EuroIA 2010 schedule

Thursday 23rd September 2010

  • PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP – An Introduction to Information Architecture

    by Andrea Resmini

    What is information architecture? What are the key considerations when designing an information architecture? What are the tools we have at our disposal? And what about methodologies? Is it true that information architecture relies on user-centered design? How can we put theory into practice? These are some of the questions we will try to tackle during the workshop.

    To answer them, we won't be just chit-chatting along, though: more than half of the time we will be spending together will be devoted to getting our hands under the hood and designing for real. The workshop is designed to provide an easy introduction to what practicing information architecture is to people who are new to the field and have no clear ideas of what mainstream information architecture work is like, or to people who are used to do lone-wolf freelancing work and want to see how it works out when you do information architecture in packs and your ideas and sure-foot methods are put to the test by peers.

    The workshop is roughly divided in three parts: an overview of the field, which traces back its roots, influences, and many hues and introduces the basics of the theory and methods of information architecture; a hands-on design exercise on a real-life case study which provides a general framing for a sound design process and then focuses on flow, navigation, classification, and layout; a final evaluateand-iterate co-design review of what has been done.

    At 8:30am to 12:30pm, Thursday 23rd September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - An Introduction to Remote Usability Research

    by James Page and sabrinamach

    Remote Usability is a collection of methods that over the last year has become increasingly popular. Most of us are designing and developing products that will be used anywhere in the world, but most of our research methods are tied to a physical location. Remote sets the researcher free from being tied to a place, and also enables the testing of more people.

    By the end of the session you will become familiar with a number of remote research technologies, from remote ethnography to synchronous and asynchronous tools, and will be able to explain when such tools are suitable for user research. We also will cover the basics of Asynchronous testing.

    Asynchronous is significantly different from the usual user research methods. The workshop will demystify the basic statistics that will help you understand the results. You will also learn the basics about how to carry out a International Study, from the legal issues to how to deal with translation.The workshop will cover:
    -the different methods;
    -remote etnography;
    -study design;
    -recruitment methods;
    -basic analysis;
    -international studies;

    At 8:30am to 12:30pm, Thursday 23rd September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Faceted Navigation Design

    by Jim Kalbach

    Faceted navigation has become very popular in the last decade. It’s seen as way to improve the findability of information on many sites, particularly those with large collections of products or documents. The design of realworld faceted navigation systems, however, proves to be more intricate than people first assume, and designers must be aware of many details.

    This half-day workshop covers principles of faceted classification and shows you how to use facets in web design. Many examples of faceted navigation will be presented and discussed. A clear, structured framework for understanding the individual components is presented to help you understand all the decisions involved. The topics are brought to life through several hands-on exercises.

    Topics covered include: background to facets; faceted analysis; layout and display of facets; interaction with facets; advanced topics: selecting multiple values, grouping, and more.

    At 1:00pm to 5:30pm, Thursday 23rd September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Writing for the Web

    by Eric Reiss

    Eric will show you how to create findable, scannable, skim-able, and readable on-line content. This is the stuff that creates understanding, builds trust, and increases conversion rates. Topics include: why writing for the Web is different; navigation; shared-reference building; descriptions; contextual navigation; convenience text; information architecture; metadata.

    At 1:00pm to 5:30pm, Thursday 23rd September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

Friday 24th September 2010

  • Opening Keynote

    by Oliver Reichenstein

    Oliver Reichenstein got his first computer in 1981 and made his initial attempts at programming. He later studied philosophy in Basel and Paris, with a sideline teaching rhetoric and informatics.

    In 1999/2000, he was the information architect at R.Ø.S.A. AG, followed by a stint until 2004 as interactive brand consultant for Interbrand Zintzmeyer&Lux. He moved to Japan in 2004 and founded Information Architects Inc. in 2005. Information architects has its place on the web at http://informationarchitects.jp.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • Confusion and Clarity in Information Architecture

    by D. Grant Campbell

    This presentation will use two descriptions of London, England, to discuss user confusion in information architecture. Much of IA involves clarification: how can complex information spaces be made clear to users? In many cases, we achieve clarity by anticipating the user's need and selecting or suppressing details, just as the mind suppresses sensory information that is extraneous to a given task. Beck's map of the London Underground is a famous example of information visualization that achieves just such a purpose, by abandoning scale, and by emphasizing only those details necessary for a clear purpose.

