The 3rd Annual Information Architecture Summit Sponsored by ASIS&T
Conference Schedule
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Friday, March 15th, 2002
  9:00 - 5:00
Preconference courses
USABILITY TESTING FOR INFORMATION ARCHITECTS, Carbon IQ preconference seminar
COMPANY & CUSTOMER INSIGHT FOR IAS, Adaptive Path preconference seminar
CONTROLLED VOCABULARIES, SEMANTIC STUDIOS 1/2 day preconference seminar
INFORMATIONAL ARCHITECTURE AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY, Semantic Studios 1/2 day preconference seminar
  6:00 - 7:30
Reception: The Cocktail Hour
Saturday, March 16th, 2002
  8:00 - 8:30
Continental Breakfast
  8:30 - 9:00
Welcome and Logistics
  9:00 - 10:30
Keynote: Steve Krug
Confessions of a SIGIA-L Lurker: A Pinhead's View of Information Architecture

In the opening session, the author of Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability will attempt to squeeze the entire field of IA through the wringer of common sense and take a look at what comes out the other side. This guaranteed-to-be-biased, likely-to-be-quirky outsider's view of IA will touch on topics like the difference between IA and usability (slippery slope, or just a complex Venn diagram?), the top ten things Information Architects love to talk about (and why they can't stop talking about them), and the art of selling luxury services (like IA and usability) in a franks-and-beans economy.

 
  10:30 - 11:00
Break
  11:00-12:00
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE AND USABILITY: RESPONDING TO THE KEYNOTE

Keith Instone, Andrew Dillon and Christina Wodtke

  12:00 - 1:30
Lunch / SIGIA Forum
  1:30 - 3:00
Three parallel sessions
METADATA AND TAXONOMIES FOR A MORE FLEXIBLE INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
Amy J. Warner, Ph.D.
This presentation will describe a methodology for developing customized taxonomies and metadata schema for a collection and its users.  The methodology takes into account both the basic indexable aspects of content objects and the ways that a particular group of users tends to search for them.  The presentation will go on to illustrate how an information architecture based on taxonomies and metadata can be used to make a number of basic website and Intranet functions more flexible and dynamic.  These include navigation with customized metadata-driven indexes; transparent or user-specified search combinations; personalized retrieval and filtering using various aspects of user profiles and content objects; and content management rules that can be customized for many different types of content objects
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE FOR THE ENTERPRISE

Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Merholz
Large, distributed enterprises present the ripest opportunities for information architecture right now. But their very decentralized natures, fraught with political, cultural, and economic challenges, hinder such prospects--any information architect, consultant or in-house, treads an organizational minefield when facing these issues.  

From very different starting points, Peter and Lou have each developed their own approaches to these problems, and will each present their ideas, leading to a discussion on enterprise information architecture.

Egreetings.com Case Study - INCORPORATING USER TESTING IN SITE AND TAXONOMY DESIGN

Chris Farnum
Egreetings (www.egreetings.com) is one of the top sites for advertising and e-commerce. The site emphasizes fun and enables users to communicate with people they care about using online greetings. In 2000, the company's leadership decided that it was critical to make it easier for users to find and send cards. Chris Farnum worked on a project to re-architect the site's user interface and controlled vocabularies. Outcomes included recommendations and designs to improve the main taxonomy, navigation, search and checkout process. This case study will focus on the importance of user research and testing during the analysis and design phases of the project. It will describe techniques used in this project including card sorting and prototyping. Chris is a veteran Information Architect with four years of experience at Argus Associates and Compuware Corporation.

  3:00 - 3:30
Break
  3:30 - 4:30
Case Studies -- parallel sessions
BBCI SEARCH - WHY SEARCH ISN'T JUST A TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM
Matt Jones
BBCi Search was a business-critical piece of the BBC's online redesign programme. We had 2 months to design and build a search engine that would create a coherent experience for users searching across the BBC's heterogenous content, with disparate legacy technologies - forcing us to rely more heavily than is traditional in such projects on editorial effort, library science and good user-centred UI design. My talk walks through the rapid user-centred development of our service within a high-pressure context, showing how we illustrated the benefits of our approach as we went, to a sometimes skeptical set of sponsors and multidisciplinary team.
IA CASE STUDY: PEOPLESOFT.COM

Chiara Fox, PeopleSoft and Peter Merholz, Adaptive Path
Adaptive Path and PeopleSoft will present a case study of the PeopleSoft, a Fortune 500 enterprise software firm, relaunched their web presence at the start of 2002, utilizing a freshly-implemented content management system. Adaptive Path, working with Lot 21, was hired to design a new site-wide information architecture with functional specifications.

In this case study, Chiara Fox, information architect at PeopleSoft, and Peter Merholz, partner in Adaptive Path, will present a project and process overview, and then focus on the topics of merging top-down and bottom-up organization efforts, the role of an information architect within an enterprise, and the different methods of content analysis employed throughout the project.

AUDI RAZORFISH

James Kalbach, Razorfish, Germany
-Audi   Razorfish, Germany was charged with the task of relaunching the main brand portal sites for Audi, the German car manufacturer (Audi.com and Audi.de). The project included some new methods for creating IA deliverables, as well as an innovative treatment of the page layout

  4:30 - 6:00
Panel: THE ART OF DELIVERABLES
Jesse James Garrett, Erin Malone, John Zapolski, Dan Brown, with Noel Franus Moderating
Information architects face challenges in three areas: selling their skills, delivering value quickly, and collaborating with other disciplines. Good documentation techniques can address all of these issues by making the outputs as compelling as the process itself. Through examples of documentation that have worked and extracting lessons from them, this presentation will help practicing information architects refine their craft.
  6:00 - 7:30
General Break. Grab a plate, view the posters and interact with the authors!

