Workshoppe à la Parisienne

An Introduction to Information Architecture

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 evaluate-and-iterate co-design review of what has been done.

Plenty of coffee will be drank in between, and being the nice people that we are, we will use a few minutes at the beginning to introduce ourselves, who we are, what we do, why we are at the workshop, and what do we expect to take away.

Our dream schedule looks like this:

08:30-08:45: Welcome and introductions
08:45-09:45: An introduction to information architecture
09:45-10:00: Coffee break and question time
10:00-11:30: Hands-on workshop
11:30-11:45: Coffee break and question time
11:45-12:30: Hands-on workshop iteration and review

References will be provided to both books and articles covering both the basics of the practice of information architecture and the various topics encountered during the hands-on exercise.

No computers will be used: we will work with good old plain pens and paper. If you are the creative type and feel lost at sea without your favorite markers, you are more than welcome to bring in whatever fancy sketching aides suit you best.

An Introduction to Information Architecture is a pre-conference workshop at the 6th ASIS&T European Information Architecture Summit (EuroIA 2010). To register, please visit the EuroIA registration form and remember that you can take on the workshops without attending the conference (shame on you though, and your loss).

My Dad's portable Underwood
I'll be hosting a pre-conference workshop at EuroIA 2010 on September 23: An Introduction to Information Architecture. If you think you might be interested in joining us for a few hours of IA and hands-on design, or you are just curious about how the workshop is going to roll, well, this is the right place to be: just read on.

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