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Interactions South America 2015 Keynote



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How to Make Sense of Any Mess
In a world where everything is getting more complex and we are all experiencing personal information overload, there is a growing need to understand the tools and processes that are used to make sense of complex subjects and situations. These tools aren’t hard to learn or even tough to implement but they are also not part of many people’s education. Information Architecture is a practice of making sense. A set of principles, lessons and tools to help anyone make sense of anything. Whether you are – a student or professional, a designer, technologist or small business owner, an intern or executive – learn how information architecture can help you make sense of your next endeavor.

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Interactions South America 2015 Keynote

  1. 1. 3 Our world is a mess...
  2. 2. 4 ...and getting more messy everyday.
  3. 3. Many people get overwhelmed when they encounter a mess.
  4. 4. They think of ways to hide the mess...
  5. 5. Or they think of ways to pretty up the mess... New User tutorial to explain the mess Incentive structure for dealing with the mess Fancy Front end fluffing
  6. 6. ...but the mess is still a mess.
  7. 7. ...all they have bought is time.
  8. 8. Until the mess grows (as all messes do when given time)
  10. 10. The majority of messes we face are made of information (and people)
  11. 11. Thinking about INFORMATION as material is hard
  12. 12. Information can be made from the lack of physical material $3.99 $7.99 $5.75
  13. 13. What you know changes the information you are left with.
  14. 14. • Data is facts, observations, and questions about something. • Content is whatever a user is interacting with, or as a maker, whatever you’re arranging or sequencing. • Information is is whatever a user interprets from the arrangement or sequence of things they encounter. Information ≠ Content or Data
  15. 15. ContextContent
  16. 16. Information architecture is how we arrange the parts to be understandable as a whole.
  19. 19. Apple Dump truck Jargon Banana ??!?! Word
  20. 20. How many duplicative nouns does your team deal with?
  21. 21. How many duplicative verbs are related to those nouns?
  22. 22. Model Change vs. Label Change Thing A Thing B Thing OBJECTObject
  23. 23. One label per noun or verb is not always the best way to go
  24. 24. The goal is not simplifying The goal is to know what you mean when you say what you say.
  25. 25. Controlled vocabularies are the greatest thing since sliced bread or pockets. @jcolman’s thumb showing off my book’s controlled vocabulary
  26. 26.
  27. 27. • Identify & Define Nouns First • Identify Nested Nouns • Eliminate Duplicative Nouns • Attach Verbs to Nouns • Beware of Adjectives How to Get Started with a Controlled Vocabulary
  28. 28. Be the one to slay the semantic dragons in your organization.
  29. 29. #2 THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY
  30. 30. There are only 5 ways to organize anything 1. Location: Rome is a city in Italy 2. Alphabetical: Rome starts with “R” 3. Time: Rome started in 753 BC 4. Category: Rome is a Romantic city 5. Hierarchy: Rome is within Italy, which is within Europe, which is within the Eastern and Northern Hemisphere *HT Richard Saul Wurman - Informa6on Anxiety 2
  31. 31. Organizing things isn't the hard part Agreeing is the hard part
  32. 32. In most contexts, taxonomy is a tool of rhetoric not an exact science. (Sorry Linnaeus)
  33. 33. If Fresh Direct classified produce scientifically, no one would be able to find anything.
  34. 34. In the 19th century, the US Supreme Court decided that for the purpose of tariffs, tomatoes are a vegetable.
  35. 35. Taxonomy is Rhetoric The way you choose to organize your produce says something about you.
  36. 36. There is no one right way to organize something.
  37. 37. The only thing that matters is reaching your goals.
  38. 38. Beware of corporate underpants. Home About Recipes Festivals IYS Book Distribution Downloads Donate Press Room Contact Us Founder Acharya of ISKCON Yatra Kartik Yatra 2010 Kartik Yatra 2011 Kanyakumari Kanyakumari Suchindram Thirukkurungudi Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) Thiruvattar-Adikeshav Temple Rameshwaram Rameshwaram Tirupallani Temple Sri Rangam Anbil Kovil Appakudatthan Thiruvellarai Sri Rangam Chandan Yatra Pushya Abhishek Govardhan Puja Drama Festival Nauka Vhar Jal Krida Jhulan Yatra Holi Radhagopinath Brahmotsavam Janmashtami Donation Form Newsletters Back to Godhead How to Donate Annamrita Artha Conclave Bhaktivedanta Hospital Ghatkopar Rath Yatra Gita Championship League Govardhan Eco Village Janmashtami Misc Coverages Radhanath Swami Shivaji Park Rath Yatra 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2015 - Artha 2013 2015 - Ghatkopar Rath Yatra 2015-Gita Champions League 2012 2015 2014 - Janmashtami Nepal Earth Quake Relief by ISKCON - 2015 2015 - RNS 2013 - Shivaji Park Rath Yatra Srila Prabhupada Radhanath Swami Downloads Community Damodar Ashtakam Forms Newsletters StoriesChandan YatraChandan Yatra< Recipe Name > (36) Daily Darshan Calendar Chandan YatraChandan Yatra<Date> (365) Chandan YatraChandan YatraPhoto RSS Twitter Facebook Google + Radhanath Swami Inspires Media Photos Subscribe Back to Godhead Daily Audio Lectures <Lecture Name> <Lecture Name> <Lecture Name> Temple Live His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Download PDF template=Subscriptions_Splash Chandan YatraChandan Yatra< Post Name > < Form Name >< Form Name >< Form Name > (4) < Form Name >< Form Name >< Newsletter Date > (2) Email Alerts Chandan YatraChandan Yatra<Post> (< 444) Users are often confused when our internal categories end up in our navigation taxonomies.
  39. 39. Card Sorting FTW
  40. 40. Be the one to show an alternative way of organizing something.
  41. 41. #3 WE NEED PICTURES
  42. 42. Pictures give us something in common to point to.
  43. 43. Take the time and space needed to collect and iterate.
  44. 44. Visualize something hard to explain
  45. 45. Inspire Realistic, Not Simplistic Thinking
  46. 46. Pie Crust Tomato Sauce & cheese Toppings Slice Be Careful of Reductionism
  47. 47. Show the process, not just results Pizza Crust cheese Toppings Tomato Sauce
  48. 48. Familiar Words With agreement comes momentum.
  49. 49. Be the one to make a picture of the monster in everyone’s head.
  50. 50. • Slay the semantic dragons in your organization • Show an alternative way of organizing something • Make a picture of the monster in everyone’s head To start making sense of your mess:
  51. 51. IA is not just for information architects. IA is practiced by everybody.
  52. 52. ps. I wrote a book about information architecture for everybody!