Information Architecture Institute

Integration: Designing for Tomorrow

Sep 30–Oct 2 | Philadelphia, PA
Early Bird Registration Closes September 1 | Program Announced on August 1
Register Now
Pre-Conference: September 30th
  • Pre-Conference Registration

    Workshops will be held at messagefirst. Get the address and directions here.

  • A Practical Approach to Designing Valuable Meetings

    Presented by Kevin M. Hoffman, Kate Rutter, Dave DeRuchie, Brett Harned

    As long as anyone can remember, business meetings have been considered boring and dreaded time-wasters. In recent popular business literature, they’ve been dubbed “toxic.” But things can happen during meetings that don’t take place anywhere else in a project: light bulbs go off during energetic discussion, long standing conflicts can be resolved, and working relationships grow in positive and unexpected ways. Good meeting design creates an environment where those things and many more are possible.

    Running well-planned, purposeful and engaging meetings is a skill, and we want to practice with you. During this day-long workshop, presenters will discuss the role of meetings in their work and teach you tested, successful (and a few unorthodox) approaches to creating value at meetings. We’ll cover meeting types and strategies as they relate to the entire life-cycle of a project, with focused discussion and activities related to:

    • Project definition and kickoff
    • Collaborative design activities
    • Deliverable presentations
    • Post-mortem and follow-up
  • Designing Communities of Care:

    Strategic Social Interaction Design for Healthcare
    Presented by Amy Cueva

    Social Interaction Design (SxD) is all about designing complex ecosystems that support conversation, collaboration, intimacy, and play - in short, communities. Academics and game developers have long understood – and leveraged – models of conversation, social interaction, and interpersonal engagement that have yet to filter into the healthcare and user experience design communities.

    Many healthcare providers and startups are eager to capitalize on technology’s untapped potential to serve patients, providers, and payers. They’re rushing to interactive agencies and user experience designers asking them to build PHR’s, EMR’s and innumerable online community sites with little or no attention paid to the quality or usability of the end results or potential issues of privacy and trust.

    This intense, collaborative, team-focused workshop will provide a framework for understanding how those in the healthcare industry can understand communities of care through an exploration of the underlying models of collaboration and conversation. In addition, we’ll present a strategic roadmap with design considerations for creating such online communities in the healthcare and wellness space. By the end of the workshop, participants will have developed a range of high-level strategic concepts that respond to the business need for online communities in healthcare and integrate a fresh, contextual understanding of that space.

  • Opening Reception
    At National Mechanics
    22 South 3rd Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19106

    Come on out for the official IDEA2010 opening reception, sponsored by Mad*Pow. Have at the open bar until 8:00—and then stick around for the Rockabilly Relaunch Party!

Conference—Day 1: October 1st
  • Conference Registration
  • IDEA Welcome
  • Ubiquitous Information Architecture & Gamestorming

    Presented by Peter Morville, Dave Gray, James Macanufo, Sunni Brown
    Ubiquitous Information Architecture

    While the world waits for Web 3.0 and The Singularity, the real action has already begun. Itʼs called the intertwingularity. Itʼs an era at the crossroads of ubiquitous computing and the Internet, a place where information blurs the boundaries between products and services to enable multi-channel, cross-platform, trans-media, physico-digital user experiences.

    The intertwingularity also presents an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine information architecture. Never before have we been able to employ such a powerful combination of networks, devices, and sensors to create and share knowledge within and without the enterprise. This is the complex reality that todayʼs executives and entrepreneurs must navigate. And, while the archetypal ecologies of iTunes and Nike+ offer some insight, weʼre mostly exploring uncharted waters.

    Thatʼs why we need to draw maps. A map is a powerful tool for navigating and understanding physical, digital, intellectual, and social space. It helps us to look, see, imagine, and show. In this session, weʼll explore how experience maps and “IA thinking” can improve the process and product of information architecture, knowledge management, and user experience design.


    As our systems grow more complex, design is changing from a solo activity to a team sport where designers, partners, and users work together to co-create experiences. This participatory design requires new skills and practices. How can you engage more people – including non-designers – in the process, without losing the creative culture and energy essential to success?

    Gamestorming applies game thinking and game mechanics to these business and design challenges. It's a holistic and collaborative approach that will help teams combine design practices like sketching, sorting, prototyping, and role-playing to gain meaningful insights and outcomes.

    In this panel, Gamestorming co-authors Dave Gray, James Macanufo and Sunni Brown will share insights from their new book, and engage in a conversation with Peter Morville about how Gamestorming can address the cross-media challenges of ubiquitous information architecture.

