Design Events – World Information Architecture Day 2016 (WIAD) – Zurich

World Information Architecture Day Zurich 2016, My Takeovers.


What happened at the World Information Architecture Day 2016 (WIAD16) in Zurich, what I learned, what I discovered and all my takeovers.
Attending an Information Architecture (IA) event is always something interesting and useful.

It was the first time that I joined the WIAD in Zurich, and it met all my expectations.
I’m not that into the IA topic, but I have to say this is something very close to, and connected with, the User Experience (UX) issues.
As the UX and the IA were not invented by anyone, they are something we have deeply embedded in our DNA as human beings. It doesn’t matter if we are living in a complex or simple system, we are used to using the IA – and indeed forced to – in order to live our lives.

We apply the IA approach when we organize collections (records, pictures or shoes), and sometimes we apply the IA without even knowing.

Going back to the Information Technology environment, I found the Abbey Cover talk on the IA riveting . She defined the whole set of troublesome events during the processes aimed at delivering digital and analogic products the “pain with no name”:

  1. Different Approaches;
  2. Misunderstandings;
  3. Inconsistencies;
  4. Different languages and backgrounds;

Starting from this list, she went through the definition of 4 misconceptions:

  1. IA is part of UX or vice versa
    It doesn’t really matter, IA and UX are strictly related because they are part of our lives;
  2. IA is hierarchy
    The new rules arising from the experiences of social networks and search engines flipped this concept;
  3. You can’t apply the IA approach in an Agile or Lean Startup environment
    This is false, because the IA (as a hierarchy) helps flows and processes to better evolve;
  4. IA is a phase in a project plan
    Two of the most important goals of the IA are to reduce the noises during the project and to highlight the information stream, so that it becomes all along the process.

Natacha Hennocq served as an inspiration for me not to focus on HOW but rather on WHY.
The next challenge will be to stay focused not only on WHY the user does things. I’ll strive to pay more attention to HOW she/he thinks about things.
As human beings, we think about metaphors and learn through stories. As a designer, I should apply this pattern to my workflow to a greater deal.

An interesting point of view was presented by Luca Mascaro (founder of Sketchin) regarding how data and information are changing our behaviors. His focus was on the use of information in the media environment. He presented an interesting report on how people are using the newspapers in all the available formats (analog and digital).

Another fascinating topic was related to open data. According to Oleg Lavrovsky and Konstantin Weiss, one should pay attention to the following:

  • The need to build re-usable components for data and presentations;
  • What happens when data are connected to knowledge;
  • How can data help us to better understand what’s good for us and what is not;

As usual, the added value of being part of an event such the WIAD is always remarkable. Meeting people with different approaches, backgrounds and experiences is something that pushes yourself to change your point of views on different topics. Basically, it’s fresh fuel for your daily work and life ungarn viagra.

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