Why InformationArchitecture Matters      (to Me)    andrew hinton / @inkblurt      italian ia summit 2010
My more comprehensive, articulateexplanations of Information Architecture(for now ;-)                               Journa...
But for today -- a more personal talk    about why IA matters to me
“Navel Gazing”
When I was in college, I had a favorite philosopher*           Giambattista Vico 1668-1744                  (* doesn’t eve...
A few of Vico’s most powerful ideas ...         “Verum factum” ... “The truth itself is made”    i.e. Civil life, like mat...
The Trinity                                 Metaphysics                                  The Natural                      ...
Vico writes about the ancient sense of         “Poet” = “Creator”   Maker of worlds with language.
But long before college I had another obsession ...
photo: http://cjsd.blogspot.com/2008/03/day-d20-                      died.html
Gary Gygax 1938 - 2008Principal inventor of Dungeons & Dragons                                           photo: wired.com
Rules                     Dynamic                    User Activity        Structure                        photo: http://w...
photo: wikipedia & http:// www.useit.com/papers/   hypertext-history/
MUD                                     (Multi-User Domain)           @dig@@ Start here!@dig/teleportmeetingroom=meetingro...
Sherry TurkleJulian Dibbell
Tim Berners-   First Web    Lee          Server
The Web was / is the internet’s “killer app”                                               http://www.drasticdata.nl/     ...
Phase Transition
Computing            ƒConversation & Cohabitation
Quake “Mods” - custom games with altered rules & “maps”
“Thunderwalker” CTF (Capture the Flag)A shared, inhabited space made of information, created by                 the users ...
Rules                         Dynamic                        User ActivityStructure            1997-98
My first job at a design consultancy.               1999
An Early Client: Semiconductor Research Corp                        !!!
StructureRules                     Dynamic                    User Activity
?(My Dirty Secret: in 2000 I hadn’t fully read this yet...)
Even mundane IA tools (e.g. labels, categories, taxonomies) can          have powerful effects in people’s lives.         ...
So ... what’s my point?
IA is bigger than search & retrievalor categorizing inventories of content & products.
IA is bigger than search & retrievalor categorizing inventories of content & products.     IA uses information as the raw ...
Inhabiting CyberspaceInformation
Representation   Instantiation     Map           Territory
Representation   Instantiation
In cyberspace ...... the map is the territory.
Cyberspace is any networked space and the                    places it connects.                         William Gibson“Th...
How is IA more than just categorization & organization?
Oh Noes!! Flickr taggerz ate my job!!!    (Many IA practitioners circa 2006)
We design structures within which users make their own meaning.
Links                  Links toCurrent                   OtherContext                  Contexts
CategoriesContexts by FunctionContexts by Source                       A Context for Searching by Emergent                ...
Rules                 Access PermissionsEditing Rights                                 Algorithmic Context
Findability            InformationInhabited, shared, semantic systems.
Increasingly, we live in software.More and more of what it means to be humanis becoming unbound from physical context.
Pictures used to be for frames & photo albums.
Now, photos don’t “matter” until they’re online.And you have little control over what “album” they’re                    p...
Syntax & semantics now havethe power to change our very geography.
vsObvious difference.
d    vs           @Not so obvious.
Fuzzy Human Stuff Made Into Data                      0/1    Our ambiguities rendered     into binary attributes.
Google Buzz FAIL
Beacon
“Friend?”
Rules        Friend = Anyone You Connect To                                          Dynamic                              ...
Cyberspace                  GamespaceAs any space is more defined by binarylogic, the more it becomes like a game.
We can learn a lot from game design & research.“Games are ‘designed experiences’… and as such, their studyrequires an unde...
Why do I call myself an information architect?  My central areas of interest:Using information to create structured    sys...
An expanding challenge ...Cyberspace Map               Physical Territory        Integrating digital space with        the...
Grazieandrew hinton / @inkblurt
IA as a ...Title: a label one can be called,                                     What I call myselfwhether or not their wo...