    As information for “everyday use” is increasingly offered through the Web, we can no longer rely on clarity of purpose. Information architects face users for whom clear needs are temporary moments in a longer process of confusion, perplexity and anxiety: poverty, legal and bureaucratic complexities, chronic health issues, palliative care, or grieving and loss. In such situations, clear maps of information spaces serve only to answer passing questions, and do not engage with the user's underlying confusion. The depictions of London in Charles Dickens's Bleak House suggest a way of adapting to this problem.

    Dickens's descriptions of London do not clarify the British legal system, which is the target of his satire. Instead, they provide vivid metaphors of the confusion and despair affecting those involved in that system. Through images of fog, mud and contagious disease, Dickens does not clarify the law; he clarifies confusion, blindness and perplexity.

    This presentation will combine details from Bleak House with information research in information seeking and help page design, to suggest that information architects need to explore, not just imaginative ways of depicting information structure, but imaginative ways of depicting perplexity, and finding new metaphors that link the clarity and perplexity together as twin inevitabilities.

    At 10:45am to 11:30am, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • Design beyond the glowing rectangle

    by Chris Browne and Claire Rowland

    The digital world is breaking out of ‘glowing rectangles’ to imbue everyday objects and environments with connectivity and the ability to process data. This post-desktop model of HCI holds the potential for more naturalistic interactions but heralds a whole new level of complexity in user experience research and design. Moving beyond the screen means not just usability, but interusability: creating intuitable and meaningful interactions with multiple devices that span many interconnecting services.

    What kinds of standards will emerge to ensure users know what they can or should interact with, how to do so, what it will do, what its role is within a variety of interconnecting systems, and what the consequences are of engaging with those systems? And how do we define aesthetically pleasing design for such interactions? In this presentation, we will introduce our view of the core user experience design and research challenges with which creators of ‘internet of things’/’smart object’ systems and services will face, such as: Privacy and control of personal data across complex, interconnected systems ? How will users conceptualise and relate to smart objects, sensors and the services surrounding them, and what does this mean for design? Ensuring an appropriate degree of personal agency, control and responsibility for both users and the system in all interactions.

    What social, cultural and other (perhaps unintended) consequences may ‘smartening’ objects have? How user research, prototyping and concepting may need to adapt to the demands of complex, mass-user systems. We will also propose approaches by which some of these challenges may be tackled. Our work in this area is informed by our role as a research partner in a large EU sponsored project aiming to create guidelines and standards for the interusability of interconnected embedded systems.

    At 10:45am to 11:30am, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • Gastronomy: a Source of Inspiration for UX Design

    by Peter J. Bogaards

    The experience belongs to the user is a common phrase in user experience design. Therefore, we focus on the thoughts, emotions, and sensations of a person using our designs. Human experience is driven by the design of our artefacts, systems, and environments. In our field, we design for a compelling user experience through an optimal balance of structure, content, interaction and presentation. We collect feedback and improve our processes, deliverables, and tools persistently.

    But improvements do not come from our discipline and practice alone. We must also look for new inspiration, ideas and approaches in uncommon places to move forward. Gastronomy and the culinary arts can enrich our professional lives as user experience designers. Both have a long history, are mature fields of practice and focus on experiencing. The eating experience is the user experience ‘avant-la-lettre’.

    It is carefully orchestrated, tested and improved. In the kitchen and in the restaurant. Done well, we enjoy the quality of the ingredients, preparation and presentation through our eyes, palate, and olifactory and gustatory senses of smell and taste. Also, meals are set by dimensions familiar to us information architects, such as content, order, time, and space.

    And you don’t need to be Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver or Ferran Adriá to know that the meaning of a profitable dining experience is set by what is created, how it is presented, and how it is served.

    In this presentation delivered in Europe’s culinary capital Paris, I will identify concepts, processes and dimensions from gastronomy and the culinary arts which have comparable or identical counterparts within user experience design in general and information architecture in specific. Analogies which will inspire our community. Also, I will present some initiatives in which the design of the eating experience and user experience design are explored, discussed and even merged.

