A multi-disciplinary team of multi-talented people

What our information architecture consultants share is a passionate belief in the power of IA as a lens for problem solving.

About The Understanding Group

The Understanding Group (TUG) was founded in March of 2011 by Bob Royce, president, and Dan Klyn, senior information architect. Together with the executive team, they guide a staff of 10 full-time information architecture consultants with more than 100 years of IA experience among them, as well as our internal operations staff. TUG also partners with leading practitioners around the world, including Peter Morville, IA consultant and co-author of the best-selling book Information Architecture for the World Wide Web.

As one of the few consulting firms in the world focused primarily on information architecture, we work with companies all over the United States and abroad from our locations in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

TUG founders and information architecture consultants Bob Royce and Dan Klyn
Bob Royce and Dan Klyn, information architecture consultants and co-founders of The Understanding Group

Our values

People are at the core of everything we do at TUG. The layered diagram below shows our company’s approach to our work, from the bottom up. Because we value people—those we work with and those we work for—we practice these principles in our work:

  • Focus on strengths vs. fixing weakness
  • Practice servant leadership
  • Give extraordinary value-for-value exchange
  • Build strength through diversity
  • Value collaboration above individual contributions
Pace layer diagram showing TUG’s company values

Pace layers

According to architect Frank Duffy, the site, structures, contents, and facades of a building change at various rates—a process he calls shearing layers (or pace layers, as Stewart Brand refers to them). This diagram illustrates TUG’s values as pace layers, where the bolded bottom layers are our firm unchanging foundation, and the upper layers reflect our evolving practice as we adapt to changes in technology and the needs of our clients.

Our most recent project with TUG went very well. It was well handled, well managed and successful. The team members from TUG all worked autonomously, such that I didn’t need to worry. It was a pleasure to work with them.”

—Robert Pullin, Head of Digital, Ford Foundation