“There is information architecture” ... but “there are no‘information architects.’ There are only User Experience         ...
What should you call yourself?                    Whatever                      Gets                      The             ...
Rather than “defining the damn thing” ...       Let’s try describing & exploring.Because if it’s alive, it’s going to evolv...
Discipline Established standards, definitions & curricula, planned from the top down.PracticeCommunity & shared history of ...
iainstitute.org
IAUX
Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010
Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010
Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010
Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010
Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010
Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010
Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010
Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010
Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010
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Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010

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Slides from a keynote talk presented at the Italian IA Summit in Pisa, 2010.

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Why IA Matters To Me - Italian IA Summit 2010

  1. 1. Why InformationArchitecture Matters (to Me) andrew hinton / @inkblurt italian ia summit 2010
  2. 2. My more comprehensive, articulateexplanations of Information Architecture(for now ;-) Journal of Information Architecturehttp://www.slideshare.net/andrewhinton/
  3. 3. But for today -- a more personal talk about why IA matters to me
  4. 4. “Navel Gazing”
  5. 5. When I was in college, I had a favorite philosopher* Giambattista Vico 1668-1744 (* doesn’t everyone?)
  6. 6. A few of Vico’s most powerful ideas ... “Verum factum” ... “The truth itself is made” i.e. Civil life, like mathematics, is wholly constructed • Etymology = key to understanding how our civilization &reason evolved from essential metaphorical building blocks • Strongly argued against the reductionist, hyper-rational Cartesian method. • Believed in a new science of the imagination.
  7. 7. The Trinity Metaphysics The Natural World The Civil WorldVico’s “map” of the architecture of his ideas.
  8. 8. Vico writes about the ancient sense of “Poet” = “Creator” Maker of worlds with language.
  9. 9. But long before college I had another obsession ...
  10. 10. photo: http://cjsd.blogspot.com/2008/03/day-d20- died.html
  11. 11. Gary Gygax 1938 - 2008Principal inventor of Dungeons & Dragons photo: wired.com
  12. 12. Rules Dynamic User Activity Structure photo: http://www.geeksix.com/
  13. 13. photo: wikipedia & http:// www.useit.com/papers/ hypertext-history/
  14. 14. MUD (Multi-User Domain) @dig@@ Start here!@dig/teleportmeetingroom=meetingroom;meetingroom;me;m,lobby;lobby;lo;l;Out;ou;o@desc here=The meeting room is ornate,and is large enough for about 200 people.&OOC here=0@desc lobby=The exit has two doors andleads into the lobby.@succ lobby=You have left the meetingroom.@osucc lobby=has entered.@odrop lobby=has left.move out@desc meetingroom=The meeting roomentrance has two doors.@succ meetingroom=Now in the Meeting Room@osucc meetingroom=has left for themeeting room.@odrop meetingroom=has entered themeeting room.move meetingroom Language Place / Context
  15. 15. Sherry TurkleJulian Dibbell
  16. 16. Tim Berners- First Web Lee Server
  17. 17. The Web was / is the internet’s “killer app” http://www.drasticdata.nl/ DDHome.php?m=54
  18. 18. Phase Transition
  19. 19. Computing ƒConversation & Cohabitation
  20. 20. Quake “Mods” - custom games with altered rules & “maps”
  21. 21. “Thunderwalker” CTF (Capture the Flag)A shared, inhabited space made of information, created by the users of the platform.
  22. 22. Rules Dynamic User ActivityStructure 1997-98
  23. 23. My first job at a design consultancy. 1999
  24. 24. An Early Client: Semiconductor Research Corp !!!
  25. 25. StructureRules Dynamic User Activity
  26. 26. ?(My Dirty Secret: in 2000 I hadn’t fully read this yet...)
  27. 27. Even mundane IA tools (e.g. labels, categories, taxonomies) can have powerful effects in people’s lives. Clinical Emotional Practical Using IA to discover the right structure & context for content has helped thousands of women find and learn what they need, when they need it most.
