Friday, October 29, 2004


This must be going all over the web right now, but I'm going to add just one more reference.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Peter's in IA

Peter Bogaards, of InfoDesign fame, was kind enough to mention this blog on his site. Thank you, Peter! We really should try to get all Peter's in IA together at the next IA Summit.

For those of you here thanks to Peter, welcome! I plan to write down my thoughts on Information Architecture (IA), User Experience (UE) and User Centered Design (UCD), focussing on:
  • UCD methods and processes
  • UCD deliverables
  • user experience requirements
  • web applications
  • Big Information Architecture
  • and e-Government

Let me know if you're interested in combinations of these areas as well, it's always good to share war stories.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Next IA Cocktail Hour during User Experience 2004

I've decided to organize the next edition of my series of Amsterdam Information Architects Cocktail Hours during the User Experience 2004 conference of the Nielsen Norman group.

This gives me the opportunity to have our local IAs talk to their international colleagues, and vice versa. For this event it looks like Peter Morville, from Semantic Studios and writer of the IA bible, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, will join us for a while, until he needs to attend the conference's speaker dinner.

Also joining us is Eric Reiss who beat me in this year's election for the AIfIA Board.
He'll have to watch his drinks ;-)

Other then that we'll see who turns up. I am still looking for a location flexible enough to accommodate a small and a large group.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

End of the page? I don't care!

On the members-only list of AIfIA (the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture) there is currently a debate about the end of the (web) page, and how it affects Information Architects.

This is another reason why I like where I am going: I am trying to specialize more and more into methods, processes and deliverables of IAs. This means I don't really care what medium the end result will be shown in, since the methods, etc. are relatively independent of the medium.

Jorge Arango did pose a relevant statement:
On the one hand, you have a multitude of new devices with different UI capabilities (smart phones, PDAs, RSS readers, etc.), which encourages us to push towards more abstract representations of solutions (eg. wireframes that no longer suggest element positioning in a page, only item hierarchy). On the other hand, the adoption of rich interfaces -- eg, Flash-based sites -- require less abstract (more specific) representations (eg. "wireflows", wireframes plus interaction, animatics, etc.)

We somehow need to reconcile these divergent approaches.

I think this calls for both flexible deliverables that can be mixed and matched, as well as flexible processes, that allow a team to focus on different aspects for different projects. More attention to visual design if the medium is Flash in a kiosk setting, less when the design is for a SMS text alert system.

If flexibility is part of your methodology, you don't care about the end of the page.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Design Engaged

I am looking forward to Design Engaged, organized by Andrew Otwell in my hometown Amsterdam of all places! We've been communicating online for what seems (and must be) years, and have been close to meeting eachother more than once but it never happened. Now it looks like it finally will happen.

Design Engaged will be my first purely design oriented conference, if you don't count Doors of Perception, and I am not quite sure what to expect from the attendees. Previous experience with especially visual designers has been that they're less into models than I am. The scientific, structured kind of models, I mean, not supermodels that they, as a whole, seem to love!

You see, it is my intention to show a lot of boxes and arrows. It will be the first time I'll be presenting our in-house developed user experience methodology, STUX. In fact, it may be the first time anyone talks about it in public, although I just saw a small version of our poster for the methodology in a sales presentation.

The presentation is entitled "Introducing User Experience deliverables to a software company" and can only last 15 minutes, so what can go wrong?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Back in the office

Hi, I'm back. Had a great time in The States, both in New York and in San Francisco. We did two house swaps, mostly arranged through Craigslist and we may never ever go on another type of holiday ever again. That's how cool it is to enjoy life in another place through the eyes of someone who actually lives there. Yes, I realize it might be hard to arrange a house swap when I want to see the deep jungle of Papua New Guinnea, but for city trips they're great. And I love city trips.