Throw out your business cards. You’re not information architects. Whatever your job title, it’s probably wrong. If you’re doing digital design today, you are philosophers.
What do you believe? Do you know what you know? Do you have a design philosophy? How do you reconcile contrasting viewpoints and interests? How do you orient to the world around you? The way you orient to the world, all of it, on some level, affects your creative practice. Intentional or not, all designs reflect a philosophy of use.
We’re creating lived information environments that co-exist and co-operate in complex social structures. We’re not just philosophers, we’re social engineers.
Who are we? This is Dan Saffer’s attempt to answer that question. Many predecessors have grappled with the problems associated with creating systems and objects that humans can use. This model is imperfect and incomplete, because the ancestors and siblings of our practice are too diverse to capture in one view. Rather than distract ourselves with religious arguments over titles, processes, tools and qualifications, I find it’s more instructive to explore our domain of practice. Anyone who insists that a person isn’t qualified to do one kind of design or another because of some technicality is essentially just defending the guild’s territory. it has nothing to do with elevating our work or advancing our practice. We live in a complex, fractured world in need of new models of living and working. We should be constantly borrowing, collaborating, and developing more holistic perspectives to bring to bear on our work.
DATA - DIVING INTO A SEA OF UNDIFFERENTIATED STUFF INFORMATION - CURATION BEGINS, PATTERNS EMERGE KNOWLEDGE - IDEAS AND STORIES ARE SOCIALIZED AND EMBELLISHED WISDOM - OVER TIME, DEEPER UNDERSTANDING - CANNOT BE PRESCRIBED BY DESIGN
I got my first AOL disk for Mac in the mail in 1993, and that was my first experience of the web. This image is funny, but unfair. These are entirely different worlds. Everything in the AOL interface was sourced, curated and organized by a person at AOL This was the dawning of information architecture. Windows 8 is an operating system, but also an ecosystem of independent yet interrelated worlds. The ecosystem is defined through the connections between the systems and their communities of users, not through preplanned hierarchical structures.
In these days, we didn’t need systems thinking. We were just figuring out how to link HTML to databases, how to display the data structures embedded in them, and how to organize and present the information in hierarchical and visual interfaces that made sense to people. Our problems were data transformation, logical curation and aesthetic presentation.
Intel Internet of Things from http://www.symplio.com/2011/09/4-infographics-about-internet-of-things/ reference http://dualsurvival.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/progression-of-the-web-fro m-1-0-3-0/ Tablets outsold PCs last year. 60% of holiday shopping was done on mo bile devices.
When you put that complexity into a design process today, you get this. Whatever your job title, you’re responsible for making sense of this mess, for arriving at an outcome that is useful, usable, engaging, transmutable and self-aware.
How clients see their projects. This is waterfall thinking.
What we must do to be thoughtful, reflective practitioners. This is spiral, iterative thinking. A collaborative process (or at least a collaborative dialogue) gets everyone engaged and oriented in the same direction. Define the knowns and unknowns, make implicit knowledge explicit, so that you can add to the collective wisdom and spark new possibilities.
EVEN IN OUR BEST EFFORTS, WE ARE DORKS PLAYING AT LIFE. WE TRY.
A multilevel dialogue: users are responding to and adapting designs. We are evolving our own design process and maturity as we engage with our community of practice. The client is adapting its functions and workflows but also evolving at an operational and strategic level to the dialogue between their business, technology, design and customers. They’re figuring out how to make these pieces, this internet of things, work in harmony.
Building layers change, evolve and decay at different rates
Different rates of change in web processes
2006 - WINDOWS LIVE PROPERTIES LAUNCHED BUT NOT WIDELY ADOPTED. PM’S ASKED FOR USER TESTING. LOTS OF TWEAKS RESPONDING TO USER FEEDBACK, BUT NOTHING INCREASED OVERALL SATISFACTION. I RECOMMENDED WE TAKE A STEP BACK AND DO SOME RESEARCH INTO CALENDAR BEHAVIORS.
STOPPED THE CHURN OF INEFFECTIVE INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF FEATURE USAGE, NEEDS AND DESIRES ADDED TO THE MICROSOFT BODY OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT ONLINE SERVICE USERS - EXTENDED PERSONAS REORIENTED THE PRODUCT TEAM TO THE OPPORTUNITIES AND NEEDS IDENTIFIED KEY GAPS IN THE MARKET THAT COULD BE EXPLOITED (SMB)
INTEL WANTED TO TELL ITS GREEN STORY IN A BETTER WAY. HIRED TO DO THE SITE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT FLOWS ON THEIR ENVIRONMENT SUBSITE
AS I BEGAN TO MAP OUT THE IA, I NOTICED CONTRADICTORY NAVIGATION AND LABELING AT THE UPPER LEVELS OF THE SITE. I ASKED THE CLIENT, HOW WERE PEOPLE GOING TO FIND YOUR SUBSITE TO READ THIS GREAT STORY?