    At 11:45am to 12:30pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • The New, Smart Customers – How They Really Buy and How We Can Address This

    by Carmen and Axel Rösgen

    It is not online or offline. Consumers gather information and buy their desired products and services through multiple channels: The new flat screen, the three-week trip through Asia or their car insurance. There is no unique or simple pattern for the when and why. The Internet as well as the real world provide tremendous possibilities to get information on product details, prices, reviews and recommendations. Let it be a friend in the bar, the staff in the shop, a review in the online forum or a post on Facebook. With the growth of mobile Internet and camera equipped-devices that just need a bar code on the product to provide more information it has become even more complex. All this makes it important to think much broader when creating new offers.

    The personal decision path from the first vague idea to the final purchase varies from person to person, from product to product, from purchase to purchase. One person might go to a store, look at a range of products, speak to the staff, then go home, do some online research and finally come back to the store to purchase. Someone else might start his research online, use price comparison engines, go to a store to test the products, retrieve detailed product information with his mobile while being in the store, but finally buy online.

    Why is that? Information gathering and decision making is a very personal thing. There are people who just go for the first thing that more or less meets their needs. There are others who do not make a decision before they have an exhaustive overview over what is available and what the pros and cons for each product or service are. Also the motivation for a purchase can vary. Some might buy a mobile because it is practical, others might use it as a status symbol. The effort people put in doing research also differs depending on the type of product: Electronic equipment is more likely to be bought via Internet than a new pair of shoes or food. For some product types customers welcome the opinions of specialised sales personnel. For other products they rather do their research themselves. Also the accessibility of resellers comes into play: Does the customer live in a city or in a rural environment? How far away is the next specialised store?

    It is crucial to know your customers and their needs and desires to tailor a great customer experience for them. “One size fits all” is not the way to create fanatical advocates for your or your client’s brand. To create a seamless offer a thorough investigation on the customer’s habits and desires comes in handy.

    The tools are manifold: interviews, focus groups, surveys and web analytics to collect the information
    on the one hand, user scenarios and journeys, storyboards and prototypes and the like to create the ideas on the other hand. Still, you need to think multichannel when you create interview briefings and visualise results. When adapting web analytics to multichannel you need to think about ways to track offline offers to the online system and vice versa. You often have to deal with separate departments that have not yet learned to talk to each other. So the challenge is to integrate all relevant stakeholders in your analysis and concept phase and make them understand that both will profit from each other.

    One example for a seamless integration of a multichannel offer is providing information on product availability at the nearest reseller. But there is more that can be done to support the customer’s needs: Why not offer online reviews in your store? Or have your store staff demonstrate your product in context online? Meanwhile even vending machines provide access to Internet.

    Customers are looking for brands that are relevant to them. Tell them why your brand is.

    At 11:45am to 12:30pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • Agile and UX – Stories from the Trenches

    by Jane Austin and Matt Roadnight

    This session is aimed at those attempting to marry Agile and UX on large complex projects.

    Jane Austin is Head of UX at IG Group. Matt Roadnight is an Agile trainer and consultant who has been working with IG Group. During this session they will describe the problems IG encountered and how these problems were solved.

    The problems encountered were classic ones that Matt has seen time and time again during his career and so this session will summarise his learnings from a number of Agile projects run over the past couple of years, each with a significant UX aspect to the projects. The details of three of these will be provided to the session attendees in a white paper. Not all of these projects successfully integrated UX activities into an Agile process, but they provided significant insight into what to watch out for and what does and doesn’t work.

    A common issue that each of these teams highlighted was a gap between customer, UX and development collaboration and understanding.

    We will walk through the challenges that IG Group were facing with their Agile projects and how applying these learning and specific techniques we have begun to close this gap at IG Group. We will give detail on how we have applied the techniques alongside specific examples.

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • Designing a Personal Budgeting Application – In a Way that's Actually Fun

    by Brian Donohue

    Our client, a bank, asked us to come up with an idea for a personal budgeting app, and to make it something that was actually a bit of fun so you’d share it with your friends. The obvious challenge here is that most people think personal budgeting is about as much fun as cleaning a bathroom.