  28. 28. So ... what’s my point?
  29. 29. IA is bigger than search & retrievalor categorizing inventories of content & products.
  30. 30. IA is bigger than search & retrievalor categorizing inventories of content & products. IA uses information as the raw material to design a new kind of architecture.
  31. 31. Inhabiting CyberspaceInformation
  32. 32. Representation Instantiation Map Territory
  33. 33. Representation Instantiation
  34. 34. In cyberspace ...... the map is the territory.
  35. 35. Cyberspace is any networked space and the places it connects. William Gibson“The thing thats going to be quaint about "cyberspace" (thatalready is, really) is the inherent assumption that its a realm unto itself; that its in any way elsewhere or other.”
  36. 36. How is IA more than just categorization & organization?
  37. 37. Oh Noes!! Flickr taggerz ate my job!!! (Many IA practitioners circa 2006)
  38. 38. We design structures within which users make their own meaning.
  39. 39. Links Links toCurrent OtherContext Contexts
  40. 40. CategoriesContexts by FunctionContexts by Source A Context for Searching by Emergent Semantics
  41. 41. Rules Access PermissionsEditing Rights Algorithmic Context
  42. 42. Findability InformationInhabited, shared, semantic systems.
  43. 43. Increasingly, we live in software.More and more of what it means to be humanis becoming unbound from physical context.
  44. 44. Pictures used to be for frames & photo albums.
  45. 45. Now, photos don’t “matter” until they’re online.And you have little control over what “album” they’re placed within.
  46. 46. Syntax & semantics now havethe power to change our very geography.
  47. 47. vsObvious difference.
  48. 48. d vs @Not so obvious.
  49. 49. Fuzzy Human Stuff Made Into Data 0/1 Our ambiguities rendered into binary attributes.
  50. 50. Google Buzz FAIL
  51. 51. Beacon
  52. 52. “Friend?”
  53. 53. Rules Friend = Anyone You Connect To Dynamic User Activity Structure Another “map” we live within.
  54. 54. Cyberspace GamespaceAs any space is more defined by binarylogic, the more it becomes like a game.
  55. 55. We can learn a lot from game design & research.“Games are ‘designed experiences’… and as such, their studyrequires an understanding of the full range of human practicesthrough which players actively inhabit those worlds of rules andtexts and render them meaningful.”They are both “designed objects and emergent culture.”Constance A. Steinkuehler “Why Game (Culture) Studies Now?” “...worlds of rules and texts...”
  56. 56. Why do I call myself an information architect? My central areas of interest:Using information to create structured systems for human experience.Making “maps” for shared understanding & habitation.Especially, making such “maps” that were impossible before the internet. (But that’s just my answer, for me ... for now ;-)
  57. 57. An expanding challenge ...Cyberspace Map Physical Territory Integrating digital space with the world of bricks & atoms.
  58. 58. Grazieandrew hinton / @inkblurt
  59. 59. IA as a ...Title: a label one can be called, What I call myselfwhether or not their work has anything to do to myself.with the thing, practice, activity or role. IDENTITYPractice:shared history of learning among people who affiliate with the role.Role:the ‘hat’ for the person performing the activity on the thing at the moment.Activity:the actual work of designing the “thing.”Thing:the designed ‘stuff’ itself.
  60. 60. “There is information architecture” ... but “there are no‘information architects.’ There are only User Experience Designers.” - Jesse James Garrett, Memphis IA Summit 2009 I disagree. * Culture is messy. * Language is organic. * This is all still evolving.
  61. 61. What should you call yourself? Whatever Gets The Job Done!**But we still need words for facets of complex design.
  62. 62. Rather than “defining the damn thing” ... Let’s try describing & exploring.Because if it’s alive, it’s going to evolve anyway.
  63. 63. Discipline Established standards, definitions & curricula, planned from the top down.PracticeCommunity & shared history of learning, coalescingaround a shared central concern (domain).
  64. 64. iainstitute.org
  65. 65. IAUX

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