THIS SPARKED A CONVERSATION. I BRAINSTORMED KEY PERSONAS, MOTIVATIONS AND ENTRY POINTS WITH CLIENT THIS IS A FORM OF GUERRILLA RESEARCH - PROBING SME’S FOR CLARITY ON A PROBLEM SPACE 4 DIFFERENT PERSONAS, MULTIPLE PATHS PER PERSONA MAPPED OUT POTENTIAL NAVIGATION PATHS BASED ON THESE EXPLORATIONS THEN FOLLOWED THOSE PATHS ON THE SITE
USED THAT TO SCORECARD THE DIFFERENT LANDING PAGES A USER HAD TO NAVIGATE TO FIND THE SUBSITE IDENTIFIED A KEY MARKETING PROBLEM IDENTIFIED KEY AREAS WHERE RELATED DEPARTMENTS NEEDED TO COLLABORATE TO SOLVE NAVIGATION & LANGUAGE CONFLICTS Improved targeting to intended audience Added to the INTEL internal body of knowledge about users Defined boundaries of improvement for current release Formalized client assumptions and design decisions Helped client clearly see opportunities and roadblocks More durable design traceability
"We are committed to providing the most advanced multidisciplinary care in a comfortable, healing environment." Dr. Michael Kastan,Executive Director, Duke Cancer Institute. " "DCI is a state-of-the-art facility designed specifically for optimal multidisciplinary care delivered by nationally recognized clinicians and care teams." Kevin Sowers, President, DUH
Connect With Patients Tell the Duke Health Story Integrate Multiple Web Properties Demonstrate Innovation
STRAWMAN PERSONAS INFORMED MENTAL MODEL WORK ENABLED PATIENT LIFECYCLE MAPPING
Uncovered breakdowns by mapping paths across org silos Made clear the level of effort required to reach the aspirations of strategy Modeling aided in prioritization and roadmapping of design initiatives Prioritized paths target page flows (and subsites) to tackle first Limiting scope of redesign decreases risk, increases buy-in Successful test cases serve as models for other departments Brand narrative demands a strategic-level editorial staff System-wide analysis identified key organizational roles and gap
FOR SOFTWARE MATURITY SEE MCCONNELL, GOJKIC
UNDERSTAND YOUR PLACE IN YOUR FIELD AND ON THE FIELD
TRANSCENDENT: EXISTS BEYOND STYLE / TECH TRENDS IN A CONTINUUM OF KNOWLEDGE, BROADER SOCIAL CONTEXT SELF-COMPASSIONATE – DOES NOT SACRIFICE ITSELF TO DESIGNER AS HERO IS DEAD. DESIGN IS TOO COMPLEX, AND USERS DON’T NEED TO BE SAVED. THEY JUST WANT THOUGHTFUL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.
Civilizing information architecture_final_2013
CREATIVE CATALYSTS COMPLEX PROBLEM-SOLVING THROUGH SHARED STORIES & INSIGHT-DRIVEN DESIGNCIVILIZING INFORMATION ARCHITECTUREA MEDITATION ON SYSTEMS DESIGN WORLD IA DAY - FEBRUARY 9, 2013 - PORTLAND, OREGON - PATRICIA COLLEY 2
ALL DESIGNS REFLECT A PHILOSOPHY Whether you realize it or not, software comes with a set of beliefs built in. Before you buy it, make sure it believes in the same things you do. PEOPLESOFT ADVERTISEMENT, 1996 It’s impossible to work with information technology without engaging in social engineering. Like comedians or neurosurgeons, our work resonates with deep philosophical questions. JARON LANIER, YOU ARE NOT A GADGET 2011 Conceptual integrity is the most important aspect of systems design. Ease of use dictates unity of design. Every part must reflect the same philosophies and balance of desires. Conceptual integrity emanates from one or a very small number of agreeing resonant minds. FREDERICK BROOKS, THE MYTHICAL MAN-MONTH 1975 3
