Call for Sponsors

December 23, 2011

We are currently looking for global sponsors for the first ever World IA Day. World IA Day 2012 Global Sponsors can choose from several global and local packages that are designed with maximum ROI – as socially networked and personal as the conference itself. From official Twitter mentions to video podcasts, you’ll find innovative, sustainable, cost-effective packages suited for every level of investment with the added bonus of a global reach.

Who should sponsor World IA Day?

• Advertising agencies
• Content development, management, and taxonomy vendors
• Design firms
• Search engine optimization and Internet marketing companies
• Social media solutions: wiki, blogs and application providers
• Software vendors
• Training and professional services partners
• Universities and educational workshops

Need more information about sponsorship?

Please contact:
Noreen Whysel
1 (917) 826-9644

Organize an Independent WIAD Event

December 12, 2011

Recently, 14 locations for the first ever WIAD were announced. These 14 events are going to be robust, interesting, and tailored to your region’s needs. Some of you will be right in those cities on February 11, and others of you will be planning trips to attend one near you.

That said, we do understand that “global” means much more than 14 cities, and sometimes “local” isn’t local enough when your closest event is 7 hours away.


An Invite to “Do It Yourself”


With this in mind, we would like to extend to local IA communities that may not be able to participate in one of the 14 official events support in planning their own independent WIAD event. By providing the 14 guiding topics and the suggested event formats listed below, we are hoping that many of you will cobble together your own meaningful WIAD that will help curate a world where everybody, everywhere understands why Information Architecture is such a valuable and powerful way of approaching complex information challenges.


What Should I do to plan a WIAD near me?


Your event could be as informal as a quick meet up, or a full-fledged un-conference – depending on what you and your peers want to do to build and how you seek to welcome new faces into your local IA community. Working with other leaders as well as new people in your community is encouraged over trying to orchestrate an event yourself. We do ask that you do not organize an event in a city where official events are already planned – rather, please reach out to those coordinators and offer to assist them with the events already in the works.


Will I get funding or marketing help from WIAD and the IAI for this?


While we will not be able to offer financial or marketing support to these non-official events, we do hope that hosting your own independent WIAD day event focused around the 14 Topics will be something some of you choose to do to promote and support global understanding of IA while building important and meaningful local connections.

Please do keep us posted at with information about your independent events  (press releases on non-official events will be posted to the main WIAD website news area if requested). Any question you have around organizing your own WIAD event can also be directed to this email address.


Mix & Match Format Suggestions


Independent Coordinators can cobble together their specific WIAD day based on the needs of their local community as well as their preferences, strengths, and resources. By using one or more of these formats, the day can be as traditional or off beat as desired.

Traditional Conference / Symposium


Case Study / Paper Presentation

Poster Session

Classes / Workshops

5 Minute Madness Wrap Up

Curated Lightening Talks OR Pecha Kucha

Knowledge Cafe

Book Discussion / Literature Circle

Hacker Fest (Minus the Hacking, plus the IA Problem Solving)




Local Connections. Global Impact.




1 Theme, 14 Topics Announced for WIAD 2012

December 5, 2011

Theme: Designing Structures for Understanding

To guide the rich global IA conversation that will happen on February 11, 2012, Thematic Chair Jorge Arango has developed 1 Theme and 14 Topics for World IA Day. As each WIAD will be different, some locations will address all of these topics, where as others may choose to focus in on only a few. Stay tuned to your closest WIAD event for more information on how these 14 Topics will guide your local conversation.

Structures for Understanding

1. Determining what it is we want users to understand
How do we find out what it is that we want users to understand?
Figuring out organizational objectives and mapping them onto the user’s existing mental model.
How do we want our user to experience the world differently after interacting with our product/service?

2. Understanding users
How do we figure out who our users are and what drives them?
What is the typical user’s mental model?
What cultural factors influence the way they understand things?

3. Designing structures for understanding
How do we actually go about designing a structure that facilitates understanding? Is there a process behind this? Accepted methodologies?

4. Communicating structures for understanding
Once we have determined the best path to understanding, how do we translate it into artifacts that users can interact with in the real world? Beyond wireframes and taxonomies — how do you represent structures for understanding as they apply to other (e.g. Non-digital) channels?

5. Textual and non-textual semantic structures
How do you achieve consistency and coherence in communications using non-textual elements, such as images, audio, tactile surfaces, etc.?

Context & Content

6. The impact of context on the process of understanding
Where context can be broad (e.g. Cultural differences) or very specific (e.g. This is how we do it in this company during this time of year).

7. Bridging cultural gaps in our structures
Can taxonomies be translated? Can understanding me mapped across cultural divides?


8. Employing multiple channels to promote understanding
What tools are available in our palette beyond the digital channels that IA has been traditionally associated with? How do you convince business stakeholders that coherence is necessary?

9. Bridging the gap between channels
How do you achieve coherence and consistency when the user is engaging with disparate channels at different times?

10. Designing for multiple channels
How do you actually design a structure for understanding when it spans multiple channels? How do you mock it up? How do you represent it?

11. Validating the effectiveness of cross-channel structures
How do you test structures for understanding when they span multiple channels?

12. Making the best use of each channel / medium
How do you select the most appropriate elements for each channel? How do you convince business stakeholders that channels should be focused on what they do best?

Commerce & Understanding

13. Understanding as an objective for the organization
Do we have buy in from business stakeholders on understanding as an objective? Is there a difference between understanding and engagement, and is that difference clear to stakeholders?

14. When objectives call for obfuscation
What do we do when understanding is contrary to a project’s objectives? (aka “With great power comes great responsibility”.)