Radio Johnny: IDEA 2010

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Show time: 31 minutes 14 seconds

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In this special edition of Radio Johnny, Clifton B interviews presenters from the fifth annual IDEA 2010 conference in Philadelphia.

Ubiquitous Information Architecture


Peter Morville’s presentation, “Ubiquitous Information Architecture,” shows us that IA is not just limited to online experiences, and that truth will only become more obvious in the next few years. Exploring the many ways our discipline reaches to various platforms, across channels, and into and out of the physical world, Peter shows us that what it means to be an IA is steadily changing.

Dan Klyn, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, spoke on the panel topic “(How Is This All) Going To Work? What We Teach, How We Learn, and What Employers Want,” providing both questions and answers regarding how our schools are preparing us for the world of IA, and how changes in the field will be addressed in the classroom.

Peter and Dan sat down with Clifton to talk about how far information architecture has come, and where they see it going in the not-too-distant future.

Information architecture and user experience aren’t just different categories within a taxonomy. You could argue that IA is a subset of UX, or that UX is a subset of IA. But most importantly, they’re different ways of framing overlapping sets of challenges and opportunities.

What does IA/UX [as one job title] mean? Sometimes students and new professionals in our field are going to have to deal with both sides of that slash.

The Best is the Enemy of the Good – Similarities in Perfection Between Magic & Design

Show Time: 19 minutes 11 seconds


In a first for the IA community, Jared Spool brings his son Reed on stage to illustrate the steps toward mastery of a skill. Through a set of impressive magic tricks, Reed shows us what’s possible with dedication and hard work, and the two then give us their own stories of becoming masters of their craft in their presentation “The Best is the Enemy of the Good: Similarities in Perfection Between Magic & Design.” They both later sit down with Clifton B backstage for a little more discussion of their arts and occupations.

To say I’m at that fourth level for everything I do would be completely wrong. As the great Robert Heinlein would say, ‘I am only an egg.

I brought up the idea of the Renaissance Man because before the Renaissance, the idea was that you studied and got really good at one thing. When the Renaissance came along, we realized everything that’s intellectual is connected. So you can’t separate different crafts and skills. So to say that you should specialize in one thing is cutting yourself off.

Going Native: The Anthropology of Mobile App Design

Show Time: 35 minutes 38 seconds


Josh Clark’s new book, Tapworthy, not only dives into the specifics for developing iPhone apps, but the facets of cultures who uses mobile devices—what we look for, what we expect, even how we hope to be seen by others as we function in the mobile world. His presentation, “Going Native: The Anthropology of Mobile App Design,” brings those pages to life by explaining a bit about our newborn subcultures. In his interview with Clifton B, he goes a little further into what makes mobile users so unique.

Cultures love rivalry. You see Microsoft having their mock funeral for iPhone and BlackBerry. It feels like sort of a pep rally: ‘Go Pirates! Go Tigers!’ It’s exactly that kind of sensibility. It goes to show how personally we are attached to these devices, that now we have the same attachment to them that we have to sports teams.

Designing for the iPhone is much different than designing for the iPad. Not just because of the different screen size, but because of the mindset that you bring to the device.

The Importance of Story(thinking) in the Age of Service Ecosystems

Show Time: 14 minutes 14 seconds


Clifton B talks with Cindy Chastain, whose presentation, “The Importance of Story Thinking in the Age of Service Ecosystems,” provides a framework for storytelling as a design tool. Cindy explores stories for products and services in the digital arena, each narrative path consisting of a plot, subplot, and finally event. These three steps carry the development through a cohesive order of action that helps us understand how users will approach these products and services.

Story thinking is a strategy. It’s a way of getting to a strategy.

The big challenge is, we now have a very wide range of possible user touch points. How do we begin to design and design and strategize for growing those kinds of spaces? That’s what led me to this idea of story as a framework.


Show Time: 18 minutes 34 seconds


Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo, authors of the brand new title Gamestorming, have brought together a compilation of activities meant to shed new light on the creative process. The games bring an element of fun to the table, but always toward the goal to find solid experiences for the end user. After their presentation at IDEA, the three met with Clifton B to talk a little more about what they found in their search for meaningful, effective activities to share with coworkers, clients, and users themselves.

Like the Brothers Grimm collecting oral folktalkes . . . we collected all these practices, many of which were written down, but also many that were never written down, and collected them into one book. This is your handbook for getting better ideas, engaging people in your creative process, and to make you a meeting Jedi, a master facilitator.

If a senior executive asks you why we should use Gamestorming, the answer is this: We’re gonna get the same result that we’d get with other activities. Possibly a better result, but at least the same. We will also get that result about five times faster than with any other way that we know of.

Persuasive Design: Encouraging Your Users To Do What You Want Them To!

Show Time: 21 minutes 36 seconds


Clifton B talks with Andy Budd about his presentation, “Encouraging Your Users To Do What You Want Them To!” highilghting the ways we can help persuade users to find the goals they’re looking for. Persuasive design, Andy explains, isn’t about manipulation, but rather helpful hints and nudges that make users see where they want to go, and help them get there as easily and painlessly as possible.

Five years ago, we had to try and explain to our clients what UX was. Now people are coming to us, knocking down the door, wanting to find UX people.

Apple are amazing at making you fall in love with a product before you’ve started using it.


Thank you very much to our sponsors. If you would like to promote your organization on future episodes, please drop us a line!

Clifton B

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