CIVILIZING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE INFORMATION Data organized, transformed, and presented in a way that provides meaning A vehicle for understanding in the context of a larger social or intellectual frame ARCHITECTURE The process and product of planning, designing and constructing a lived environment CIVILIZE To advance the state of a collective in its social development and organization To tame the complexities of industry, technology, law and social order within a culture 4
A GALAXY OF DESIGN SIBLINGS PLUS CONTENT STRATEGY COGNITIVE SCIENCE ETHNOGRAPHY BUSINESS OPERATIONS SERVICE DESIGN BRAND STRATEGY DOMAIN EXPERTISE ETCDAN SAFFER, 2008 5
KNOWLEDGE CONTINUUM GLOBAL LOCAL PERSONAL UNFILTERED MEDIATED EMERGENT PARTICIPATORY GENERATIVE PATTERNS SHARING REFLECTION GATHERING ORGANIZATIO STORYTELLING CORRELATION DISCOVERY N INTEGRATION EXPANSIONADAPTED FROM NATHAN SHEDROFF, 1994 DISTRIBUTION 6
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE EXPLAINED! CREATIVE CATALYSTS COMPLEX PROBLEM-SOLVING THROUGH SHARED STORIES & INSIGHT-DRIVEN DESIGN 7
SURFACE 1 WK - 2 MOS SKELETON 2 WKS - 2 MOS STRUCTURE 6 MO - 1 YR SCOPE 6 MOS - 2 YRS STRATEGY 1 - 5 YRSJESSE JAMES GARRETT, 2004; EXTENDED BY PETER MERHOLZ 20
Civilized design thoughtfully balances immediate use with evolutionary change.It is in harmony with its environment, its inhabitants, and their changing activities over time.MARMARA ESMA SULTAN PALACE CONVERTED TO CULTURAL CENTER, ISTANBUL, TURKEY - 21 ARTONFILE.COM
CASE STUDIES CREATIVE CATALYSTS COMPLEX PROBLEM-SOLVING THROUGH SHARED STORIES & INSIGHT-DRIVEN DESIGN 22
MICROSOFT WINDOWS LIVE CALENDARINCREMENTAL DESIGN WASN’T ENOUGH. PRODUCT TEAM WAS SPINNING. PROPSED STEPPING BACK AND GATHERING IN-DEPTH USER RESEARCH TO REFOCUS THE TEAM ON MEANINGFUL GOALS AND DESIGN GUIDANCE 23
20 USERS IN 4 PERSONA GROUPS > VIDEOS, FINDINGS + RECOMMENDATIONSEXPLORED USER MOTIVATIONS, NEEDS AND WANTSDERIVED CRITICAL FINDINGSVIDEO CLIPS TO SOCIALIZE USER PERSPECTIVESEXTRACTED ACTIONABLE RECOMMENDATIONS 24
CAPABILITY MATURITY MODEL CAPABILITY MATURITY MODEL OPTIMIZING INTEGRATED, QUANTIFIED PLANNED, PROACTIVE MANAGED, REACTIVE INITIAL, AD HOC, CHAOTIC FROM SEI CMM 1986 35
DESIGN MATURITY MODEL MORE MATURE LESS MATURETHESE MODELS AREN’T PERFECT OR ABSOLUTETHEY’RE JUST A WAY TO MEASURE WHERE YOU ARE, WHAT’S POSSIBLE NOW, AND WHERE YOU MIGHT BEHEADING NEXTJESS MCMULLIN, 2005 36
DESIGN DESIGN TECH TECH STRATEGIC STRATEGIC RESOURCE NEED RESOURCE NEED RESOURCE NEEDWHO CAN DO WHAT? WHERE CAN WE BUILD AFFINITIES & ALLIANCES? WHAT MAY BE MISSING? 37
SURPRISE STAKEHOLDERS YOUR CORE CLIENT TEAM CS THEIR DEVS OTHERS IN YOUR ORG OR C.O.P YOU & YOUR DESIGN TEAM YOUR DEVS YOUR BOSS USERS YOU OTHER USERS, TALKED TO OTHER NEEDSKNOW WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR FIELD, AND ON THE FIELD
ALL DESIGNS EXPRESS A PHILOSOPHY OF USEInformation technology has become a vital and fundamental part of our everyday lives.Yet every digital artifact designed by an interaction designer is in some way imperfect.Because of the complexities involved, and the rate of change in technology, normative approachesare impossible to perfect.There is a need for a reflective mind, a thoughtful designer.JONAS LOWGREN & ERIK STOLTERMAN, THOUGHTFUL INTERACTION DESIGNAND there is a need for meaningful collaboration across disciplines and interests.PATRICIA COLLEY 39
INTERESTED IN MY WORK?HIRE ME FOR DESIGN CONSULTINGI DON’T KNOW HOW TO PUT THIS, BUT... I’M KIND OF A BIG DEAL.ASK ABOUT MY CREATIVITY WORKSHOPSCREATIVITY & LEADERSHIP FOR PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL GROWTH. IT’S SERIOUS FUN.PATRICIA COLLEY ✶ 206-949-8974 ✶ INFO@CREATIVE-CATALYSTS.COM ✶@PCOLLEY_23 41