was born in the United States . A place with one language, one culture, where pragmatism is king.
  • 54. ADAPTATING METHODOLOGY
    • What can it become in a place like Europe which has more…
  • 55. STYLE
  • 56. CULTURES
  • 57. LANGUAGES
  • 58.
    • THANK YOU
    Sylvie Daumal Information Architect Duke Razorfish , Paris, France