Human ability to “make sense” in both sensory and information experiences is learned, then developed through attention and practice over time. It involves acquiring concepts that help us understand and organize our experiences, where language guides and deepens future experiences. IA/design provides clues and patterns that align new experiences with our existing knowledge, helping us wayfind through information spaces and needs.
This talk guides IAs, designers, and developers toward creating supportive environments for sensemaking. It outlines the role of language, symbols, structure, and tools that help us make sense of our interactions with information. It is a journey through aspects of sensemaking in three parts, helping us think about the ways we can co-design experiences and emergent understanding with our users.
Key takeaways from the session:
- Insights into how people “make sense” and form a language around their experiences.
- The role that language and structure play to help people deepen their attention, awareness and sensitivity of a physical or informational experience.
- Architectures and design approaches that reinforce learning and sensemaking.
- How to plan for the information environment itself to sense-make; recognizing a user’s intent and language models in order to reinforce the user’s discovery, information use, and overall experience.
About the speakers
Duane Degler is a partner in Design for Context, a Washington DC/Baltimore-based usable design consultancy. He specializes in the design of sophisticated interactive applications and search experiences, with an eye to making rich data resources usable and relevant. He has led web and software projects for commercial and government clients in the US and Europe. He authored the “Dynamic IA” chapter in the book Reframing Information Architecture (2014). Since 2003, he has focused on the unique challenges and opportunities that arise when designing specifically for linked data and semantically-enabled applications.