I delivered this presentation at the 2013 IA Summit in Baltimore, MD.

Presentation summary:

How do you explain what you do to others? Can you tell when you’re looking at a “good” information architecture versus a “bad” one? Do you know how (or even if) your work adds value to the world?

IAs have great tools and techniques to design information spaces, and various means to convey these designs. However, we have scant frameworks for understanding, explaining, and critiquing our work. Is it good or bad? Do others “get” it? Does it serve user needs? Does it add value?

This session will present a framework for thinking and making value judgments about IA. We’ll also venture briefly onto the minefield of ethics.

Participants will gain:

  • An understanding of what information architecture is good for.

  • A way of distinguishing a “good” information architecture from a “bad” one.

  • Tools for thinking about IA on screens and beyond.