Intro 2

The Latest…

Teaching IA in Chicago (3/20/2018) - I’ll be in Chicago over the next few days for the 18th annual Information Architecture Summit. This year I’ll be leading a few sessions: Tomorrow (3/21) I’ll be teaching a full-day workshop on the essentials you need to know to get started with information architecture. This workshop has a lot of content, but also includes […]
Mastering Systems Diagrams (3/19/2018) - Photographers have a catchphrase: “It’s not the camera you have, it’s what you do with it.” (You sometimes hear this variation: “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer.”) What this means is that the tools you use are less important to outcomes than your degree of mastery over the subject. An experienced photographer will make […]
What is an Information Environment? (3/18/2018) - If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’ll know I often use the phrase “information environment.” This isn’t a word pair you’re likely to encounter in many other contexts, so I think it’s worthwhile to peg it down. The phrase is composed of two relatively common words: information and environment. You probably have […]
Two Phase Transitions (3/17/2018) - It’s been a little over four years since my family and I moved to the SF Bay Area. Before the move, I reached out to my friends here to let them know I was coming and to explore collaborations. Chris Baum was one of the first to respond. I’d known Chris had started a design […]
Bringing Systems to Life in Fort Mason (3/16/2018) - Systems theory can be quite abstract. I’ve set for myself the challenge of making the subject come alive for my students at CCA. This week, we covered simple dynamic systems. (“Clockworks” in Ken Boulding’s classification scheme.) To help make the subject tangible, I led students on a field trip to Fort Mason. We visited The […]
The Value of Mapping Semantic Environments (3/15/2018) - You hear about it all the time: an accomplished designer joins a large company to lead their design efforts, only to leave disillusioned and frustrated after a relatively short stint. These are smart people and great designers. They’ve come into the situation with the best intentions and have put their credibility on the line. This […]
What Keeps You Up at Night? (3/13/2018) - Very few people are perfectly at ease. Most have something that worries them. Their kids’ education. Their job security. A big upcoming expense. A pending medical procedure. The success of a big project. You get the idea. Their degree of agency over these things varies. Some they can’t do much about. (For example, their job […]
Extraordinary Evidence (3/12/2018) - If you say you’ve just been to the doctor, my default stance will be to believe you. But if you say you’ve been in an extraterrestrial vehicle where little gray beings ran medical tests on you, I’ll need more than your word. The claim you’re making (aliens!) is so far outside the bounds of what […]
Design Systems and Emergence (3/11/2018) - Every once in a while you’ll hear that the editors of the Oxford Dictionary have nominated a particular word to be the “word of the year.” (In 2017, it was youthquake.) Have you wondered what that’s about? Aren’t dictionaries the standard reference on the language? Why change them? There are two approaches to curating language: […]
Staying Relevant as a Digital Designer (3/10/2018) - My family does movie nights on Friday evenings; we all sit in our living room and pick a movie to watch from one of the online services. Before the movie, we see trailers for other movies or YouTube videos. As my kids get older, the latter have become a bigger part of the program. Most […]