    Our reflexive cringe at the idea of doing a home-budget disguises the critical failing of most budgeting applications: the application does almost none of the work for us. Another problem with many budgeting applications is they ignore a lot of places where we do spend our money -- our vices. So we designed an application to tackle both of those issues.

    This is the result: http://www.spendometer.ie

    In this talk, I’ll discuss the variety of design decisions that went into this application, from the concept, the content, the visual design, the interaction design (which used a Madlibs style), and the social networking component. I’ll also share the analytics for the application, to show which parts worked well and which didn't.

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • Ideation Toolkit

    by Tomasz Jakubowski

    Starting new project brings new hopes of new ideas put into effect. Unfortunately, in the process, these expectations often turn out to be futile, as Client’s expectations diverge from the Designer’s. In most of the cases it’s caused by different understanding or different beliefs, how the final result should look like, even though there is consent about goals. In this situation, execution of Client’s power is likely to occur and “design by committee” takes off, which finally results in poor decisions and mediocrity of the project.

    The presentation will explain the rationale behind a process, that creates social context, where Designer communicates with the Client on artificial level, made of “smallest possible reductions” - building blocks for ideas, scenarios and processes. In this communication context there is little space for execution of Client’s power on design, and instead Client is drawn into the creation process. This shift in perspective results in Client’s advocacy.

    In simple words, it’s all about making the Client think the ideas, solutions we want in the design, hit upon Client’s heads first.

    The presentation will partly feed on case study of Wolters Kluwer Polska

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • Notes and Insights of a Large, Intense and Strategic Intranet Project: HSBC Brazil Case Study

    by Juliana Marques and Paulo R. Floriano

    This presentation will be focused on the process of designing an intranet, from the beginning, to the “end”. This is because the presenter was the project manager and was directly involved in this major two-year project.

    The objective is to cover all the basis on user research, strategy, information architecture, content strategy and the project conduction itself – since it involved a team of more than 25 members.

    The case is related to the HSBC Brazil intranet, an award winning project (Nielsen Group’s Intranet Design Annual).

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • Implementing 'Identity' on Guardian.co.uk - Challenges, deliverables and ethics

    by Martin Belam

    The design pattern of 'sign in with Facebook' or 'use your Twitter account' to register and use other services socially on the web has become more established over the last year, but integrating this into a website can be a tricky user experience to get right. It also poses specific challenges to the Information Architect.

    This presentation uses real examples of documentation produced during a six month project attempting to solve this problem for a large media company. It illustrates some approaches that worked, some approaches that didn't, and will focus on three key areas.

    1. Documentation
    How do you document task flows when so much of the user experience is in the control of a third party? The matrix of possible user journeys is immense, especially when you factor in complications like merging existing accounts with social network details, or the user forgetting password details somewhere along the process. Add to this the fact that terms and conditions under which data can be transferred and persisted seem to be in a state of flux, and you have potential for some very confusing diagrams.

    2. Future-proofing your service
    People have argued that services like Facebook can become a single sign-on point for the web, and that we needn't build our own registration flows again. As an IA, how can you inform the business to make the right choices to ensure any service built is future-proofed against changes in the "social registration" landscape.

    3. Ethics
    Defining the "social registration" process also raises ethical issues. Given the major debate about the privacy issues around Facebook profiles and data transfer, how do you determine and validate the right level of privacy warnings to keep you users informed of how much of their data is being processed, without deterring them from using a service.

    At 3:15pm to 4:00pm, Friday 24th September

    Coverage link

  • When Info Exchange Brings Service Intelligence

    by Christophe Tallec

    At Utilisacteur, since March 2010, we are both an innovative service design provider industrializing its services and a consultant, giving users the possibility to take an active role in their services by any way, product and service system.

    Who knows, better than the user in a specific position and time of his service use, some kind of information or could share knowledge that would help the rest of the community? The transportation field was a good start regarding all the challenges we are facing to meet the low carbon economy stakes. We work on the paradox that there is a faster potential change on the user side of a service if he is aware of a better way to use it, than it is possible to change heavy infrastructures, transport systems and urban organizations in our cities.

