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I LOVE MAKING SENSE OF MESSES.
Thinking about
INFORMATION
as material is hard
Information can be
made from the lack
of physical material
Context
Content
Information ≠ Content
Information architecture
is how we arrange the parts to be
understandable as a whole.
3 LESSONS
TO MAKE SENSE OF ANYTHING
#1 LANGUAGE MATTERS
Apple
Dump
truck
Jargon
Banana
??!?!
Word
How many
duplicative nouns
does your team
deal with?
How many
duplicative verbs
are related to
those nouns?
Model Change vs. Label Change
Thing
A
Thing
B
Thing
OBJECTObject
One label per noun or verb
is not always the best way to go
The goal is not simplifying
The goal is to know what you mean
when you say what you say.
Controlled
vocabularies
are the greatest
thing since sliced
bread or pockets.
@jcolman’s thumb showing off my
book’s contro...
https://pages.18f.gov/content-guide/plain-language/
Be the one to simplify the
language in your
organization.
#2 THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY
In most contexts, taxonomy is a tool
of rhetoric not an exact science.
(Sorry Linnaeus)
If Fresh Direct classified produce
scientifically, no one would be able
to find anything.
The way you choose to organize your
produce says something about you.
There is no one right way to organize something.
The only thing that matters is reaching your goals.
Beware of corporate underpants.
Home
About Recipes Festivals IYS Book Distribution Downloads Donate Press Room Contact Us
...
Card Sorting FTW
Be the one to show an
alternative way of
organizing something.
#3 WE NEED PICTURES
Pictures give us something in
common to point to.
Take the time and space needed to collect and iterate.
Visualize something hard to explain
Inspire Realistic,
Not Simplistic
Thinking
Pie
Crust
Tomato
Sauce &
cheese
Toppings
Slice
Be Careful of Reductionism
Show the process, not just results
Pizza
Crust
cheese
Toppings
Tomato
Sauce
Familiar
Words
With agreement comes momentum.
Be the one to make a
picture of the monster in
everyone’s head.
• Simplify the language used in your organization
• Show an alternative way of organizing something
• Make a picture of th...
IA is not just for information architects.
IA is practiced by everybody.
I wrote a book
about information
architecture for
everybody!
http://abbytheia.com/makesense/
Tack!
Abby Covert – How to make sense of any mess
Abby Covert – How to make sense of any mess
Abby Covert – How to make sense of any mess
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Abby Covert – How to make sense of any mess

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Abby Coverts presentation at From Business to Buttons in Stockholm, April 15 2016. FBTB is the meeting place for everyone who wants hands-on advice on how to generate business value by creating great user experiences.

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Abby Covert – How to make sense of any mess

  1. 1. I LOVE MAKING SENSE OF MESSES.
  2. 2. Thinking about INFORMATION as material is hard
  3. 3. Information can be made from the lack of physical material
  4. 4. Context Content Information ≠ Content
  5. 5. Information architecture is how we arrange the parts to be understandable as a whole.
  6. 6. 3 LESSONS TO MAKE SENSE OF ANYTHING
  7. 7. #1 LANGUAGE MATTERS
  8. 8. Apple Dump truck Jargon Banana ??!?! Word
  9. 9. How many duplicative nouns does your team deal with?
  10. 10. How many duplicative verbs are related to those nouns?
  11. 11. Model Change vs. Label Change Thing A Thing B Thing OBJECTObject
  12. 12. One label per noun or verb is not always the best way to go
  13. 13. The goal is not simplifying The goal is to know what you mean when you say what you say.
  14. 14. Controlled vocabularies are the greatest thing since sliced bread or pockets. @jcolman’s thumb showing off my book’s controlled vocabulary
  15. 15. https://pages.18f.gov/content-guide/plain-language/
  16. 16. Be the one to simplify the language in your organization.
  17. 17. #2 THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY
  18. 18. In most contexts, taxonomy is a tool of rhetoric not an exact science. (Sorry Linnaeus)
  19. 19. If Fresh Direct classified produce scientifically, no one would be able to find anything.
  20. 20. The way you choose to organize your produce says something about you.
  21. 21. There is no one right way to organize something.
  22. 22. The only thing that matters is reaching your goals.
  23. 23. Beware of corporate underpants. Home About Recipes Festivals IYS Book Distribution Downloads Donate Press Room Contact Us Founder Acharya of ISKCON Yatra Kartik Yatra 2010 Kartik Yatra 2011 Kanyakumari Kanyakumari Suchindram Thirukkurungudi Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) Thiruvattar-Adikeshav Temple Rameshwaram Rameshwaram Tirupallani Temple Sri Rangam Anbil Kovil Appakudatthan Thiruvellarai Sri Rangam Chandan Yatra Pushya Abhishek Govardhan Puja Drama Festival Nauka Vhar Jal Krida Jhulan Yatra Holi Radhagopinath Brahmotsavam Janmashtami Donation Form Newsletters Back to Godhead How to Donate Annamrita Artha Conclave Bhaktivedanta Hospital Ghatkopar Rath Yatra Gita Championship League Govardhan Eco Village Janmashtami Misc Coverages Radhanath Swami Shivaji Park Rath Yatra 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2015 - Artha 2013 2015 - Ghatkopar Rath Yatra 2015-Gita Champions League 2012 2015 2014 - Janmashtami Nepal Earth Quake Relief by ISKCON - 2015 2015 - RNS 2013 - Shivaji Park Rath Yatra Srila Prabhupada Radhanath Swami Downloads Community Damodar Ashtakam Forms Newsletters StoriesChandan YatraChandan Yatra< Recipe Name > (36) Daily Darshan Calendar Chandan YatraChandan Yatra<Date> (365) Chandan YatraChandan YatraPhoto RSS Twitter Facebook Google + Radhanath Swami Inspires Media Photos Subscribe Back to Godhead Daily Audio Lectures <Lecture Name> <Lecture Name> <Lecture Name> Temple Live http://www.radhanathswami.us/http://www.radhagopinathmedia.com His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada https://prabhupadavani.org/ Download PDF http://radhanathswamiinspires.com/ http://store.krishna.com/Page.bok? template=Subscriptions_Splash Chandan YatraChandan Yatra< Post Name > < Form Name >< Form Name >< Form Name > (4) < Form Name >< Form Name >< Newsletter Date > (2) http://food.radhagopinath.com/ Email Alerts http://donations.radhagopinath.com/ http://iysmumbai.com/ Chandan YatraChandan Yatra<Post> (< 444) Users are often confused when our internal categories end up in our navigation taxonomies.
  24. 24. Card Sorting FTW
  25. 25. Be the one to show an alternative way of organizing something.
  26. 26. #3 WE NEED PICTURES
  27. 27. Pictures give us something in common to point to.
  28. 28. Take the time and space needed to collect and iterate.
  29. 29. Visualize something hard to explain
  30. 30. Inspire Realistic, Not Simplistic Thinking
  31. 31. Pie Crust Tomato Sauce & cheese Toppings Slice Be Careful of Reductionism
  32. 32. Show the process, not just results Pizza Crust cheese Toppings Tomato Sauce
  33. 33. Familiar Words With agreement comes momentum.
  34. 34. Be the one to make a picture of the monster in everyone’s head.
  35. 35. • Simplify the language used in your organization • Show an alternative way of organizing something • Make a picture of the monster in everyone’s head To start making sense of your mess:
  36. 36. IA is not just for information architects. IA is practiced by everybody.
  37. 37. I wrote a book about information architecture for everybody! http://abbytheia.com/makesense/ Tack!

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