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The Architecture of Understanding

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Slides for Peter Morville's talk in Grand Rapids.

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The Architecture of Understanding

  1. 1. The Architecture of Understanding Peter Morville, IxDA Grand Rapids, 2016
  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. Goodness Complexity
  6. 6. Simple Complex Simple
  7. 7. Nature
  8. 8. Isle Royale National Park
  9. 9. Planning Inspiration
  10. 10. Planning Playing Practicing
  11. 11. “With respect to learning by failure, it’s all fun and games until someone gets a larval cyst in the brain.”
  12. 12. “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.”
  13. 13. Food Scarcity (overpopluation) T T Inflow (birth rate) Outflow (death rate) Stock (population) T T Disease (canine parvovirus) Immigration (via ice bridge) Parasites (moose tick) Weather (mild winter) Inflow (birth rate) Outflow (death rate) Stock (population)
  14. 14. “It is the responsibility of the architect to know and concentrate on the critical few details and interfaces that really matter.”
  15. 15. The design and management of information systems. Understanding the nature of information in systems.
  16. 16. Categories
  17. 17. Categories are the cornerstones of cognition and culture.
  18. 18. We use radio buttons when checkboxes or sliders would reveal the truth.
  19. 19. Connections
  20. 20. HyperlinksPages Web
  21. 21. PathsPlaces Space
  22. 22. ConnectionsCategories Mind
  23. 23. ConsequencesActions Time
  24. 24. intertwingled.org/planning-book GoalPath Here & Now Risks, Estimates, Metrics Play, Practice, Prototype Feedback, Reflection Order, Options Vision, Values, Subgoals
  25. 25. If you think information architecture hasn’t changed since the polar bear, you’re simply not paying attention.
  26. 26. “Tell me about a day in your life.”
  27. 27. Culture
  28. 28. Underlying Assumptions Espoused Values Artifacts Visible organizational structures and processes (hard to decipher) Strategies, goals, philosophies, justifications Unconscious, taken for granted beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, feelings (source of values, action) Three Levels of Culture
  29. 29. Double-loop learning in organizations (and individuals) is rare.
  30. 30. The relationship between information and culture.
  31. 31. “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.”
  32. 32. “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.”
  33. 33. 45 Roger Bannister, Iffley Road Track, Oxford, 1954
  34. 34. Limits
  35. 35. Daylighting
  36. 36. Daylighting
  37. 37. 50 Making the Invisible Visible
  38. 38. Doctoral Work E x p l o r a t i o n R e s e a r c h , E x p e r i m e n t , F i e l d w o r k A n a l y s i s , S y n t h e s i s W r i t i n g , E d i t i n g , F e e d b a c k P u b l i s h i n g I d e a G e n e r a t i o n P r o m o t i o n Methodology Data Awareness Network, Colleagues, Teaching Harvard Business Review Conferences, Workshops, Networking Popular Press Literature Review Writing Cases Books Journal Articles HBS Working Papers Data Fieldwork Interviews Observations Experiments Research Program Clean & Integrate Data Working Knowledge Conceptual Framework Reading Research Question Google / Scholar Books Syllabi Data Visualization Data Analysis Global Research Centers Harvard Business Publishing Research Computing Services Software Programming Find & Acquire: data, images, multimedia, etc. HOLLIS Research Exchange Storage and Archiving Article Databases
  39. 39. MBAStudents ResearchActivities Pre-HBS Post-HBSYear 1 Year 2 CareerCourse Individual Admissions Recruiting Previous Career Orientation Nearing Graduation - copy before losing access - academic research winds down - career search ramps up Request Cases - via library site - hard to search Library Overview in Class - depends on faculty invitation Internship Papers and Projects FIELD 1 FIELD 2 FIELD 3 Personal Interests and Entrepreneurship CPD: Industry 101 Presentations CPD: Target List Presentations CPD: Interview Presentation Prep
  40. 40. Map the System Map the Context Share the Map
  41. 41. “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)
  42. 42. 57
  43. 43. Firmitas, Utilitas, Venustas Vitruvius, De Architectura (15 BC)
  44. 44. “Each step is a potential place: place to worship, place to wash, place to sell, place to sleep, place to die and be burned.” Donlyn Lyndon (1962)
  45. 45. No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it.
  46. 46. 61 The library is an act of inspiration architecture and a keystone of culture.
  47. 47. Thank You!IA Therefore I Am

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