    We launch Uinfopark(r) at mid may, a participative service willing to turn private mobility into a more participative one, focusing on parking as a vector of change. Amongst several levels of information exchange between active users “prosumers”, which provide them several forms of service, the first one is to allow users to tell the rest of the community when they will leave their parking spot. This collective intelligence becomes a soft infrastructure set upon the heavy ones offered by the service providers which users cross during their mobility journey. The service is an interface of shared interests and discussions between all the stakeholders, exploring how dynamic pricing from both private and public entities could influence the users behaviours (positive discrimination for carsharers... ) and ease a massive change.

    Uinfopark(r) has teamed up with some cities in France and will release the service in May 2010 in French and English. The service has several participation levels, evolving with the dynamic pricing scenarios we are beta testing (where and for how long you are parked, if you propose a ride, etc.).

    At 3:15pm to 4:00pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • Alignment Diagrams: Strategic UX Deliverables

    by Jim Kalbach

    In a Boxes and Arrows article entitled “Searching For The Center Of Design”, Jess McMullin discusses what he calls value-centered design. He writes: “Value-centered design starts a story about an ideal interaction between an individual and an organization and the benefits each realizes from that interaction.“ The author, however, does not present specific ways to coordinate business goals and user goals. Luckily, a new class of UX deliverables that has emerged over the last 5 years that addresses this gap, giving designers a concrete means for arriving at shared value.

    Broadly, these deliverables can be called alignment diagrams. At a high level, the different types and approaches to these documents have more in common than they differ. Overall, they leverage IA skills to uncover, organise, and represent how customer behaviour aligns with business goals. Among others, examples of different types of alignment diagrams include: Customer Journey Maps; Mental Models; User Workflow Diagrams.

    The general process is straightforward, though not without its pitfalls. Roughly we can break down the approach into three phases:
    1. Observe people on location where they live, work and play.
    2. Represent behavior, thoughts, feelings, and goals graphically in a diagram or matrix
    3. Align features, products, and services to customers‘ behaviours as a team

    For the design of products, websites, or services, alignment diagrams have many benefits:
    • Strategically, they expose gaps and opportunities previously not apparent
    • Organizationally, they help build agreement between development team members and give a common language for discourse and debate
    • Practically, they can be used to derive product architectures and site navigation systems.

    This presentation introduces examples of alignment diagrams and demonstrates their use on real projects. An overall method common to different types of alignment diagrams is presented and discussed, providing many practical takeaways for the audience.

    At 4:30pm to 5:15pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • On Why We Should NOT Focus on UX

    by Koen Claes

    Yes, it‘s no mistake. I‘d like to convince the audience (even the most experienced UX designers) why we should NOT focus on user experience. And I'm a UX designer myself.

    An epiphany I experienced recently – no pun intended – radically changed my perspective on user experience design. Because, it turns out we are focusing on the wrong element. It turns out, we shouldn't focus on the experience part at all.

    When I say “it turns out"”, I mean “according to Nobel prize winning research”, and – as wide consensus seems to have established – to the world's most influential living psychologist. Exactly because the original research was not studying digital UX design at all, it's so striking how its results directly apply to us. And as a result, some fresh, and perhaps even eye-opening, parallels can be drawn. In any case, I think we all agree that IA, usability, UX design, etc... all fall under psychology's sphere of influence.

    So, what did trigger this sense of enlightenment for me? It was a TED talk, by Daniel Kahneman (creator of behavioral economics). In this talk, he shares what are some of the difficulties in researching happiness and well-being. Most interesting, however, is how Kahneman's research illustrates the profound distinction between experience and memory. It turns out we all have two selves: an “experiencing self”, and a “remembering self”, which act as almost complete opposites. So why is this distinction important? Because it's your remembering self that makes all decisions. Your other self has no vote whatsoever: “We actually don't choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences.”

    Implications on UX design are obvious. UX design merely for the sake of creating great experiences is pointless. It's stopping prematurely. UX design is important, but not for the X. Like f(x) = y, UX design should be entirely in function of the memories it creates, or: f(experiences) = memories. Because only memories matter. Not only does this lesson add an interesting philosophical layer of reflection to UX design as a whole, it can have a practical impact as well; right down to the color of a button.

