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Reframe IA: The Information Architecture of Meaning Making

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J Hobbs and T Fenn's contribution to the 2013 IA Summit academic round table discussion "Reframe IA". This ignite-style presentation is accompanied by a full academic paper, available on request

J Hobbs and T Fenn's contribution to the 2013 IA Summit academic round table discussion "Reframe IA". This ignite-style presentation is accompanied by a full academic paper, available on request

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Reframe IA: The Information Architecture of Meaning Making

  1. 1. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING THE INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE OF MEANING MAKING REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  2. 2. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING Design thinking, as an academic discourse, has been around at least since the 1970’s. Rittel and Webber, Cross, Buchanan, Van der Merwe, Krippendorf, Brown, Lockwood… REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  3. 3. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING It is broadly acknowledged • That the complexity of the world we live in steadily increases • That the problems we face are systemic and grounded in social realities • That design has been battling to respond in it’s current siloes (graphic, industrial, architectural, digital) REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  4. 4. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING The complexity of social realities present indeterminate or wicked problems REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  5. 5. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING Research conducted to understand complexity emerges from a multi- disciplinary approach and creates a mass of data REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  6. 6. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING Defining the problem defines the solution: the problem / solution ecology REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  7. 7. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING Making sense of indeterminacy through the understanding and articulation of the problem / solution ecology is the synthetic, compositional act of meaning-making REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  8. 8. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING So to recap… 1.A mass of data is created through research 2.It is organised such that it can be understood 3.And in so doing presents a solution Hang on. That’s information architecture, isn’t it? REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  9. 9. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING WE RESEARCH REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  10. 10. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING WE ORGANISE REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  11. 11. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING AND IN THE PROCESS DEFINE THE SOLUTION REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  12. 12. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING But we don’t think of IA either as design or problem solving in this way because • It's been defined as 'digital thing’ • It’s not positioned as a 'design' practice (rather information or library science oriented) • And we don't think of the typical briefs (business ones) as being situated in social realities REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  13. 13. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING Illusion 1 IA deliverables are wireframes, site maps, task flows, taxonomies, etc No. The IA deliverable is the synthetic resolution of the problem / solution ecology as expressed in deliverables which strive to describe it REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  14. 14. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING Illusion 2 The design solution is a website, mobile app, etc. No. The design solution is the resolution of the problem / solution ecology; the design artifact is a website, mobile app, etc. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  15. 15. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING Illusion 3 IA derives its meaning (relevance, value, purpose) by delivering measurable value to businesses No. The relevance, value and purpose of IA is in making sense of problem / solution ecologies; that business value is derived from this is but one of many potential consequences REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  16. 16. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING IA has a whole lot more to offer the world than just site maps, wireframes and task flows. • Our utility extends way beyond digital channels; there is a broader value- proposition • We dumb down our value because we struggle to explain it; explain it correctly and the value will present itself REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  17. 17. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING • Broaden the research frame and assumptions about artifacts and IA becomes a discipline, channel and product neutral form of problem solving • As in design thinking, from this position, IA becomes a tool for innovation REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  18. 18. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING Implications: The thinking skills, methods and tools of IA should be positioned as important indeterminate problem solving tools Because meaning is explicitly articulated (not hidden in the artifact) it should be debated at more critical levels REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  19. 19. JASON HOBBS & TERENCE FENN THE INFORMATION ARCHITCTURE OF MEANING MAKING Implications: Because meaning is explicitly articulated, design practice becomes self-reflective Self-reflective design creates bridges between practice, theory and teaching vital for preparing students of design for the challenges of the world REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE

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