POSTERS from Keith Instone, Dan Brown and more. Poster presenters will be available during this time to answer questions and discuss the ideas covered.

 

Sunday, March 17th, 2002
  8:00 - 8:30
Continental Breakfast
  8:30 - 10:00
BUSINESS CONTEXT OF THE INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE IN CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Amy Warner, Samantha Bailey, Paula Thornton, Bob Boiko, Lisa Chan
This panel discussion will explore the various business issues for Information Architects that need to be considered when participating, evaluating or implementing content management systems(CMS). Some topics of interest that may surface during this interactive discussion include: CMS implementation (content inventory and modeling, sitemaps, workflow), working across an organization to define metadata, planning and implementing thesaurus development, the role of information architects in enterprise CMS, what kinds of organizations are more conducive for information architects to participate in CMS implementation or support, and who in the organization would advocate the value of IA at an enterprise level. These and other topics will provide a general perspective on understanding the business context of enterprise information architecture that translates beyond the web.

  10:00 - 10:30
Break
  10:30 - 12:00
Parallel sessions:

THE INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE OF EVERYDAY THINGS

Jesse James Garrett Information architects often wonder how to keep developing their knowledge and their skills during the (sometimes long) stretches between projects. In the interest of refining our craft, the profession as a whole is seeking out new sources for information architecture ideas. Information architecture is everywhere -- you just have to know how to look for it. In this presentation, Jesse James Garrett explores ways to draw inspiration for architectural approaches from mundane things we all see every day. The presentation will include examples of real-world sources that could be used to fuel new ideas for information architecture projects.From this presentation, audience members will learn: - where to seek out new architectural ideas - details to look for in the artifacts of daily life - how to apply ideas derived from your observations - pitfalls to avoid in developing new solutions to architectural problems

CHOOSING THE BEST PATH: Techniques for Assessing and Improving Information Scent
Jason Withrow
Each navigation link on a website carries an 'information scent', a semantic association between the chosen label and labels further down in the site structure. For optimal navigation, labels should possess a clear and unique information scent that intuitively leads users to the desired information or functionality while also steering them away from the wrong paths.

This presentation will explore the theoretical aspects of information scent, how the concept applies to the web environment, and specific methods and metrics for assessing and enhancing the information scent of labels and navigation structures. The presentation will also address how an awareness of information scent can inform the conceptual design process, guide interface design decisions, and impact the choice of web technologies. Numerous examples are included showing successes and failures in supporting good information scent.
FACET ANALYSIS
Louise Gruenberg
New sites in the planning stages and disorganized sites undergoing renovations can both benefit from facet analysis, a classification technique which can be applied functionally, topically, and even metaphorically to the structure of the site. The use of Facet Analysis can save your team from a great deal of floundering around by providing a way to develop the site structure drawn from the innate nature of the content and the actions to be taken onsite. Learn how to apply an adaptation of the late, great classificationalist S. R. Ranganathan's facet analysis and facet sequencing procedures to site design, and they will provide you with analytico-synthetic tools that are far more sophisticated than undirected card sorts. My adaptation includes the application of the tools to the hierarchical nature of site design, and I will briefly discuss the use of the procedure on the Knowledge Conductors site, which is still under construction, but which incorporates metaphorical, functional, and topical facets in its structure.
  12:00 - 1:00
Lunch
  1:00 - 2:00
Parallel sessions
NEW ROLES IN INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
Peter Morville, Semantic Studios
The practice of information architecture design is *still* in its infancy.  Over the past 10 years, the emergence of professional information architects as consultants and employees has been an exciting development. But we still have a long way to go in the continuing evolution of our craft. New roles are emerging for information architecture specialists. Strategy architects, thesaurus designers and search analysts are just some of the novel species beginning to appear on the scene. And these specialists will face new challenges, learning how to leverage a complex mix of approaches and technologies to design information spaces that are both useful and usable.     

In this presentation, Peter Morville will draw upon his recent observations and experiences within a diverse collection of information ecologies to shed light on emerging roles for information architects. As William Gibson suggested, "The future exists today. It's just unevenly distributed."


EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
Andrew Dillon, University of Texas at Austin, Rong Tang, Albany, Karl Fast, David Robins, Louise Gruenberg
While the field has emerged from the working practices of self-declared Information Architects, formal qualifications in the field have been lacking. Many IAs come from LIS backgrounds or learned important skills on the job, but for the profession to develop, degree programs in IA are inevitable. In this session, panelists will explore the nature of current education in IA and discuss and speculate on the future of new degree programs currently being offered or proposed. Audience members will be invited to engage in the discussion as we explore such issues as:
  • What it means to be qualified as an IA?
  • What cannot be learned at college?
  • What a degree program in IA might actually contain.
  2:00 - 3:00
Five Minute Madness
Gary Marchionini, University of North Carolina
Participants are invited to raise issues and share ideas and pertinent experiences with the audience during "5-Minute Madness." An open microphone will be available and each statement will be limited to at most 5 minutes.
  3:00 - 3:30
Wrap-Up
Andrew Dillon, University of Texas at Austin