    Following this panel conversation, they will facilitate break-out sessions in which participants will work together using methods like sketching and bodystorming to explore ideas for visualizing and mapping complex, blended (offline/online) products and services.

  • Break & Break-out Sessions

    Gamestorming Ubiquitous Service Design

    Participants in this first session will use methods of gamestorming to explore ideas for visualizing and mapping complex, blended (offline/online) products and services. Facilitated by Peter Morville, Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo, the session is designed to get participants up and moving for the day ahead, while giving them ideas and tools they can use to take on cross-media challenges in their own practices.

  • Going Native: The Anthropology of Mobile App Design

    Presented by Josh Clark

    Think of mobile OS platforms as cultures. Deciding which platform to target and how to design for each—whether web or native—doesn't hinge only on tech specs or audience reach. In an era where consumers suddenly perceive mobile apps as richly personal, where software is content instead of tool—culture matters.

    Every mobile OS has a different personality, design sensibility, and even government. All of these factors determine how well your individual app (and its audience) will thrive, and will have a direct impact on design considerations. For example, how does the prescribed design and paternal culture of iPhone's philosopher-king model fit your app, compared to the frontier-maker culture and bare-bones geek design of Android? And where does the web fit in? In the next year alone, we'll have ten major mobile operating systems to contend with as we design apps. In this session, you’ll discover the cultural and practical considerations of choosing the right platform for your app and your audience—and of crafting a design that works for all.

  • Lunch with Topic Tables
    View map of IDEA2010 Participating Restaurants 11:30-1:30
  • (How Is This All) Going To Work?

    What We Teach, How We Learn, and What Employers Want
    Presented by Dan Klyn, Liz Danzico, Richard Dalton, Amanda Schonfeld, Cindy Chastain, Katie McCurdy, Erin Moore

    An ambitious panel which seeks to illuminate the thoughts, themes, and threads that connect practice and teaching, students with knowledge and job-seekers with rewarding opportunities to practice. 7 short talks representing a wide continuum of UX work and preparation for work, including a graduate student, two teachers, a recruiter, a junior-level practitioner, the director-level practitioner she reports to, and a UX practice manager in charge of hiring for a large company.

    And then we'll ask the panel these questions before opening up the floor: Are there gaps between what new professionals are asked to do in the workplace and how they're equipped in graduate school? How do directors and managers narrow the pool of qualified applicants when filling a UX position? What about certification? What are agencies looking for? And what about the dreaded "mid-career" question: do you need to write a book before you're 40?

    Attendees will have the opportunity to respond to these and many other questions in a break-out activity following the panel.

  • Break & Break-out Sessions

    Designing Our Knowledge: What Does a UX Designer Need to Know?

    In this session, Dan Klyn and company will help to prepare learners, educators, and practitioners for the road ahead. Discussions will focus on equipping UX professionals for the next steps in their careers, whether it is higher education, entering the job market, or moving up in their careers and in the larger community. At the end, participants will come away with realistic expectations and practical insights that will help UX education work harder for everyone involved.

  • We Are All Content Strategists Now

    Presented by Karen McGrane

    The "Best Careers 2009" issue of U.S. News and World Report gently mocked the user experience profession for its inability to agree on a name for itself. Indeed, many job titles seem like a mix-and-match game, mashing up words like "information" and "experience" and "architect" and "designer."

    And now "content strategy" comes around, looking for a seat at the UX table. Some say the profession fills a gap in our professional practices. Others argue that it's just a different name for the things that we already do. In this session, we'll discuss why UX needs content—and how UX practitioners of every flavor can put content strategy to work on their projects.

Conference—Day 2: October 2nd
  • Check-in
  • The Best is the Enemy of the Good

    Similarities in Perfection Between Magic & Design
    Presented by Jared Spool & reed spool

    Ultimately, we want to provide a perfect experience -- one devoid of flaws and full of delight. This is where experience design and professional magic have much in common, as our desire for perfection is behind what's driving us.

    What you may not realize, however, is professional magic has a hundred year jump on experience design. That field's drive for perfection started before the time of Houdini, in the late 1800s. The methods, philosophies, and culture behind their drive has gone through many years of refinement and maturation. There's a lot that today's experience designers can learn from how professional magicians approach their craft.

    In this one-of-a-kind presentation, Jared Spool (who studies design) and Reed Spool (who studies and practices professional magic) will discuss the similarities of these two fields and their drive for perfection.

