It’s fun to track trends in IA. A lot of IA thinking originates in user centred design. The case for balancing user goals with business objectives has been made for quite a while (one of the most clear examples is in Jesse James Garrett’s diagram). The concept of a strategic IA has been gaining critical mass. At the summit, there were plenty of speakers pointing out the importance of being able to make sure your designs are perceived as relevant within a business context. This means (some if not all) IAs will have to come to grips with icky subjects such as ROI and conversion. But it’s also an excellent opportunity to finally justify doing more research. Marketing has gotten this right a while ago. Research before and after the actual realization of an architecture will enable IAs to make more informed design choices and measure the success of those same choices when the architecture is built. Getting comfortable with tools and techniques ranging from analytics, online marketing experiments to surveys, ethnographic enquiries etc, will be essential for strategic IAs. After all, it’s all about the
Speakers on strategy during the summit: Eric Reiss, Olly Wright, Ariel Guersenzvaig and Jared Folkmann.
- Eric Reiss is worried about strategic IAs loosing touch with traditional ‘little IA’ tactics. Is it realistic to expect IAs to be both expert strategists and tacticians?
- When we start to talk about users in stead of customers, won’t we loose sight of what they want to buy and only think of what we want to sell them?
This is the first post on themes spotted during the Euro IA Summit 2006, other posts will be on social search, process & deliverables, involving the client and accessibility. My first post-summit post can be found here.