ARCHITECTING THE
INFORMATION OF
SOCIETY
From Projects to Pursuit

February 21, 2014
15,
PEOPLE EMPOWER PEOPLE

The Understanding Group
uses information architecture
to plan digital places that are:
• useful,
• ...
WORLD IA DAY – 2014 THEME
“How we can use IA thinking to make the world a better place”
IA DOES MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
We make frameworks for understanding, collaborating, and decision
making
We make pla...
HOW CAN IA HELP ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS
FACING THE WORLD TODAY?
Information architecture thinking can help us re-architect so...
PROBLEMS FACING THE WORLD TODAY
Tensions in our natural systems
•

climate disruption, temperatures increasing & sea-level...
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT A FAILED SOCIETY?
•

Get our national leaders to address this!

•

We can change our behavior as indiv...
IA TO THE RESCUE!
Can we directly apply IA thinking to the challenge of architecting a society
that works for us humans?

...
IA PROJECT PROCESS

WHY

WHAT

HOW

Organizational
stakeholders

Elicit goals

Find
overlaps, uncover
tensions &
misalignm...
LEVELS OF SCALE
The World, or society-level
Ecosystem
System
Structure
Journey
Location
Context
User
Interface
Interaction...
http://www.logisticalchallenge.com/2009/06/cat-979b-worlds-largest-truck.html
IA PROJECT PROCESS - APPLIED TO THE SOCIETY LEVEL

WHY

WHAT

HOW

Organizational
stakeholders

Elicit goals

Find overlap...
LEVELS OF SCALE
The World, or society-level
Ecosystem
System
Structure
Journey
Location
Context
User
Interface
Interaction...
IA PROJECT PROCESS - APPLIED TO THE SOCIETY LEVEL

WHY

WHAT

HOW

Organizational
stakeholders

Elicit goals

Find overlap...
http://www.logisticalchallenge.com/2009/06/cat-979b-worlds-largest-truck.html
WICKED PROBLEMS
“Rittel and Webber coined the term in the context of problems of social policy, an arena in which a purely...
TACKLING WICKED PROBLEMS
There are approaches to addressing wicked problems!
Roberts, Nancy. "Wicked Problems and Network ...
CAN IA GET IN ON THE
WICKED PROBLEM ACTION?
OH YES, YES IT CAN
IA PRINCIPLES TO EMPLOY IN WICKED PROBLEMS
1.

2.

3.

4.

Let us focus on WHAT is needed and desired from the people of s...
1
FOCUS ON WHAT IS NEEDED AND DESIRED
FROM THE PEOPLE OF SOCIETY & WHY,
BEFORE ADDRESSING HOW TO MAKE
SOCIETY BETTER.
2
MAKE A CLEAR EXPRESSION OF THE WHATS
AND WHYS SO WE CAN DISCUSS,
COLLABORATE, AND REVISE THE
EXPRESSIONS OF WHAT PEOPLE ...
http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2011/11/08/Public_spending_2710.pdf
http://information2share.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/death-and-taxes.jpg
http://www.mikewirthart.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/howlawsmadeWIRTH2.jpg
NEEDS AND GOALS FOR SOCIETY

Divergent

Common
NEEDS AND GOALS FOR SOCIETY

Divergent
Tensions
Continuums

Common
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maslow%27s_Hierarchy_...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Static,_Dynamic,_and_Requirements_Models_for_Sys_Partition.jpg

SYSTEM MODELING
http://www.ea.com/asia/simcity-social

SYSTEM MODELING
3
USE THESE EXPRESSIONS OF GOALS AND
NEEDS TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD
IMAGINE THEMSELVES IN A FUTURE THEY
WOULD DESIR...
4
THEN FIND WAYS TO EXPLORE WHAT
STRUCTURES, PLACES AND EXPERIENCES
WE WILL NEED TO SUPPORT THE
REALIZATION OF THESE GOALS...
HOW DO WE START DOING THIS?
• Give

yourself permission to start working on this!
• Jump in as if we were asked
• Instigat...
EVOLVING IA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SantaCruz-CuevaManos-P2210651b.jp
“THE KEY TO THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD IS FINDING THE
OPTIMISTIC STORIES AND LETTING THEM BE KNOWN.”
PETE SEEGER, 1919 - 2014...
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Architecting the Information of Society: From Projects to Pursuit

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Here's a talk I gave at WIAD Ann Arbor 2014. I was wondering how information architects might get involved with addressing the wicked problems of our shared global society.