  • Break & Break-out Sessions

    Designing Elections

    Dana Chisnell and Jonathan "Yoni" Knoll will bring you an exercise in designing for democracy. Join them in a design studio in which attendees will learn the typical constraints election officials face in making usable ballots. Then attendees will take a shot at solving a design problem at the core of world peace. Finally, you'll hear how you can make elections better in your neighborhood.

    How to Build a Successful UX Book Club

    Gabby Hon and Lou Rosenfeld will celebrate the success of the worldwide UX Book Club movement and discuss how participants can organize successful book clubs in their own cities. With authors of recent and influential books on hand, this session will bring the UX Book Club experience and discussion to a larger scale for all attendees.

  • The Importance of Story(thinking) in the Age of Service Ecosystems

    Presented by Cindy Chastain

    In an age of increasingly portable and ubiquitous content, digital products have been liberated from the notion of place. As Peter Morville has written, the lines between product and service have blurred to create multi-channel, cross-platform, trans-media, physico-digital experiences. For marketers, it’s becoming less effective to think about a “drive to”, and for designers it’s not enough to simply design for discreet channels and platforms. People are starting to use products and information in uniquely individual ways. And as products evolve into larger ecosystems, they become systems of services.

    So how do we design for such spaces? How do we get to a strategy for facilitating the best customer experience at the right time and in the right place and on the right channel? And why is this a good thing? How can we grow a service ecosystem in a way that makes sense for customers as well as business?

    Storytelling, as a framework for both strategy and design, is one way to get there. In a world of personalized experiences, we need to begin thinking about multi-strand narratives involving the integration of a digital product in the context of everyday life. Storytelling, used this way, becomes the bridge between the data (flow of information) and the customer interaction (across multiple touchpoints). It can inform “the what” as well as “the how” of product and service design. It helps us coordinate larger, multi-disciplinary teams. And, most important, it helps us build better more personally relevant products and services.

    This presentation will take a look at why storytelling (or story thinking) can help us build (and grow) more coherent and cohesive service ecosystems. Regardless of your role, you will walk away from this presentation with a deeper understanding this new landscape and how story can be an essential tool for framing the way we approach service design.

  • Lunch with Topic Tables
    View map of IDEA2010 Participating Restaurants 11:30-1:30
  • Persuasive Design:

    Encouraging Your Users To Do What You Want Them To!
    Presented by Andy Budd

    Every day we make thousands of small decisions, be it which cereal to buy or which pension scheme to invest in. We like to think that these decisions are conscious and rational. However, the latest advances in cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience show that this is often not the case. We rely heavily on shortcuts and “cognitive biases” which make us highly susceptible to influence.

    By using the concept of “choice architecture,” smart designers can reduce cognitive load and nudge people in a direction of their choosing—a direction that is beneficial to both their users and to their clients.

    This session will look at some of the most common “cognitive biases,” and how sales people and marketers around the world use concepts of trust, reciprocity, social proof, and liking to persuade people to do their bidding. Using examples ranging from architecture to menu design, we’ll see how these time-honored techniques can be employed on the web. The result is not only a site that looks good and is free of usability errors; it’s a site thatʼs designed for the way we think and optimized for the maximum return on investment.

    If youʼre a designer looking to hone your skills or a business owner wanting to increase registrations and site loyalty, this session will teach you everything you need to know to become a master in online persuasion.

  • Break & Break-out Sessions

    Magic Lesson with reed spool

    After kicking off the day with an exploration of perfection, magic, and design, participants will be led in a magic lesson led by reed spool. The session will start with the basic methods of a well-executed trick, and invite participants to refine those methods as a framework for designing experiences—ultimately putting the process of perfection the hands of participants.

    Storytelling and UX Design

    Following her session, Cindy Chastain will guide participants in using storytelling techniques to design for personalized, multi-platform experiences. By contextualizing the integration and flow of information into everyday life, attendees will discover ways to use personal narratives as an approach to designing for a world of multi-dimensional experiences around any one product or service.

  • Web 2.1: Transformers Are Go!

    Presented by Jeffrey Zeldman

    Webkit-fueled smartphones like iPhone and Droid have come along at precisely the moment when HTML5, CSS3, and web fonts are ready for action; when standards-based web development is no longer relegated to the fringe; and when web designers, no longer content to merely decorate screens, are crafting provocative, multi-platform experiences powered by research, strategy, and years of social media know-how. Zeldman will explain why we stand at the dawn of a newer, more mature, more ubiquitous web, powered by standards.