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…­ging:User-Gen­er­at­edInfor­ma­tionArchi­tec­ture

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.

9 thoughts on “Rough notes for Jesse James Garrett — Keynote”

  1. Pingback: Leapfroglog
  2. I was­n’t at the work­shop, but I saw Jesse speak in the fall of 2005 in Ams­ter­dam. He pre­sent­ed some of the instru­ment­ed inter­faces stuff back then too. Thanks for the notes. I’ll be sure to check them out!

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