Video of the talk is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qTdvqFuj7s

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  • TUG is a multi-disciplinary team with a passionate belief in the power of information architecture as a lens for problem solving.
  • Architecting the Information of Society: From Projects to Pursuit

    1. 1. ARCHITECTING THE INFORMATION OF SOCIETY From Projects to Pursuit February 21, 2014 15,
    2. 2. PEOPLE EMPOWER PEOPLE The Understanding Group uses information architecture to plan digital places that are: • useful, • scalable, • and delightful. We have the most experienced team of information architects in the world.
    3. 3. WORLD IA DAY – 2014 THEME “How we can use IA thinking to make the world a better place”
    4. 4. IA DOES MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE We make frameworks for understanding, collaborating, and decision making We make places and experiences that make peoples live better. Not frustrated = happier people Resetting the norm to good
    5. 5. HOW CAN IA HELP ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS FACING THE WORLD TODAY? Information architecture thinking can help us re-architect society by • • • focusing attention on identifying the needs and goals of the people of society working collaboratively to express those needs and goals in an understandable framework eventually enabling people to imagine a future society that they can get invested in; something new to strive for that is so attractive that they are willing to give up their old society for the new
    6. 6. PROBLEMS FACING THE WORLD TODAY Tensions in our natural systems • climate disruption, temperatures increasing & sea-levels rising • ever-increasing population, yet limited physical resources • water, air & soil pollution • mass species extinction • over fishing & other food system • diseases, wars • income inequality & poverty • culture of aggressive-consumption and largely detached from the damage we are doing to our planetary and cultural systems Society
    7. 7. WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT A FAILED SOCIETY? • Get our national leaders to address this! • We can change our behavior as individuals!   Our frameworks for dealing with this leave us feeling powerless http://s289.photobucket.com/user/cajun154/media/crying/Sadface.png.html
    8. 8. IA TO THE RESCUE! Can we directly apply IA thinking to the challenge of architecting a society that works for us humans? We help organizations with projects Can we help with society?
    9. 9. IA PROJECT PROCESS WHY WHAT HOW Organizational stakeholders Elicit goals Find overlaps, uncover tensions & misalignments, then adjust goals Constraints Investigate dynamics & existing landscape Facilitate an understanding of WHAT the outcome should be and achieve Design structures, pl aces, experie nces Needs/Activities Users Project Discovery User Research Analyze Synthesize & Facilitate Understanding Design
    10. 10. LEVELS OF SCALE The World, or society-level Ecosystem System Structure Journey Location Context User Interface Interaction Object Regular project-scale is around here Nested, interconnected levels of focus from Abby Covert's keynote at Midwest UX 2013, “Making Sense of Place” http://lanyrd.com/2013/midwest-ux/scmrqr/
    11. 11. http://www.logisticalchallenge.com/2009/06/cat-979b-worlds-largest-truck.html
    12. 12. IA PROJECT PROCESS - APPLIED TO THE SOCIETY LEVEL WHY WHAT HOW Organizational stakeholders Elicit goals Find overlaps, uncover tensions & misalignments, then adjust goals Constraints Facilitate an understanding of WHAT the outcome should be and achieve Design structures, pl aces, experie nces Investigate dynamics & existing landscape Needs/Activities Users Project Discovery User Research Analyze Synthesize & Facilitate Understanding Design
    13. 13. LEVELS OF SCALE The World, or society-level Ecosystem System Structure Journey Location Context User Interface Interaction Object Regular project-scale is around here Nested, interconnected levels of focus from Abby Covert's keynote at Midwest UX 2013, “Making Sense of Place” http://lanyrd.com/2013/midwest-ux/scmrqr/
    14. 14. IA PROJECT PROCESS - APPLIED TO THE SOCIETY LEVEL WHY WHAT HOW Organizational stakeholders Elicit goals Find overlaps, uncover tensions & misalignments, then adjust goals Constraints Facilitate an understanding of WHAT the outcome should be and achieve Design structures, pl aces, experie nces Investigate dynamics & existing landscape Needs/Activities Users = all people on the planet Project Discovery? User Research? Analyze Synthesize & Facilitate Understanding Design
    15. 15. http://www.logisticalchallenge.com/2009/06/cat-979b-worlds-largest-truck.html