    Understanding what exactly makes something stick to memory, would allow to use those techniques to steer what you would like users to, either, remember (like the USP, or the price tag), or, forget (like the experience of a long annoying form, or the price tag). In other words: UX design should be a tool for planting memories.

    At 4:30pm to 5:15pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • The IA Shuffle

    by Eric Reiss

    There are lots of great thinkers in our industry. You’ll meet a lot of them at EuroIA. But not all of them submit papers, so their ideas and opinions don’t make it to the formal programme. But we do want to get them involved, so this year, we’re going to wrap up our first day with a brand new kind of panel discussion: the IA Shuffle. Here’s how it works.

    First, we need to find a panel topic. So, during the morning we invite anyone to make a suggestion for a topic by writing it down and putting it into a big hat. Eric will sort through the topics and announce the two or three most popular topics at lunch. He will then announce the winning topic based on the cheers of the crowd. If you like a topic, clap, yell, and stamp your feet.

    Once the topic has been announced, anyone who would like to be on a panel to talk about it is invited to put their name on a piece of paper and put it into a hat. (In the interest of recycling, we will be using the same hat we used before.)

    When the time comes to start the panel, four names will be picked from the hat. And they will form our panel! No, there won’t be a lot of time for preparation--that’s the idea. We want a spontaneous and lively debate between folks who don’t usually have an opportunity to speak at a conference.

    At 5:30pm to 6:30pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • IA Jam Session

    Once again, EuroIA invites you to join the IA Jam Session – a whole evening during which you can showcase your achievements and share experiences, tips, tricks, and advice.

    At 6:30pm to 8:00pm, Friday 24th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

Saturday 25th September 2010

  • DIY Mobile Usability Testing

    by Bernard Tyers and belenpena

    Usability testing is an information architect’s bread and butter, but applying it to the study of mobile applications and websites brings considerable challenges. Which device should we use for testing? Can we use an emulator? How do we prototype for mobile? Can we just recycle the tasks we use for desktop software tests? Do we test in the lab or in the wild? How do we record screen, fingers and facial expressions?

    We don’t intend to address all the above in just 45 minutes: that would be madness. We’ll focus instead on the last question.

    Follow us in our quest to set up a mobile usability testing environment on a tight budget. We’ll show you how others do it: from Nielsen to Google to Little Springs Design. We’ll roam around London electronics and professional video stores searching for brackets and webcams. We’ll put our DIY skills to the test and waste a lot of silicon trying to build our mobile recording device. We’ll scour the Internet for free software. And we’ll finish it off by running a usability test in front of your eyes.

    If we can do it, so can you! You’ll come out of this session knowing exactly what you need to do to record mobile usability tests.

    Why do we do it? Because we want a mobile usability testing kit at the ready on every information architect’s desk. We’ve been the voice of desktop users for a while now: let’s not forget about the mobile ones.

    At 9:15am to 10:00am, Saturday 25th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • From Clouds to Trees: Clustering Delicious Tags

    by Stefano Bussolon

    The use of tags to classify web resources has become a widely used pattern, not only on blogs and Flickr and Del.icio.us, but also into the Intranets and in the e-Enterprise contexts.

    The problem: though the tag cloud could give a taste of the contents and an easy, alternative way to navigate the information space, a non structured list of alphabetically ordered words limits it's information scent.

    The solution: every time an user (or an editor) uses more than one tag, she implicitly creates an association among those tags. Given a sufficient number of tagging actions, a proximity matrix of tags can be created, quite similar to the one obtained by the results of a card sorting, and the same statistical tools used in analysing the card sorting results can be applied, like the hierarchical cluster analysis, the principal component analysis, and the k-means.

    The case study: during the timespan of a month, I collected around 120,000 bookmarks trough the API of delicious. I generated the square proximity matrix of the 200 most used tags, and performed a factor analysis with 12 factors. I used a simple ranking algorithm to cluster the items onto the 12 factors emerged.

    Results: though some outliers, the clustering algorithm gave very meaningful results. Conclusions: clustering the tags of a folksonomy can help the researcher to discover the implicit mental models of the users and provides a straightforward way to dramatically increase the information scent of the tag cloud.

