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Summary: The Understanding Group welcomes Nancy Weatherford as the VP of Finance and Operations.
The header for The Understanding Group's newsletter. It contains the company logo and a photo of a tugboat pulling a ship.

How Can We Help You?

Nancy Weatherford

Nancy Weatherford, Vice President, Finance & Operations

As we mark The Understanding Group’s fourth anniversary, our goal remains as strong as ever: We help organizations fulfill their missions through creating online places that people want to visit. It’s truly delightful to help organizations like Metro Health, the American Concrete Institute, and the National Safety Council decide what kind of place they want their website to be. If you are planning a website redesign to better serve your users, we’d love to talk with you.

We are growing our staff to serve you better. We welcome Nancy Weatherford to our Ann Arbor office as our new Vice President for Finance and Operations. Nancy is a strong collaborative leader and brings more then 20 years of management experience to TUG.

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headshot of Daniel O'Neil

Making Strategy Work in Agile Environments

by Daniel O’Neil
Sometimes, when an Agile team works on a project in small iterative chunks, they can lose the big picture of the product. Daniel shares TUG’s secret sauce for success in Agile environments.



Practical Modeling Workshop at IA Summit

by Kaarin Hoff, Joe Elmendorf and Andrew Hinton
There are many sorts of models, such as physical scale models of buildings, and mathematical and statistical models, which overlap in many ways. In a recent workshop focusing on conceptual models, information architects Kaarin, Joe, and Andrew taught participants how to make concepts into visual objects we can manipulate, allowing us to explore their relationships, and letting us work with aspects of complex systems.


Dan Klyn Information Architect

Happy Birthday, Richard Saul Wurman!

by Dan Klyn
Dan shares his appreciation for the founding father of information architecture, Richard Saul Wurman, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

BONUS: Get a free reproduction poster design by Mr. Wurman for the 1984 Olympics Access Guide.


headshot of Daniel O'Neil

Plan Before You Build:  Architecting Digital Places

by Daniel O’Neil
In this follow-up to his post on the role of understanding in Agile projects, Daniel shares the methodology TUG uses to create a good fit between the strategy you intend for your cross-platform digital places and what users actually experience.



IA Summit Keynote: New Fields and Feeled Effects

Ted Nelson, the pioneer of information technology who coined the term “hypertext,” delivered a keynote address at the IA Summit in Minneapolis. The 15-minute video of his talk and the transcript are both available. (Note: Mr. Nelson’s delivery is not to be missed!)

Schrödinger’s Prototype

After attending Dan Klyn’s talk on “Strategy and Structure” (see a version of that talk, given in January at Convey UX),  Weston Thompson expands upon what he found intriguing about the four steps of strategy: “[Dan] targeted the truth to be found inside the client, the stakeholder, the product team. And I feel like that’s really only the first step.”

For further reading: See Storify’s version of Dan’s talk via reactions on social media:

The Architecture of a Data Visualization

The Italian news site Corriere della Sera has been working with Accurat, a research and design firm, to tell their stories with multilayered data visualizations. Accurat shares their process, step-by-step.

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

Get started reading the latest edition of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing for the Web and Beyond, by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville, and Jorge Arango.

The first four chapters of the Polar Bear book are now available in their earliest form—”the raw and unedited content.” Buyers also receive future updates and the final book.


O’Reilly Webinar

Webinar — May 28, 2015, 1:00 pm ET (free)

Modeling Context by Andrew Hinton

UX Camp

Chicago, IL — June 6, 2015

WHAT Before HOW: Practical, Lo-fi Tools for Alignment, Planning, & Understanding by Travis LaFleur


Ask a Question

Find out how you can put the what before the how on your next website redesign or e-commerce optimization project.

Contact Bob Royce at today to learn how information architecture can bring structure to your world and understanding to your site visitors.

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