February 21, 2013 By BJ Cook,
World IA (Information Architecture) day in LA was great! It allowed for UX, IA and Design professionals to talk about things we think about on a daily basis. Shout-Outs:

1. The BUS Ride

I have to give a special shout-out to the organizers of UX Speakeasy San Diego. Arriving in a Limo Bus gave the San Diego crew a nice flare arriving to LA and we were well-represented because of it. Limo Bus is now the only way I will venture to LA. ;)

2. The Speakers:

Aaron Irizarry repppin’ San Diego in a big way coming straight from HP. He talked about one of the many hurdles in IA: communicating the value of UX to stakeholders, and together gaining a common language in talking about UX. As UX people, we sometimes get caught up in the ideal rather than the real boundaries that we have to work with. We learned the importance of a solid approach: communicate, validate, and visualize. Then help your stakeholders visualize through group exercises. Video of Aaron here Dave Fiorito dove into a very classic approach on IA, navigation specifically. He had a very elegant way of expressing IA by looking at things like culture, relationships and believe it or not, choreography. I was impressed by how engaging his talk was. Video of Dave here Greg Nuddelman is a very smart guy. As IA and UX people, we all want to get in to the latest and greatest way of communicating and interacting and Greg knew it. His talk was centered around mobile and tablet design. He talked about how to innovate through simple cues, specifically based on the way information is consumed now - on the go. He went through many case studies and why these companies (Amazon, Netflix, Siri in the iPhone and Android facial recognition) are able to innovate in their perspective fields. Particularly what stood out to me was the ability to allow the experience to involve the user, the technology and the environment in different ways. Video of Greg here Eric Reiss came to us all the way from Denmark. He spoke in broad beautiful strokes regarding how by looking at our history as a culture, we can learn valuable lessons. He talked about how people can be too concerned with form before function, and have limited themselves because of it. Patterns and technology are great tools but the moment we are overly concerned with them first is the moment we will be limited by them. In short, what I took away from Eric Reiss was to value humanistic architecture, let context drive your design decisions, do not become side-tracked by form and do not limit your decisions by technology. Video of Eric here Chris Chandler and Lynn Boyden spoke to us about the value of co-mentoring. It’s an idea that we many may be somewhat hesitant to dive into at first but can be largely beneficial in the long run. Co-mentoring provides for a safe environment to ask those burning questions about your career, and hearing honest-to-goodness answers from people in your field. Video of Chris and Lynn here
All in all this was a great day that made for thought provoking conversations on the bus ride back to sunny San Diego. You can guarantee DO will attend next year’s World IA Day. If you want to figure out how we apply these juicy lessons, give us a shout and we’ll be happy to start a conversation. Carina is DO's UX Specialist. She likes to hike...a lot.

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