My Grandmother the Information Architect: The IA of Everyday Life

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Home organization can be used as a metaphor for the practice of information architecture. This presentation uses my grandmother and her home as lens through which we can examine this comparison.

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  • My Grandmother the Information Architect: The IA of Everyday Life

    1. My Grandmother the Information Architect: The IA of Everyday Life Hallie Wilfert halliewilfert @ gmail.com
    2. Meet my grandmother
    3. Meet my grandmother
    4. Meet my grandmother
    5. IA & Home Organization
    6. Methodology
    7. Definition of an Information Architect <ul><li>Clarifies the mission and the vision for the site, balancing the needs of its sponsoring organization and the needs of its audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Determines what content and functionality the site will contain </li></ul><ul><li>Specifies how users will find information in the site by defining its organization, navigation, labeling, and searching systems </li></ul><ul><li>Maps out how the site will accommodate change and growth over time. </li></ul>
    8. Definition of an Information Architect <ul><li>Clarifies the mission and the vision for the site , balancing the needs of its sponsoring organization and the needs of its audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Determines what content and functionality the site will contain </li></ul><ul><li>Specifies how users will find information in the site by defining its organization, navigation, labeling, and searching systems </li></ul><ul><li>Maps out how the site will accommodate change and growth over time. </li></ul>
    9. Definition of an Information Architect <ul><li>Clarifies the mission and the vision for her home , balancing the needs of my grandfather and the needs of visitors and house guests . </li></ul><ul><li>Determines what content and functionality her home will contain </li></ul><ul><li>Specifies how users will find things in her home by defining its organization, navigation, labeling, and searching systems </li></ul><ul><li>Maps out how her home will accommodate change and growth over time, e.g., moving to a smaller place. </li></ul>
    10. Content Inventories
    11. Lesson: Take time to do things right and you will not have to do them again ...not for a while, anyway
    12. The Christmas Tree
    13. Lesson: There's space for everything as long as everything is labeled clearly
    14. Lesson: Give items enough space and make what is going on as transparent as possible
    15. My grandma’s audience <ul><li>Audience of one </li></ul><ul><li>Grandma is the gatekeeper through whom all things must pass </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps things consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps things under her control </li></ul>
    16. In a different household…
    17. Grandma’s Junk Drawer
    18. My Junk Drawer
    19. Grandma vs. Hallie
    20. Card Sorting
    21. Grandma says, “ Don’t look in the den, nothing’s in it’s place. I mean I have everything in groupings, but nothing is where it should be yet.” Card Sorting
    22. Card Sorting
    23. Warning: Sometimes, even the best IA gets in too deep
    24. Warning: Sometimes, even the best IA gets in too deep
    25. So what else? <ul><li>Grandma has more to teach us than just how to organize </li></ul>
    26. Possible traits of an organized person <ul><li>Demanding </li></ul>
    27. Possible traits of an organized person <ul><li>Exacting </li></ul>
    28. Possible traits of an organized person <ul><li>Inquisitive </li></ul>
    29. Possible traits of an organized person <ul><li>Persistent </li></ul>
    30. Possible traits of an organized person <ul><li>Know-it-all </li></ul>
    31. Possible feelings about an organized person <ul><li>Resentment </li></ul>
    32. Possible feelings about an organized person <ul><li>Passive Aggression </li></ul>
    33. Possible feelings about an organized person <ul><li>Hoping you’ll just go away </li></ul>
    34. Possible feelings about an organized person <ul><li>Acceptance </li></ul>
    35. Possible feelings about Information Architects <ul><li>Are impediments to getting things done </li></ul><ul><li>Think they know everything </li></ul><ul><li>Act like their way is the only way </li></ul>
    36. What does this make you? A NAG!
    37. <ul><li>Prove that IAs make everyone's job easier </li></ul><ul><li>Understand that everyone is capable of doing IA </li></ul><ul><li>Try, try again - persistence pays off </li></ul>So what can we do?
    38. What if you don't have a grandma like this? <ul><li>Everyone uses information architecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Junk drawers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sorting laundry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pantries </li></ul></ul>
    39. IA is everywhere <ul><li>Home organization in popular culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Real Simple magazine & online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Container Store </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional organizers </li></ul></ul>
    40. IA in magazines
    41. Real Simple says <ul><li>“ Imagine the potential buyer (or worse, a relative) going through your closets or drawers. What would you not want him or her to see?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Tackling clutter without knowing your priorities can be counterproductive. ‘People who take a “tidy up” approach are actually rearranging rather than organizing…Sooner or later, the space relapses to its original condition.’” </li></ul>
    42. IA in magazines
    43. IA in magazines
    44. IA in stores
    45. IA in stores
    46. IA in books
    47. IA from the Books <ul><li>Organization from the Inside Out says </li></ul><ul><li>“ Being organized has less to to with the way an environment looks than how effectively it functions . If a person can find what he or she needs when he or she needs it, feels unencumbered in achieving his or her goals, and is happy in his or her space, then that person is well organized.” </li></ul>
    48. What we’ve learned <ul><li>Take time to do things right and you will not have to do them again </li></ul><ul><li>There's space for everything as long as everything is labeled clearly </li></ul><ul><li>Give items enough space and make what is going on as transparent as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes, even the best IA gets in too deep </li></ul><ul><li>It might not be love at first “site” (groan), but everyone can learn to love their IA </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architecture is everywhere if we know where to look </li></ul>
    49. Thank you! <ul><li>Hallie Wilfert </li></ul><ul><li>halliewilfert@gmail.com </li></ul>

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