In 2002 I passed through a gate labeled “Information Architect” (a smaller sign read “now leaving Content Strategist”) and ever since the IA worldview has informed my approach to the design and building of digital spaces. Since then I passed through additional gates with names such as “Interaction Designer” and “Pattern Detective,” and “Design Manager” among others, most recently a gateway called “Head of Product.”
The journey has (in retrospect) been a quest to understand and build meaningful online spaces, leading up to a startup trying to scale compassion globally.
In this talk I will share how the skills I learned as an IA have helped me on this career journey and through this series of gates in search of meaning.
About the speakers
Christian Crumlish has a decade’s experience leading product teams, with several decades of UX success behind that. He is currently product lead for COVID-19 features at the Office of Digital Innovation of the state of California, responsible for California’s pandemic website. Last year he built a product team at PathCheck Foundation, a volunteer open-source nonprofit privacy-first pandemic solution platform for COVID-19, now focusing on vaccine distribution. He consults on product and UX leadership at Design in Product, where he also hosts a community that explores the overlap between UX design and product management.
Formerly, he was head of product at 7 Cups, winner of the 2016 Stanford Medicine X Prize for health systems design and a 2019 World Economic Forum Pioneer. He has also co-chaired the monthly BayCHI program, was a director of product at CloudOn, was director of messaging products for AOL, was the last curator of the Yahoo design pattern library, and served two terms as a director of the late lamented Information Architecture Institute.
He is the author of the bestselling The Internet for Busy People (McGraw-Hill) and The Power of Many (Wiley), and co-author of Designing Social Interfaces (O’Reilly). Christian lives in Palo Alto with his wife, Briggs Nisbet, and an ever-growing collection of ukuleles.