IA should get under the UX tent

That's what Sean Coon is saying at apperceptive's uxDesign. I agree with his contention that vocal IA's should be spending effort cross pollenating and talking big IA. Lou has been doing a lot of that lately as do some Adaptive Path who do IA as one component of their work. But even with the fiery debates that have been going on, I still feel there is a need for something like AIfIA, if only to support IA's that don't have a steady and constant lifeline of IA peers -- I suspect that isolated IA's, like those that have moved into in-house positions with small IA groups will feel this. I also feel that evangelism can make the people holding the purse strings see the light and spend money on IA where it's needed.

Apparently some people also believe that IA needs an egomaniacal figurehead. I agree with Thomas Alison on that one. I've said that a few times in the past few weeks to people I've spoken to about getting business decision makers to understand IA. When I say business decision makers, I mean in the big and maybe boring brick and mortar corporations who need in house IA's to work on stuff like enterprise IA.

Don't know where Sean's rockstar theory comes from. I never wanted to be a rockstar and I never really worked in a traditional library.

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rockstar theory has no clothes

two years ago i was in an evangelizing position as a corporate level ia at a now defunct consultancy. my charge from corporate was to incorporate ia into our individual offices processes (who were designing via uml with business analysts and technical architects at the time) and assist selling ia to clients in project pitches.

in the end, i actually found it easier to pitch ia to individual clients than within our own offices. why? because we (like a large number of corporate development structures) were staffed to support a methodology which did not "explicitly" reference ia and therefore could not incorporate ia into our workflow easily (easily=changing training procedures, overhauling staff, and sometimes just being a tad bit flexible).

you're right michael, the fight does become too political for an individual within a company (i've fallen on the sword for this one), so an outside force -- an institution if you will -- is probably the best true support solution. but will it succeed via a strict "ia" perspective? from my experience, and the evolution of ia becoming more "little," i've come to the conclusion that ia is fighting an extreme uphill battle if it isn't evangelized as one discrete part of a solid user centered (or client centered as it is referred to in the financial industries) methodology (practices, processes, staffing, education, budget, etc.) and group.

AIfIA has the chance to do wonders for ia itself (especially for the growth of the member/community skillsets), my only reservation is the chance it has in changing age old perceptions of a design and development methodology without affiliation with a similarly focused ux group.

and for the record. i have nothing against LIS ia's or little ia's, big ia's or bad ia's, managerial ia's or ethereal ia's. admittingly, i did have a problem with librarians growing up and that obviously needs to be explored in my next meeting with my therapist.

rock on slash. ;-)

"...artistic sensibility must drive the notion of desired experience from which the design of technological components must be derived."

Brenda Laurel
"Computers as Theatre"


More on this at Christina's place.