Design leaders steward understanding

Leaders are stewards of an organization’s understanding — of itself (objectives, methods, values, social dynamics, etc.) and its context (customers, stakeholders, market, competitors, regulations, etc.) If you want to lead, you must learn to drive understanding.

Information architecture builds shared understanding. At its core, IA is about organizing information to make sense. As such, IA generates value beyond producing “deliverables”: it also drives clarity and alignment. Design leaders who understand this can make better decisions more confidently.

This workshop introduces IA tools and practices for design leaders, focusing on sense-making and strategic alignment. In particular, you’ll learn to model semantic distinctions and how to use them to articulate coherent narratives.

Who this workshop is for

The workshop is aimed at designers new to leadership. They’re expected to have a background in design but it doesn’t specifically need to be in interaction design.

Topics covered

  • The foundations of information architecture
  • Conceptual modeling for shared understanding
  • Aligning design efforts with strategic directions
  • Using language and metaphor to influence behavior


Hands-on exercises throughout the workshop focus on gradually building and validating a system conceptual model. We cover how these practices address real-world challenges and how to integrate them into your work.

Participant take-aways

  • How to do research in service to designing effective IAs
  • How to model and validate meaningful distinctions
  • How to drive alignment and change by effectively articulating those distinctions

Please email me if you have any questions.