Information architecture and UX are practiced as forms of design—the design of products, systems, and desired futures to satisfy human needs and values.
In practice, we use models of “”the design process” that are over 20 years old, if not a half century old. Our field is rapidly changing, and we know that the Double Diamond doesn’t tell the full story of how we work. Are existing models of the design process still applicable to information architecture today? Do we need new process models to help us design changeable and resilient structures for a complex, information-driven society?
For both new and advanced practitioners, this half-day session is both a workshop and a collaborative roundtable where we’ll explore these questions as a group.
We’ll use Hugh Dubberly’s compendium of design process models, and Design Methods by John Chris Jones, as source materials to compare, contrast, and critique historical models of “”the design process”. We’ll unpack core themes and theories that explain why and how design “”works”; discuss personal challenges/tensions we experience in putting a design process into practice; and come away with concrete ideas on how to improve our / our teams’ approach to design. Finally, we’ll look at examples of contemporary, more radical models of design that confront challenges such as system complexity, power dynamics, and ethical responsibility.
This workshop is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of design methodologies, hear insights from peers who experience similar challenges in other organizations, and contribute to a conversation about the evolution of IA and UX practice.
Dan Zollman (Cambridge, MA, US) is an information architecture, UX strategy, and human-centered design practitioner emphasizing design and IA in the public interest.
As an independent consultant, Dan offers clarity and insight for teams navigating difficult user experience problems. He has served organizations in state government (Mass.gov), higher education (Tufts University), finance (Vanguard), and the nonprofit sector.
Dan is a student of responsible, ethical, and systemic approaches to design. His contributions to IA theory and practice include a chapter in the recent book, Advances in Information Architecture (Resmini, Rice, & Irizarry, 2021).
As a community leader, Dan has organized the World IA Day Boston conference, co-organized the IA Academics & Practitioners Roundtable, facilitated discussions and events on ethical design, and held multiple presenter and volunteer roles at the IA Summit/IA Conference.
Molly (NH, USA) is a multidisciplinary designer with a human-centered approach to all facets of the design process. With a broad range of experience, from research and design systems, to motion design and illustration, she enjoys creating experiences that are dynamic, engaging, and humanist. She has been working on design solutions for agency clients for a decade, and at Last Call Media for over 4 years. She earned her BFA in Graphic Design and enjoys cooking, drawing, and film photography in her free time.
Julie Cohen (Baltimore, MD, US) has provided human-centered design solutions to agency clients in the public and private sectors. Currently part of the design team at Last Call Media, she has experience in end-to-end product design, from strategy and research to prototyping and interface design. Julie has a special interest in civic data and open-source technologies, and she has contributed to online communities for emerging product designers.