Workplace and Career

Part 1: My entrée into the web world—Spaceland, or “Hyperspace”—was not a smooth one; in fact, it was downright mind-bending. My personal journey from designing and writing for print media to becoming an information architect for websites conjures up images of Flatland, written by Edwin A. Abbott, an English clergyman, educator, and Shakespearean scholar (1884).

Attending conferences often crystallizes the direction of a career or confirms choices made as people meet and communities bond over similar goals. It isn’t often that you hear about someone throwing off the mantle of a title or dropping out of a discipline altogether. David Heller explains why he feels the title IA isn’t appropriate to what he does anymore.

A recent book captures a larger movement within the academic field of human-computer interaction away from its traditions of behavioral science and engineering towards “interaction design.” But re-labeling isn’t enough, it also requires a shift in philosophical foundations as well as professional practice, and the language of HCI is not the best place to look for inspiration.

At the end of April, the AIGA Experience Design sig will hold its first joint Forum as part of CHI 2002. Intended to be the first of several collaborative ventures to bring the Experience Design communities of practice together, the success of the forum marks a milestone in the life of the AIGA ED group.

Recently Boxes and Arrows caught up with Samantha Bailey, formerly at Argus and current lead IA for Wachovia Corporation’s Wachovia.com website. She talks about the transition from being a consultant to an “innie” IA, unravels the mysteries of metadata and taxonomies and shares her vision of the future of IA.

With a creative background and an M.B.A., I’ve been a professional half-breed over the past 20 years. What I’ve learned is that the antagonism, hostility and resentment often felt on both sides of the equation is the outgrowth of a basic failure to understand what makes the other side tick.

March 11th, 2002

Getting into Government Consulting

From Washington, D.C. to Olympia, Washington, there’s a rich potential for user experience consultants of all flavors to provide services to government. In this article I’ll share some thoughts directed toward you, the independent consultant or small firm that would like to work with government.

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