2013 Main Conference Talk
Thirteen years ago Gayle Curtis likened a “Big Information Architect” to “an orchestra conductor or film director, conceiving a vision and moving the team forward.” In the meantime, different-sized IAs gave way to UX designers, but in some shops there is another central role: product manager.
What you may be surprised to learn is that a substantial part of a product manager’s job is…information architecture. Describing a landscape, ecosystem, or roadmap and communicating a set of goals and priorities requires the exact meaning-mapping skills that IA is all about.
This panel features three people trained in IA and UX who are now filling a product role, to discover whether this parallel between “big” IA and product holds in other contexts, to discuss potential career paths, and to take questions from an audience that might be intrigued by the relationship.
About the speaker(s)
Christian Crumlish is a writer, product leader, and information architect. He is chief product officer at Tell Stella, a parenting-support expert network. He is also a mentor at Code for America and StartX, and a fellow in the Rosenfeld Media Experts network. Christian earned an AB at Princeton in philosophy, where he graduated sine laude.
Formerly, he was head of product at 7 Cups, winner of the 2016 Stanford Medicine X Prize for health systems design and the 2019 World Economic Forum Pioneer ward. 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 and The Power of Many,and co-author of Designing Social Interfaces. Christian lives in Palo Alto with his wife, Briggs Nisbet, and an ever-growing collection of ukuleles.
Donna Lichaw is a leadership coach, speaker, author, and tin robot collector. She helps leaders in tech and tech adjacent fields unlock their superpowers so that they can get unstuck, level up, lead more effectively, and make an impact at work and in life. Whether she is working with changemakers at storied tech companies like Google and Apple, innovators at impactful startups and non-profits including WNYC and the Central Park Conservancy, or emerging leaders (especially women and members of the LGBTQ community), her mission is to help people own and bring their best stories to life.
Bryce Glass is interested in the field of mobility services, and currently works as Product Manager at the incubation studio of CoverMyMeds. Previously, he was PM at Aver, UX Lead at Appirio, and PM at Manta. In 2010, he coauthored an O’Reilly book, Designing Web Reputation Systems.