Desiring Ecologies: Meaning-Making in the Network Wilderness

As networked information ecologies get more complex, interdependent, and unpredictable, designers must focus on the simple, foundational, and emergent. Connected networks are growing beyond our ability to grasp them as a whole. The big changes will catch us by surprise. Our best chance to positively impact these systems is by influencing the creation of effective small pieces that work as part of a holistic ecology.

This talk will explore the changing role of the information architect in the emerging wave of connected computing. It will propose strategies for reframing the way we approach information design in order to better create enriching and empowering experiences for users. We’ll look at examples from technology, cultural movements, and nature in order to frame a set of guidelines for creating systems that desire collaboration and clarity as an innate function of their underlying nature.

Responsive Information Architectures

This talk explores the evolving relationship of content, taxonomy, wayfinding, and context in order to propose a practical strategy for designing information systems across digital touchpoints. Users increasingly expect multi-device and multi-session consistency when they engage with a digital product. At the same time, delivering a consistent experience grows increasingly complex as services and touchpoints diversify and add capabilities.

In this talk, I will examine the responsive and adaptive approaches used in front end development and map the core insights of responsiveness and adaptability to key tasks in information architecture. I will show how responsive information architectures offer a solution to the challenges presented by contextually complicated information spaces by creating robust content driven systems designed to be articulated across contexts.

By situating these principles in real world examples, I will provide attendees with both the practical insight to apply these strategies to their own projects and the vocabulary and understanding needed to get buy-in from teams and stakeholders.