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Welcome! TUG Notes: IA News & Insights

Greetings from The Understanding Group! We hope you enjoy this issue of TUG Notes.

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25 Hours with Richard Saul Wurman

A headshot of Dan Klyn

By Dan Klyn

After accompanying Mr. Wurman to three speaking engagements in Grand Rapids, Dan identifies a thread that connects RSW’s talks all the way back to his original TED gatherings.

Read the full article.

Developer versus IA

A headshot of Joe Elmendorf

By Joe Elmendorf

Joe shares the challenges of being both a developer and the information architect of the same project. Can it be done? SHOULD it be done?

Read the full article.


Mental Modeling for Content Work

A headshot of Dan Eizans

By Daniel Eizans

Daniel gives a crash course in contextual inquiry, affinity diagramming, developing personas,and mental modeling. These slides, which accompanied his two-day workshop at ConFab,provide a high-level view of the process.

See his slides.

BONUS material:

Contextual Inquiry, Work Modeling, and Analysis from the Center for Dental Informatics at University of Pittsburgh

Speaking of crash courses, we thought you might enjoy the 13-minute video produced by the University of Pittsburgh that inspired Daniel, who kindly shared.

Webinar: Persona Development 101

By Jessica Duverneay, Kris McNeil, and Daniel Eizans

Learn why personas are a proven tool for overcoming our internal biases and understanding what it takes to provide a great experience for multiple audiences. Co-presented with Rubenstein Tech for the Ruby Law Thought Leadership Series by Jessica DuVerneay, Kris McNeil, and Daniel Eizans.

Watch the webinar


How to Make a Concept Model

By Christina Wodke

UX community treasure Christina Wodtke taps into the work and wisdom from some of the community’s leading teachers of the craft (as well as a couple of us honored-to-be-included TUG folk) to show her how they would approach crafting a particular concept model. She tells an engaging story and shows how their styles merge and diverge, and how she learns from all of their approaches along the way.

Andrew Hinton notes how “so many said they prefer to work through concepts with circles, blobs, or other simple shapes, which I found validating since I’ve always preferred that, too. In Stephen Anderson’s words, “I always start with circles because edges mean something….Circles leave room for play.” Right on, Stephen! Enjoy this lovely gift from Christina, and while you’re at it, keep browsing at Boxes and Arrows, a vital organ of UX knowledge.”

Read the full article

Exploring the Phase-Space of Information Architecture

By Marsha Haverty

This one goes deep, and well it should: how can and should we twiddle the dials of linguistic and perceptual information in the work we do toward understanding? As Haverty breaks it down for us in this three-part series for Thomas Wendt’s new online journal Praxicum, the answer might have something to do with “phase-space.” When people work with water, the approaches are different in the phase-space of ice than the phase-space of vapor. Is there a similar sensibility in our work with information?

Read the full article

The Present and Future of Information Architecture

By Timothy Jaeger

Jaeger wonders whether the job of an Information Architect has been problematized by the rise of UX design, and asks Peter Morville, “founding father” of Information Architecture and TUG advisor, about where the field is headed.

Read the full article


By Karen McGrane

While Peter Morville speaks of our being in the “era of service ecosystems” in his interview with Timothy Jaeger, in this post, McGrane explores the implications of creating content that has to live in multiple places within these ecosystems. Now that the “preview button is a lie,” she makes the case that “the form that content takes depends as much on CMS as on CSS.”

Read the full article.


Giant Conference

June 11-13 – Charleston, SC

DUMB by Dan Klyn

UX Thursday – Detroit

June 26 – Detroit

Ducks, Weenies, and Decorated Sheds by Dan Klyn


September 25-26 – Chicago

Because of McLuhan by Dan Klyn

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