IA Summit 09 – Day 3

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IA Summit 2009 Podcasts

The IA Summit was held in Memphis, TN from March 20-22. Boxes and Arrows captured many of the main conference sessions (see schedule).

| Preview | Keynote | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Closing Plenary |

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Main Conference Sessions, Day 3 – Sunday, March 22

These sessions were recorded on the first day of the conference. Download them individually here, or get them all with the Boxes and Arrows iTunes feed.

Links to the presentations and slidecasts will be updated continuously. See the Slideshare IA Summit 2009 page for up-to-the-minute lists of available presentations.

Thanks to the speakers for their hard work and for sharing their knowledge with the community.

Gaming the Design: Using Game Design Techniques in the Realm of Investing Dominic La Cava and Kellie Rae Carter

Games have a central goal in their design: to keep people playing. Games use a variety of interactive and immersive techniques to create a play space, techniques that are useful to designers of more work-oriented or transaction-based interactions. These other interactive spaces, in fact, have the exact opposite goal: to reduce the time users spend on the task or interaction.

In this presentation, Dominic La Cava, Senior Information Architect at Vanguard, and Kellie Rae CarterUX researcher at Comcast Interactive Media, demonstrate how one design team incorporated game techniques into a redesign project.


Leading with InsightMatthew Milan

Insight is one of the most widely used and poorly understood concepts in the creative process. Insight is what drives the big idea, validates the crazy hunch, and frames both problem and solution in one fell swoop. Without the right perspective, knowledge, and grounding, generating insight can be unpredictable, wildly unreliable, and completely inconsistent in application.

Matthew Milan, Principal and Design Director with Normative, helps us understand how to generate, identify, frame and use insight effectively. This poorly understood practice is an increasingly a critical skill to have when working on solving complex problems. As an information architect, insight is one of the best tools you can use to unpack difficult challenges and turn them into effective solutions.


Lessons from Slime Mold: How to Survive and Thrive in Ever-Changing Organizational EnvironmentsKate Rutter

How can we stay effective, be engaged and create great work in an environment that is ever changing and in constant flux?

Say hello to slime mold, an organism that has spent the last few million years evolving a powerful set of survival techniques that are wonderfully relevant for people grappling in shifting organizational environments.

Kate Rutter, Experience Designer at Adaptive Path, describes how this fascinating life form holds intriguing lessons for today’s knowledge worker — from sensing and responding to environments that become hostile to using the power of signals to create alignment and collective action. In this romp through the kingdom of myxomycetes, we learn a set of practical tips and tools for surviving, thriving and doing our best work in even the toughest of environments.


The Art and Science of Seductive InteractionsStephen Anderson

To be good information architects, we need to crack open some psych 101 textbooks, learn what motivates people, and then bake these ideas into our designs. We’ve spent the last decade perfecting how to create applications that serve our users needs. Now it’s time learn a bit about the art and science of seductive interactions.

Stephen P. Anderson has been gathering and analyzing specific examples of sites who’ve designed serendipity, arousal, rewards and other seductive elements into their applications.

By understanding basic psychological principles we can raise the bar on our projects!


The Courage to Quit: Starting, Growing and Maintaining Your Own UX BusinessSarah Rice, Whitney Hess, Jenn Anderson, & Christopher Fahey

In this panel discussion, freelance IAs Sarah Rice, Whitney Hess, Jenn Anderson, and Christopher Fahey argue that Information Architects have an opportunity to structure and evolve their own work environment. There is potential to influence where they work, who they work with, the type of work they do, and for whom they do work.

This panel discusses what it is like to create ones own work environment – the motivation for taking this entrepreneurial path, what it has been like, what we’ve learned, and the ups and downs of such a work life.


UX Health Check: A Measure A Day Keeps the Redesign AwayLivia Labate & Austin Govella

The UX Health Check allows IA/UX professionals and their collaborators to introduce metrics of success and benchmarks to their product and service design decision-making, from the most strategic to the most tactical aspects.

Measures of success that qualify and quantify user experience efforts are scarce and not widely adopted. Livia Labate, Principal of Information Architecture and User Experience for Comcast Interactive Media, and Austin Govella, author and Independent Consultant, demonstrate the UX Health Check. This approach introduces a common language for UX professionals to measure how investments in improving the user experience result in concrete outcomes.