    At 9:15am to 10:00am, Saturday 25th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • Lean IA: Getting Out of the Deliverables Business

    by Jeff Gothelf

    Traditionally Information Architecture (and its siblings Interaction Design, UX Design, et al) has been a deliverables practice. Wireframes, sitemaps, flow diagrams, content inventories, taxonomies etc defined the practice. While this work has helped define what an IA does and the value the discipline brings to an organization, it has also put IA’s in the deliverables business – measured and compensated for the depth and breadth of their deliverables (instead of the quality and success of the experiences they design).

    In addition this has forced niche specialization into our practice that has limited the success and growth of IA’s outside of the large organizations that can support these niches. People have become documentation subject matter experts focusing on (and being rewarded for) the quality of the document they’re creating as opposed to the end-state experience that document describes.

    Enter Lean IA.
    Inspired by Lean Product and Agile development theories, Lean IA is the practice of bringing the true nature of our work to light faster, with less emphasis on deliverables and greater focus on the actual experience being designed. It breaks the stereotype of the solitary designer working silently in a corner for a period of time with only occasional peeks into that work before it’s “done.”

    The basic process looks something like this: Concept → prototype → validate internally
    → test externally → learn from user behavior → iterate.

    Sound familiar? It should if you’re familiar with Agile or its derivatives. The difference is that this philosophy is focused strictly on the UX component of the process. Instead of pixel perfect designs, opt for sketches and whiteboards. Get the idea out and share it. Solicit feedback from your team. Iterate. This doesn’t mean design-by-committee. By providing insight to your teammates sooner rather than further down the design road you’re: ensuring you’re aligned with broader team and business vision; providing your developers a sneak peek into the direction of the application (speeding up development, surfacing challenges earlier); further fleshing out your thinking since actually verbalizing your concepts to others forces focus on areas you didn’t think of when you were pushing the pixels.

    At 10:30am to 11:15am, Saturday 25th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • Start Your IA with Mobile – How To Target Multi-Platforms

    by Johann Richard

    Just as the whole mess of targeting multiple browsers begins to come somewhat under control a new challenge dawns: we now (really) have to support not only regular web browsers but also mobile and other devices with their additional challenges and opportunities. Creating an Information Architecture for mobile client platforms can be more challenging than doing the same for “regular” desktop web browser clients.

    How do you go about creating an Information Architecture for multiple platforms with maximum consistency across platforms?

    In this talk, I will describe an approach for creating an Information Architecture for multiple platforms that starts by looking at the platform with the most constraints and consequently builds on that to include the capabilities of the other target platforms. This approach is somewhat comparable to the technique called progressive enhancement for targeting different web browsers.

    At 10:30am to 11:15am, Saturday 25th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • Start Anywhere – What Faceted Navigation Is (Not) Good For

    by Peter Boersma

    Faceted navigation (aka parametric filtering) has been an attractive but poorly understood option for solving navigation and design issues related to the display of large numbers of mildly differentiated products.

    In order for faceted navigation to be an effective solution, you need to have an effective metadata scheme in place and need to exercise some design and merchandising discipline. And even then the requirements from users, business and technology make other solutions more practical or simply better.

    In this presentation we look at good (and bad) examples, some from our own international experience in e-commerce projects, and draw lessons for practitioners and organizations thinking of introducing faceted navigation onto websites.

    At 11:30am to 12:00pm, Saturday 25th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Whispering in the Giant’s Ear – Designing Social Media Interaction for Samsung Electronics

    by Hendrik Sommerfeldt

    The case study covers some general information about Samsung Electronics and its ventures in different areas to set up context for the case and drills down into the sustainability and voice of the customer programs conducted by the "giant".

    The second part of the talk will dive down into the adaptation process of a VOC concept designed for Asian markets to the German/European market and how the project was run including some detail on the very simple tools used in the process.

    The closing of the talk then will summarize our learnings from the process, an outlook into the future of the program and how the adaptations to the original concepts were ported back into the Asian markets.

