Rough notes for Jesse James Garrett – Keynote

Adaptive Path intro

  • Big & small clients
  • Elements of UX: “understanding tool”
  • “the AJAX guy”


  • We know little about people, hard to make good guesses
  • IA is about finding ways to make better guesses, but they’re still guesses


  • Card sort: primitive, low tech
  • New approach: just give up, create a system for users to create their own architecture (tagging)
  • Problems (no such thing as magic): insider language, controlled vocabulary non existent, most popular is not necessarily the best, tag spam, tagbombing

How to improve tagging? First step towards user generated IA From explicit IA woes to implicit user generated IA

Example: Amazon

  • Algorithmic architecture
  • Individual and aggregate data combine to create generated IA

Next step for algorithmic architecture

  • use them in the right place
  • make them transparent to the user

Better data

  • Two flavors: about content (metadata) and about users (now: user research, in thee future)
  • Usability testing is like blind man’s cane
  • Better canes aren’t the answer, make the blind see
  • Instrumented interfaces: having a site be a continuing experiment and feed back data to designers
  • Example of Amazon URL: domain, CMS junk, prod. ID, interface tag, session ID
  • Interface tag tells you where users were clicking on a page
  • Search results: use query ID, tells you about search terms used

Example of baseball statistics

  • Start simple, then go to basic math, then to complex calculations

Getting data isn’t enough


  • Separate behavioral data from Influence corporate policy

Early days

  • Real potential is still untapped, we need better analytics tools

Questions Q Collaborative filtering only tells you what choices were made, not what all possible choices were? A How do we preserve serendipity, don’t get locked in feedback loops? People have been working to reintroduce serendipity.

Q How do we prioritize common knowledge about communicating visited links? A Is it necessary to communicate it? He thinks it’s an open question.

Q Is Amazon now in the business of pushing this tech? A They’re certainly moving in the direction…

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is an independent interaction and game designer who makes things with technology for play, learning and creativity.