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IA Language Critique IAS16 Surla

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How can we tell good Information Architecture from bad? What can we use to evaluate our work and persuade coworkers and clients that it’s good – or to pivot if it’s bad? More than this, what tools will help us understand how well we’re practicing and teaching IA overall, and help us develop IA as a discipline?

Information architecture needs a framework for addressing how we think about and improve our field at multiple levels. We need a language of critique. This talk introduces audience members a movement currently underway to develop a robust framework for IA critique.

Publié dans : Technologie
  • [slide - Set the stage, why it’s important] At the Language of Critique roundtable last year, Marsha Haverty said “If we don’t have a way to describe what we do, we’ll be limited to being wireframe monkeys.” IA is more than wireframes. But we’re confined by the mindset that thinks IA is a box to check off on a project plan. If this is a problem for you, then you’ll want a way to change that mindset. A language of critique is going to help you become a better, more influential UX professional. And maybe you’re at a stage in your career where you’re elevating the practice. Are you teaching, researching, or publishing? Then you might be interested in the project to shape a language of critique. To develop IA as a discipline, we need a framework for evaluating the goodness of information architecture, both as a whole, and in specific cases. So what is a language of critique for IA? And what’s missing from whatever we’re using now?
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  • [slide - Quick history of Reframe IA] Think about psychology, literature, economics. All mature fields have a framework and a vocabulary for making sense of what they do. IA emerged as a practice, along with the emergence of the web. But we still lack a foundational framework that gets taught, that is continually developed and refined, and against which our work is measured. We lack a shared understanding of what we do. A seminal moment occurred a few years ago in Memphis, at the closing plenary of the IA Summit. Jesse James Garrett challenged the IA community to move beyond being a practice, and figure out how to become a discipline. He called for us to develop a language of critique. Keith Instone, Andrea Resmini, and other leaders are engaging the community right now to shape the future of IA. They’ve brought academics and practitioners together in workshops and roundtables. It’s resulted in the book Reframing Information Architecture.
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  • [slide - Intro to M3 model, show model] We can talk about our work as taking place on three levels. The bottom level is the level of applied work. The middle level concerns theories and models. The top level is the level of paradigms. This is called the Meta-Modeling Methodology or M3. It was developed by John Van Gigch, an organizational theorist, in 1989 as a way to look at how scientific disciplines ideally operate back and forth across different levels of inquiry. In Reframing Information Architecture, Lacerda and Lima-Marques proposed using the M3 model as a way to develop IA as a discipline.
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  • [slide - Intro to M3, why we need to be able to talk abt levels] We can talk about our work as taking place at different levels. The problem is, we don’t do that. We tend to collapse all questions of goodness into one packed layer, usually the bottom one. Why does this matter? A client is unhappy with your design. Is it because it’s poorly executed according to current best practices? Does it fail to take into account a significant paradigm – say the growing importance of the 50-something market, or people’s expectations that things will work smoothly across mobile and desktop? Or do you actually have a handle on all these things? Is your design based on your firm grasp of practices and paradigm shifts your client is not aware of? We want to be able to talk clearly and constructively about these things, and the M3 model can help. So let’s parse it out a little further.
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  • [slide - Intro to M3, level of applied work, hands work] The bottom level, the level of applied work. Anything that involves designing or evaluating an artifact, like a website or a feature, is an example of this. You start with a practical problem. You need a search results page. An app to monitor energy consumption in the home. The output of work at this level is a solution to a practical problem. Now, how do you know how to do this work? You use your practices. And practices are informed by science, which comes from the next layer up.
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IA Language Critique IAS16 Surla

  1. 1. a language of critique for information architecture @stacysurla #reframeiaStacy Merrill Surla
  2. 2. Banksy@stacysurla
  3. 3. Jorge Arango@stacysurla
  4. 4. The M3 diagram Practical problems Solutions to problems Scientific problems Practice Science Theories and models Philosophical questions Epistemology Paradigms SOLUTIONSTHEORIESPARADIGMS The M3 diagram
  5. 5. SkeenaValleyGirl We can... but we don’t @stacysurla
  6. 6. Applied Work Stacy Surla@stacysurla
  7. 7. World Bank Theories and Models @stacysurla
  8. 8. Noodlefish Paradigms @stacysurla
  9. 9. NPR Paradigms @stacysurla
  10. 10. Josh Liba Paradigms @stacysurla
  11. 11. SOLUTIONS Practical problems Practice Solutions to problems Scientific problems Science Theories and models THEORIES Philosophical questions Epistemology Paradigms PARADIGMS Jet Li :The Monkey King M3 Model Example @stacysurla
  12. 12. jennyrotten Back at the theories layer... @stacysurla
  13. 13. judy_and_ed ...you can change what’s possible @stacysurla
  14. 14. starsandspirals What’s behind what’s possible? @stacysurla
  15. 15. Journey to the West@stacysurla
  16. 16. Exercise http://svy.mk/1X4RQ7v@stacysurla
  17. 17. Results @stacysurla
  18. 18. Join the conversation https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4945243@stacysurla
  19. 19. References Foucault, Michel, The order of things: An archaeology of the human sciences, Vintage Books, 1994 Lacerda, Flavia and Mamede Lima-Marques, Information Architecture as a Discipline — A Methodological Approach, in Reframing Information Architecture, Springer International Publishing, 2014 Morricone, Ennio, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Pugatch, J., et al, Systematic Review of Information Architecture of Web-based Interventions to Improve Health Outcomes, Poster Presentation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NCHCMM, Atlanta, GA, 2015 Resmini, Andrea, Reframing Information Architecture, ibid. van Gigch, John P., System Design, Modeling and Metamodeling, Plenom Press, 1991
  20. 20. Stacy Merrill Surla stacy.surla@icfi.com @stacysurla #reframeia

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