    At 11:30am to 12:30pm, Saturday 25th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

  • Beyond Co-Design – How Open Collaboration Formats Can Enhance Your Design Process

    by Johanna Kollmann and Franco Papeschi

    Open collaboration formats offer insights on how to engage, collaborate and bring ideas. This talk explores how co-creation formats like hackdays or design challenges can be used to enhance a co-design process, involving (lead) users, colleagues or clients.

    Firstly, we review existing open innovation and participatory design formats. Both presenters have been actively involved in projects that adapted traditional formats. After reflecting on the learnings from these projects and case studies, the talk discusses opportunities for interpreting open collaboration activities for a UX design project. We present a framework that describes the tools to hand, and advise on when and how to combine them.

    Additionally, we point out how to apply an open collaboration mindset to our design processes, e.g. by encouraging collaboration between different user communities. Codesign activities improve the quality of our concepts and ideas. Co-creation activities improve the tangibility of our solutions and inform product development.

    Attendees will walk away with:
    • a framework and toolset for co-design and co-creation
    • an understanding of how and when to use these tools
    • insights on how open collaboration formats can support prototyping and development
    • practical advice on how to pitch for and organise a project with extended participation and 'co-making’ activities.

    At 2:00pm to 2:45pm, Saturday 25th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron

    Coverage slide deck

  • Natural Planning Model – A Practical Approach to Enhancing Productivity in UX Design

    by matthieu mingasson

    In this talk, we’ll demonstrate that by increasing personal productivity, creativity is enhanced, problems are solved, design is improved.

    Which Information Architect or Interaction Designer never find him/herself in a situation where the whole project seems blocked, entangled in endless discussions with the team about some weird requirements coming from the client at the last minute? Which client never tried to push into the project another of these “great functionalities he saw on the web last week-end” while discussing the final details of a transaction process? Most of the time, you or somebody else will come up with a solution like “We have to get
    ORGANIZED!” Sure. But what does that really mean “to get organized ?”

    In fact, what really happens in these situations is that we naturally step back. We instinctively feel that the solution will only come by establishing a broader view of the problem. What are the user needs? What do the persona say about the usages? What is the communication strategy? What are the core objectives of the platform? Did we considered ALL the options, all the ideas beforehand? In these situations, we’re naturally looking for a higher view and that’s definitely the right thing to do.

    David Allen of “Getting Things Done” fame has developed a method for stress-free performance at work and in life that has been introduced to tens of thousands of people across the world. Allen has created a model that enhances “vertical” focus, a productive way to think of projects and situations. By chance, it is also the way we naturally think and plan when we consciously start a project, may it be buying a new bike, designing a website or investing in a start-up company. The Natural Planning is a flow, a combination of bottom-up and top-down thinking. When you’ll meet another complex situation (some unformulated requirements from a client, a unclear organization in the content, a fuzzy strategy...), you’ll naturally move upward or downward in the flow in order to get either a broader view (defining purpose, outcome visioning) or to verify your options in details (organizing, identifying next actions). The Natural Planning is a practice, like yoga.

    The more you do it, the better you are at it. It’s a way to become more flexible, agile, and quicker at finding creative solutions: defining a better framework (purpose, principles and vision), generating more options (ideating), being more convincing with your team and your client (organizing) and moving quicker into production (next actions).

    At 2:00pm to 2:45pm, Saturday 25th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Closing Keynote

    by Paul Kahn

    Paul Kahn is the Managing Director of Kahn+Associates, a company devoted to information architecture consulting services located in Paris, France.

    His previous activities in the US included director of the Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship (IRIS) at Brown University, co-founder and president of Dynamic Diagrams, as well as holding management positions at Cadmus Communications and ingenta plc. He taught interactive design at Rhode Island School of Design from 1994-2001, and since moving to France has taught at Ecole nationale
    supérieure des beaux-arts; École nationale supérieure des Télécommunications; Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne; Institute HyperWerk, University of Applied Sciences, Northwestern Switzerland, Academy of Art and Design, Basel (CH); and at Media Lab, University of Art and Design, Helsinki (Finland). Since 2005 he has been editor of the annual NEW Magazine, International Visual and Verbal Communication.

    At 3:00pm to 4:00pm, Saturday 25th September

    In Salon de l'Aveyron