Q: Who is this conference intended for?
A: "Defining Information Architecture" will bring together practicing information architects (IAs), academics who see value in this emerging field, and students who are interested in becoming
IAs. Some sample titles of those already registered include: Electronic Media Manager; Sr. Programmer Analyst; User Experience Architect; Knowledge Management Analyst; and
Goddess of Information Architecture. Registered attendees hail from such organizations as: AT&T; Bigstep.com; Compaq; DuPont; Harvard School of Design; iXL; Microsoft; Mitre; Polaroid;
and Smithkline Beecham.
Q: Many of the speakers aren't practicing IAs; why not?
A: It's important to acknowledge that many established disciplines should contribute to the
definition of Information Architecture. And we want to probe how these different disciplines relate to Information Architecture, uncovering how, for example, principles of ethnography or
usability engineering might improve to Information Architecture practice.
Q: There aren't session titles listed in the program; why not?
A: As Information Architecture is a relatively new field, a conventional conference replete with standard, loosely-related presentations doesn't fill the bill. Instead, this is the right time to
answer questions that haven't been asked before. That's why we've asked speakers to address a common set of issues designed to future discussion and definition of Information
Architecture in a spontaneous, flexible, and thought-provoking manner. It's an experimental approach, but one we feel makes sense for a young and emerging field.
If this conference is experimental, then why should I attend?
A: It's your chance to participate in an important discussion, and help define your field. And the
conference will make you a better IA by arming you with a broader perspective on the field, a better set vocabulary to discuss it, and a stronger case to make to your colleagues who may
not understand the value of Information Architecture.
Q: What sorts of practical knowledge will I get from attending?
A: Although there are case studies on the program, this conference is not focused on how to practice Information Architecture; instead, we'll address what it is and who
should be doing it. We're confident that the "how" aspects of Information Architecture will be addressed in more
detail through your informal discussions with others at the conference, through the expanded personal networks you will develop through participation, and at future conferences.
I'm already an IA; what will I get out of attending?
A: Besides some new ideas, you'll be getting context: context for your own work as an IA,
and communal context that will come from meeting your peer group for perhaps the first time. Additionally, you will have a chance to take leadership in defining and guiding many newcomers
to the field who will be at this conference.
Q: I'm a student; what will I get out of attending?
A: You'll be better prepared to discuss the field you're considering entering, and through meeting practicing IAs will greatly extend your network of professional contacts.