    16. 16. WICKED PROBLEMS “Rittel and Webber coined the term in the context of problems of social policy, an arena in which a purely scientific-rational approach cannot be applied because of the lack of a clear problem definition and differing perspectives of stakeholders.” Rittel, Horst W. J.; Melvin M. Webber (1973). "Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning". Policy Sciences 4: 155–169 Wicked problems are also characterized by the following: • The solution depends on how the problem is framed and vice-versa (i.e., the problem definition depends on the solution) • Stakeholders have radically different world views and different frames for understanding the problem. • The constraints that the problem is subject to and the resources needed to solve it change over time. • The problem is never solved definitively.
    17. 17. TACKLING WICKED PROBLEMS There are approaches to addressing wicked problems! Roberts, Nancy. "Wicked Problems and Network Approaches to Resolution." International Public Management Review, 1, 1 (2000): 1-32 Authoritative Where a few people vested with power simply make decisions, based on their best judgment. Of course they cannot consider all perspectives, so are likely to locally optimize. Competitive Solve wicked problems by having competing points of view come up with different solutions, and then those are evaluated for which works best. So more solutions, but it embeds the conflict and reduces knowledge sharing.. Collaborative These strategies aim to engage all stakeholders in order to find the best possible solution for all stakeholders. Typically these approaches involve meetings in which issues and ideas are discussed and a common, agreed approach is formulated.
    18. 18. CAN IA GET IN ON THE WICKED PROBLEM ACTION?
    19. 19. OH YES, YES IT CAN
    20. 20. IA PRINCIPLES TO EMPLOY IN WICKED PROBLEMS 1. 2. 3. 4. Let us focus on WHAT is needed and desired from the people of society & WHY, before addressing HOW to make society better. Let’s make a clear expression of the WHATs and WHYs so we can discuss, collaborate, and revise the expressions of what people want from society. Let’s see if we can use these expressions of our collective goals and needs to help the people of the world recognize a future they would desire living in - one they can feel emotionally good about; a future society that they think makes sense, and which they want to invest their efforts in realizing. Only after we have that, let us then find ways to explore what structures, places and experiences we will need to support the realization of these goals.
    21. 21. 1 FOCUS ON WHAT IS NEEDED AND DESIRED FROM THE PEOPLE OF SOCIETY & WHY, BEFORE ADDRESSING HOW TO MAKE SOCIETY BETTER.
    22. 22. 2 MAKE A CLEAR EXPRESSION OF THE WHATS AND WHYS SO WE CAN DISCUSS, COLLABORATE, AND REVISE THE EXPRESSIONS OF WHAT PEOPLE WANT FROM SOCIETY.
    23. 23. http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2011/11/08/Public_spending_2710.pdf
    24. 24. http://information2share.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/death-and-taxes.jpg
    25. 25. http://www.mikewirthart.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/howlawsmadeWIRTH2.jpg
    26. 26. NEEDS AND GOALS FOR SOCIETY Divergent Common
    27. 27. NEEDS AND GOALS FOR SOCIETY Divergent Tensions Continuums Common http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maslow%27s_Hierarchy_of_Needs.s
    28. 28. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Static,_Dynamic,_and_Requirements_Models_for_Sys_Partition.jpg SYSTEM MODELING
    29. 29. http://www.ea.com/asia/simcity-social SYSTEM MODELING
    30. 30. 3 USE THESE EXPRESSIONS OF GOALS AND NEEDS TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD IMAGINE THEMSELVES IN A FUTURE THEY WOULD DESIRE LIVING IN; ONE THEY CAN EMOTIONALLY INVEST IN; A FUTURE SOCIETY THAT THEY THINK MAKES SENSE AND WHICH THEY WANT TO INVEST THEIR EFFORTS IN REALIZING.
    31. 31. 4 THEN FIND WAYS TO EXPLORE WHAT STRUCTURES, PLACES AND EXPERIENCES WE WILL NEED TO SUPPORT THE REALIZATION OF THESE GOALS.
    32. 32. HOW DO WE START DOING THIS? • Give yourself permission to start working on this! • Jump in as if we were asked • Instigate a cultural trend • Start framing goals & needs and sharing results • What would heuristic & competitive analysis mean? • Incentivizing long-term pursuits • Working with others
    33. 33. EVOLVING IA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SantaCruz-CuevaManos-P2210651b.jp
    34. 34. “THE KEY TO THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD IS FINDING THE OPTIMISTIC STORIES AND LETTING THEM BE KNOWN.” PETE SEEGER, 1919 - 2014 http://www.trbimg.com/img-52e81c89/turbine/la-et-mn-pete-seeger-dies-movies-songs-2014012

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