Trip Report: IA Conference 2007

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Stuttgart, fr. 09 - sa. 10th nov 2007

Participants MPDL: Rupert Kiefl

Notes have been taken by Rupert during the conference. Note: The conference website available here. Please ask me for Presentations if you are interested.

The field of information architecture is not yet in place here in Germany. So the scope is a broad one ranging between web development, web design, project management and usability. Even architecture was touched when it came to specific information architectures like the „Value Lab“ of the ETH Zürich.

1st Day[edit]

Wolf H. Nöding „IA-Methods“[edit]

The value of information architecture for project stakeholders was pointed out. IA is involved when typical Problems of an IT project arise:

  • content silos
  • information bottlenecks
  • insufficient information infrastructure

Project related methods of IA were introduced shortly:

  • Wireframing
  • Card Sorting
  • Infoflow chart
  • Use Cases
  • Personas


Frank Heidmann & Steffi Hußlein: „Corporate Interaction – design of in interaction design pattern library for telco services“[edit]

This presentation was useful since it is related to the eSciDoc pattern library. On the contrast Heidmann develops his pattern library for the Telecom to establish consistent standards for corporate interaction. The interesting topics for MPDL were:

  • Additional Pattern Categories:
    • Antipattern
    • Best Pattern
  • Pattern flows
  • Nomenklature
  • Prototyping with Patterns


James Kalbach (LexisNexis): „Integrating Search and Browse“[edit]

A user driven approach to both concepts was enfolded. Kalbach argues against a strict separation of search and browse. What to implement depends on each specific situation the user is in.

Common modes of searching cited from different authors:

  • Directed
  • Semi-Directed
  • Undirected
  • Known-item search
  • Exploratory seeking
  • “Don’t know what you need to know”
  • Re-finding

Two general modes distinguished by time

  • Pre Search
  • Post Search


Facetted browsing was subject to his speech too and some interesting examples:

Clustering: http://www.answers.com (Auto suggest with links) http://www.firstgov.gov

Grouping: http://onesearch.sun.com/search/onesearch/index.jsp?qt=Suche&charset=UTF-8


Jens Jacobsen „Informationsarchitecture for audio-content“

A recent dialog Jens had with a voice service from microsoft was analyzed. It turned out that audio has its own demand on usability and the interfaces have not yet evolved like visual interfaces.


Joannes Vandermeulen „Analogies between software engineering and movie making: where does the interaction designer fit it?“

As the role of information architecture is far from beeing established Joannes gave a witty comparison with a lightning cameraman.


Thomas Vander Wal: „Bottom-up Tagging Can Get You to the Top. Tagging and Folksonomies provide a rich foundation for understanding how people think... „[edit]

Thomas gave a very deep introduction in tagging – historically, theoretically and practically.

  • Definition of tagging
  • Definition of folsonomy
  • Relationship between taxonomy and folksonomy
  • Examples of web developments


2nd Day[edit]

Anna Buß: „Komplexe Konzeptionen mit Use Cases sicher und effizient meistern“[edit]

A lecture on use cases with a very practical approach. A project with a lot of use cases was enfolded:

  • forming use cases
  • structuring use cases
  • defining use cases


Jess McMullin: „User experience, design thinking and innovation“[edit]

Basicly the presentation concentrated on mapping methods to problems. Problems especially arise in projects with multiple stakeholders. It is important to bridge competing viewpoints, align project vision, and create a clear understanding of the problems at hand.

  • Card sort
  • Design the box
  • Digital etnography
  • Personas
  • Rapid faciliation
  • Alignment model
  • Process flow
  • Sitemaps
  • Swimmlanes
  • Tagging
  • Wireframe
  • Usabilty testing

Methods were only listed roughly. Jess McMullin focussed more on mapping deliverables to specific business needs or problems.


Jan Halatsch: „Value Lab: Prototype of a physical information architecture“[edit]

The presentation dealt mostly with planning and building the „Value Lab“ at the ETH Zürich.