IA Summit 10 – Day 3

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IA Summit 2010

This year marks the 11th annual Information Architecture Summit. Our theme is meant to inspire everyone in the community—even those who aren’t presenting or volunteering—to bring their best ideas to the table.

As busy practitioners, we rarely have the chance to step back and think about the future of our field—we’re too busy resolving day-to-day issues. By gathering and sharing practical solutions for everyday challenges, we can create more breathing room to plan for what’s to come.

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iTunes     Del.icio.us     2010 IA Summit theme music generously provided by Bumper Tunes


| “Day 1 – Dan Roam” | “Day 2 – Richard Saul Wurman” | “Day 3 – Whitney Hess” |

Full Program

| Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 |

Additional podcasts will be posted as available over the coming weeks.

Day 3 Presentations


Tipping the Scales: Bringing Social Networking within the Enterprise – Manya Kapikian, Kevin Lynch, Michael Patterson

In 2009, a pilot was launched by Raytheon Company to determine the value of social networking. In this session aimed at Information Architects interested in deploying social networking in organizations, Manya Kapikian, Kevin Lynch, and Michael Patterson expose 11 hard lessons learned from the pilot that apply to this relatively undefined territory.

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Sorting Skittles: A User Research Game – Aaron Hursman

In this session, Aaron Hursman introduces introduces a new user research technique that engages research participants in a fun and tactile game format, rather than putting them to sleep with boring questions. Learn how you can use this game approach to produce rich, quantifiable data.

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Testing Content: Early, Often, and Well – Colleen Jones, Kevin O’Connor

In their presentation, Colleen Jones and Kevin O’Connor talk about how testing content is just as important as testing design. Through a website case study, they cover what worked and what didn’t for testing content early in the project—from concepts to prototypes—to inform content strategy and tactics.

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The future of wayfinding – Cennydd Bowles

With boundaries between the abstract digital world and the real physical world becoming blurred, we need new approaches to wayfinding, information scent, and navigation. This session from Cennydd Bowles explains the exciting challenges ahead of us, exploring how we can use information architecture to shape the chaos and design systems for both the digital and physical world that allow users to orientate themselves, understand the choices available, and feel at home.

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Using Beekeeping History to Predict the Future of UX – Aaron Rosenberg

Measurement and prediction can help foster great insight and innovation. Calling upon the history of American beekeeping as a backdrop, Aaron Rosenberg shows how incremental improvement comes from qualitative observation, while giant strides can be achieved through quantitative insight. This calls to the next generation of user researchers to apply quantitative methods to our study of user behavior on the web.

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The Human Interface (or: Why Products are People, Too) – Christopher Fahey

We can no longer ask users to think like machines just to be able to use software. Instead, our systems must act more like people. User experience designers, in turn, need to stop thinking about interfaces as dumb control panels for manipulating machines and data and start thinking about them as human beings.

In this talk, Christopher Fahey explores diverse areas of non-digital human experience in order to frame and showcase some of the most exciting current and emerging user experience design practices, ultimately inspiring designers to humanize their interfaces.

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What they didn’t know they needed – Amy Cueva, Megan Grocki

Although it is a really easy trap to fall into, if you simply ask users about what would make life better, you will rarely get meaningful answers. They are just not good at envisioning revolutionary solutions, and basing your designs on those responses won’t get to a breakthrough in your design. In this presentation, Amy Cueva and Megan Grocki discuss how research inspires design and how reality inspires creativity. They focus on activities such as Laddering, Game play, Storytelling and Triading that can help expose opportunities for radical innovation and designing products that people can’t live without.

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Words #Fail: Collaborating on the Unexplainable – Dan Willis, Dave Gray

In the real world, developing a shared understanding often needs to happen while the team is already in motion, and words can often only vaguely describe people’s ideas. Visual thinkers Dave Gray and Dan Willis decided to explore the murky glory of the unexplainable with an interesting experiment: over the course of a large scale challenge, they collaborated without the benefit of spoken words or written narrative to first identify and define their primary challenge, then create and winnow potential solutions, and finally develop a single solution.

Dan and Dave live in different parts of the US, and before their session had never compared notes on the blow-by-blow details of their experiment. The two discuss their silent, geographically dispersed effort as they meet for the first time in front of the audience, illustrating how visual thinking can feed and support collaboration that results in breakthrough solutions.

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Living Personas – Visually Displaying Brand Insights and Connections to Consumers – Russ Unger, Ross McClean

In this session Russ Unger and Ross McClean examine living personas—an interactive and engaging format that goes beyond flat paper personas we are used to. They discuss how this technique will change your perception of personas, no matter what you think of them now, and how it can showcase how real people are behaving related to your brand, product, or project.

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Design for Emotion and Flow – Trevor van Gorp

Trevor van Gorp’s presentation explores the role emotions play in how we focus attention, learn, process, and use information, and how they are involved in creating a state of flow. You’ll learn about the underlying causes, characteristics and consequences of flow, how flow is related to emotional design, and how to take user goals into consideration when designing for it.

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The Practice of Information Architecture: It takes a village of practitioners to raise a discipline – Nathaniel Davis

In this session, Nathaniel Davis introduces the Organization Role Segmentation (ORS) theory that suggests how to define and chart unique business functions and role types within any organization. He shows how ORS can articulate a distinct information architecture role, shape an IA practice, and show us how to align ourselves and our teams for growth, accountability, and discovery within our discipline.

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Metropolitan Information Architecture: The future of UX, Databases, and the (Information) Architecture of complex, urban environments – Don Turnbull, John Tolva

What does location mean for UX? How does information architecture and design synchronize with urban architecture? How does mobile communication and web culture impact the streetscape? Are we living in facets of the same virtual city or does location still constrain us?

In this session, Don Turnbull and John Tolva look into these and other questions as they discuss research and designs unveiling how our interactions with both digital and physical environments are changing.

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From Here to Experience – Jared Spool

It’s impossible for an organization to flip a switch, turning off their product mindset to start innovating great experiences. Instead, they must embark on a journey where every step, no matter how tiny, gets them closer to their goal of delighting customers.

In this entertaining presentation, Jared Spool shows you the path successful organizations have taken on their journeys. You’ll learn how to create an integrated feedback system. You’ll see the benefits of formulating a solid experience vision. And, you’ll learn why it’s critical to shift your organization’s culture past risk-aversion.

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Presentations – It ain’t all about the PowerPoint – Adam Polansky

We know that people like stories. They also like pictures. By giving you some tips that take advantage of those two facts, Adam Polansky shares how to shift the focus of your presentations to you, the storyteller, rather than living or dying by the content of your slides—and in the process getting your ideas into someone else’s head more effectively.

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5 Minute Madness – Attendees of the 2010 IA Summit

Along with conference speakers, attendees share their thoughts of the IA Summit, its people, ideas explored, or whatever else they want to share… but they only have 5 minutes each to do so.

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These podcasts are sponsored by:

MAD*POW logo
At Mad*Pow, they leverage the disciplines of Human Factors, Psychology, and Visual Design to create engaging experience that maximize customer acquisition, increase attention, and reduce costs.

ASIS&T logo
The American Society of Information Science & Technology: 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 2010
The IA Summit: the premier gathering place for information architects and other user experience professionals.

The design behind the design
Boxes & Arrows: 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


  1. Would be great if the visuals for some of these presentations (particularly the one on presentations…) was shared here (or on Slideshare or similar)

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