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The Architecture of Understanding

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Peter Morville's closing keynote for World IA Day 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Published in: Design

The Architecture of Understanding

  1. 1. The Architecture of Understanding Peter Morville, World IA Day, Zürich
  2. 2. 6 The Library of Congress “To further the progress of knowledge and creativity.”
  3. 3. Fragmentation Fragmentation into multiple sites, domains, and identities is a major problem. Users don’t know which site to visit for which purpose. Findability Users can’t find what they need from the home page, but most users don’t come through the front door. They enter via a web search or a deep link, and are confused by what they find. Even worse, most never use the Library, because its resources aren’t easily findable.
  4. 4. 8 Web Governance Board
  5. 5. Nature
  6. 6. Isle Royale National Park
  7. 7. Planning Inspiration
  8. 8. Planning Playing Practicing
  9. 9. “With respect to learning by failure, it’s all fun and games until someone gets a larval cyst in the brain.”
  10. 10. “There is a problem in discussing systems only with words. Words and sentences must, by necessity, come only one at a time in linear, logical order. Systems happen all at once. They are connected not just in one direction, but in many directions simultaneously.”
  11. 11. “It is the responsibility of the architect to know and concentrate on the critical few details and interfaces that really matter.”
  12. 12. The design and management of information systems. Understanding the nature of information in systems.
  13. 13. Categories
  14. 14. Categories are the cornerstones of cognition and culture.
  15. 15. We use radio buttons when checkboxes or sliders would reveal the truth.
  16. 16. Connections
  17. 17. HyperlinksPages Web
  18. 18. PathsPlaces Space
  19. 19. ConnectionsCategories Mind
  20. 20. ConsequencesActions Time
  21. 21. “The system always kicks back.”
  22. 22. If you think information architecture hasn’t changed since the polar bear, you’re simply not paying attention.
  23. 23. 39
  24. 24. “Tell me about a day in your life.”
  25. 25. “How can I know what I think until I see what I say?”
  26. 26. Culture
  27. 27. Double-loop learning in organizations (and individuals) is rare.
  28. 28. The relationship between information and culture.
  29. 29. “There’s a secret about MRIs and back pain: the most common problems physicians see on MRI and attribute to back pain – herniated, ruptured, and bulging discs – are seen almost as commonly on MRIs of healthy people without back pain.”
  30. 30. “If you want to accelerate someone’s death, give him a personal doctor. I don’t mean provide him with a bad doctor. Just pay for him to choose his own. Any doctor will do.”
  31. 31. 48
  32. 32. Limits
  33. 33. “It is now my suggestion that many people may not want information, and that they will avoid using a system precisely because it gives them information…If you have information, you must first read it. You must then try to understand it. Understanding the information may show that your work was wrong, or may show that your work was needless. Thus not having and not using information can lead to less trouble and pain than having and using it.” Calvin Mooers (1959) The limits of information
  34. 34. “We shape our buildings. Thereafter, they shape us.” – Winston Churchill
  35. 35. “Willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.”
  36. 36. “A culture of generosity.” Josie Parker, Ann Arbor District Library
  37. 37. “Where architects use forms and spaces to design environments for inhabitation, information architects use nodes and links to create environments for understanding.” Jorge Arango, Architectures (2011)
  38. 38. Daylighting
  39. 39. Daylighting
  40. 40. 62
  41. 41. 67 The library is an act of inspiration architecture and a keystone of culture .
  42. 42. Thank You!IA Therefore I Am

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