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How I Teach IA to Design Students
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How I Teach IA to Design Students

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Lightning style talk given at the IA Summit Educational Round Table on March 27, 2014. #reframeIA

Lightning style talk given at the IA Summit Educational Round Table on March 27, 2014. #reframeIA

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  • 1. How I Teach Information Architecture to design Students
  • 2. If you cant tell from the logos... • These are art schools with strong design programs in things like fashion, visual design, industrial design and brand strategy • They don’t have programs in library science, human factors, or any other speciality that IA is currently most tied to • Like many organizations, they are stressed out about technology and the implications of things like the internet, mobile, big data
  • 3. This project, partnered with the Centers for Disease Control, was designed by Gaïa Orain, Matthew Barber, Charlotta Hellichius and Clay Kippen as part of their Design for Social Value course led by Kyla Fullenwider.
  • 4. Designers Damon Ahola and Richard Clarkson became intrigued with the trope of the iconic superhero, along with the personality and styling elements of street culture and the underground world of skateboarding.
  • 5. Designed by Emi Yasaka and Gaïa Orain, Kopi is a portable silkscreening kit for users who want to artfully express themselves on the go, allowing for individual expression while providing the assets needed to produce a unified visual language.
  • 6. ...it can feel a little like Hogwart’s sometimes to be a teacher there
  • 7. What these students need that IA can provide
  • 8. • We talk about the need to consider the places that they are making and how those levels connect to other levels in their unique ecosystem • Specifically we discuss strategies to identify stakeholders and document consensus on goals • They need to be taught about how contextual design efforts are and the role of ambiguity in design
  • 9. Level Appropriate Framework Ecosystem = Controlled Vocabulary, Venn Diagram System = Swim Lane Diagram, Gantt Charts Structure = Hierarchy Maps, Site Map Journey = Journey Maps Location = Flow Diagrams, Block Diagrams Context = Scenarios User = Personas Interface = Wireframes, Schematics Interaction = Specifications Object = Screens, Templates, Style Guides
  • 10. • We use Heuristic evaluations to assess current states • We use Conversational Research to better understand the audience for which the problem needs to be framed • We use Performance Continuums to frame the distance we need to travel with our work
  • 11. How to Visualize Your Intent 5 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 Direction DirectionINTENT Using Performance continuums Today
  • 12. How to Use diagrams to think with other people • We discuss and catalog different types of diagrams & maps and when to use a tried and true format vs. make something new up for your context • How to facilitate “framestorms” • How to Visualize and Confront Conflict
  • 13. • To explore the role of meaning in communication we do an exercise called “Alien Dictionary” • We discuss and practice the use of tools like Controlled Vocabularies • We use a Noun + Verb Mapping Exercise to explore the complexities of creating Taxonomic Structures
  • 14. Objects aid us in discourse
  • 15. Alien Dictionary
  • 16. Permission To Specialize to Delegate • Some people are painfully not good at IA thinking • That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t learn it in school, you don’t know what you are good at until you try • But it does mean that sometimes we need to give permission to specialize in NOT IA. Those designers need to know when to say “I can’t do this level of IA work, we need someone else to” • We also need to make a world where really talented IA thinking people are not thrown out because they cant do all the other specialities within “UX”
  • 17. Thx. Abbycovert@gmail.com @ Abby_The_IA www.Abbytheia.com