SIGIA-L Mail Archives: SIGIA-L: Impressions from the IA Summit
SIGIA-L: Impressions from the IA Summit in SF
From: AndrXs Sulleiro (andres_at_iconmedialab.com)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2001 - 19:28:58 EST
For those of you who attended the IA summit in SF, I was wondering what have
you learned or taken away from it.
I myself have to say that I have mixed feelings. I'm excited to be part of
this such new and dynamic group of people. I think we have a lot of fun
times ahead and such gatherings do only but reinforce the fact that the IA
community is growing strong.
However, I must say that I was disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too
high (my first IA conference), or maybe I didn't pay close attention to the
program. I found most of the sessions to be too short and stayed at a bird's
eye view on IA. In short, I didn't learn much.
Please, don't read this as if I was trying to toot my own horn. But if you
read this list and a couple others, have some experience on the web, and
reads some books you pretty much know everything that was talked about (with
some exceptions given each others experience and background). Granted not
everybody has the same level of experience, here we have some very
experienced IA's, but most of us now have passed the "overview" phase.
I think that the conference tried to be too many things to all people,
talking about too many things too many times. It was a bird's eye view of
the broad field, it was an overview of IA.
I would have been happier if there would have been less case studies (some
better than others) that went great. I would have preferred people to tell
me how they failed miserably than have them tell me how this was such a
flawless success. They didn't tell me anything.
I would have preferred to have less, 2 hour+, more focused presentations
than many 30 minute presentations. I would have liked to see presentations
on wire frame and blueprint notations, contextual inquiry techniques,
structure generation, and a couple other things. I would rather not cover
everything but go more in depth than get an overview of the field.
There was a lot of anxiety regarding "what is IA?" and I think that won't be
answered soon. It is too vague to define and for now, in my opinion, there
are more important things to identify. There is a broad spectrum of
attributes and skills that make IA. To me some people do this and some
people do that, pick the ones that you like from the bucket and call
yourself an IA. I too would like to see consolidation, accreditation, formal
education; that might make our profession more valuable and easier to
understand, but that is not the case right now.
But I don't want to sound too negative, at least I was able to put some
faces to the names of some of you :)
If you didn't get the chance to go to the pre-conference seminar, then you
really missed out. To me, that alone, made my trip worthwhile.
I hope none of you were offended by my comments, it was only in my best
intentions to be constructive.
Andrés Sulleiro - Information Architect/HCI
700 Goddard Ave • Chesterfield, MO 63005 • USA
Tel. +1 636 530 7776 Fax. +1 636 530 4644
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