Professional IA/UX Organizations – How to Start and Run a Successful Local Group or ChapterKyle Soucy, Nasir Barday

The growth of the IA/UX industry has seen the birth of numerous organizations with local chapters and groups around the globe, but there is more work that needs to be done. Existing chapters and groups need support and guidance to ensure continued growth and there are still vast regions that are in need of their own chapters and groups.

During this session, Kyle Soucy, Founder of Usable Interface, and Nasir Barday, Senior User Experience Architect at FactSet Research Systems Inc, share how to keep the momentum of a group going strong, including:

* Good meeting ideas
* How to find venues, sponsors, and speakers
* How to promote your events
* Pitfalls to avoid in running your group
* How to deal with limited volunteer help


An Internet Watered Down (or, How to Save the Mobile Web)John Pettengill

Mobile sites are not an afterthought to be appended on the end of a development cycle. Smart phones have something that desktop computers do not. Context. We need to rebuild the mobile web from the ground up, capitalizing on the fact that we can know where our users are, and consequently we can know their intentions.

John Pettengill, Information Architect with Razorfish, believes mobile websites should address the needs of users who are “out and about”, and any site that doesn’t shouldn’t be considered part of the mobile web. The Starbucks iTunes Store is a great example of how we can change, and improve, the way we live. iPhone users are presented with a special application when they are at a Starbucks café, an app that displays songs played at the café and gives users a way to purchase them.


Evangelizing Yourself: You can’t change the world if no one knows your nameWhitney Hess

We devote our careers to advocating for our users, but who’s advocating for us? No one is going to carry you through your career. If you want to make a major impact in this field, you’re going to have to work at getting recognized. Moreover, your name has to be synonymous with quality.

In this session, Whitney Hess, User Experience Design consultant, helps timid and unassertive practitioners come out of their shells and become leaders in the user experience community. Her advice is based on her own experience taking control of her career and developing an authentic and positive reputation.

Whitney talks about the value of starting a personal blog, actively using Twitter and LinkedIn to build and maintain a network, staying up-to-date with trends and standards, how to get the most out of conferences, and ultimately how to gain confidence in your skills and successes.


Five Minute MadnessIA Summit Community

This open mic session traditionally closes the IA Summit. Any conference attendee can approach the microphone five minutes to make their mark on the IA Summit. As in years past, a variety of people take advantage of this open forum.


These podcasts are sponsored by:

ASIS&T logo
The “American Society of Information Science & Technology”:http://asist.org/: Since 1937, ASIS&T has been THE society for information professionals leading the search for new and better theories, techniques, and technologies to improve access to information.

IA Summit 2009 logo
The “IA Summit”:http://www.iasummit.org: the premier gathering place for information architects and other user experience professionals.

The theme of the event this year, Expanding Our Horizons, inspired peers and industry experts to come together to speak about a wide range of topics. This included information as wide ranging as practical techniques & tools to evolving practices to create better user experiences.

The design behind the design
“Boxes & Arrows”:http://www.boxesandarrows.com: Since 2001, Boxes & Arrows has been a peer-written journal promoting contributors who want to provoke thinking, push limits, and teach a few things along the way.

Contribute as an editor or author, and get your ideas out there. “boxesandarrows.com/about/participate”:http://www.boxesandarrows.com/about/participate


  1. Your link to “Agile For the Rest of Us” is broken. Sorry to post the flaw in the articles comments however I am amazed that no where on the boxes and arrows site can I find a contact, webmaster, or report link. Seems like a fail in my opinion…

  2. I just love Five Minute Madness. The sense of community during it is just wonderful. I seriously think it’s what brings me back to the Summit every year!

    Thanks for recording and posting all of the sessions Jeff and B&A Staff!

  3. Ryan – I’m accountable for the broken link -my apologies. I will fix this tonight. I’m currently out with clients. You will be able to access later this evening. The process takes me almost two months – before and after – so there is bound to be the odd mistake. Please email me in the future jefferyparks@gmail.com. Again my apologies for the inconvenience.

  4. @Ryan and the rest of the community. We had many technical difficulties at the Summit. Since I wasn’t able to confirm when I was out with clients this afternoon, Anders talk was one that we were unable to capture. I would encourage any presenters who we weren’t able to capture during the Summit to contact me for other possible options.

    @Kyle You’re most welcome – it was great chatting with you in Memphis. Hope to see you at future conferences this year.

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