IA Summit 2007: Vegas, Part II

Finally, here’s my somewhat belated wrap-up of the IA Summit, which I attended in Vegas. The conference was absolutely amazing. I met a ton of interesting people from all over the world, including quite a few Seattleites, and had some great conversations. The workshops and presentations were non-stop brain food, and incredibly inspiring. Slides for a number of the presentations are up on SlideShare here, with more coming. Podcasts should be showing up in the coming weeks on the IA Summit blog.

Some conference highlights

  • Leisa‘s suite party the first night, with great company and conversation: Livlab, Andrew Hinton, Dave Malouf, and Jared Spool.
  • Joshua Prince-Ramus’ keynote was a great look into the architectural process. A very similar talk of his is up here at TED talks, including the evolution of the new Seattle Public Library.
  • Twitter. It adds so much to the conference/social/community experience. Leisa wrote a good post on how to get the most from a conference and includes some observations on Twitter.
  • Andy Budd‘s birthday celebration at the Pink Taco. Hanging out with Derek, Thomas, Nick, and even Jared Spool again. Here’s Jared doing drunken card tricks for some Dutch folk.
  • A very moving and mind-expanding talk by Grant Campbell, titled: Utilizing ritual in the design of information spaces for the cognitively impaired. The talk focused on the challenges of interactions with people who have dementia/Alzheimer’s, and how we may need to rethink our traditional methods of organizing information or designing iteractions. The biggest example was that of an advanced Alzheimer’s patient who could barely concentrate or remember anything, yet could participate in the entire Catholic eucharist ritual with complete attention. A great quote from Jesse James Garrett in the discussion afterwards (paraphrased):

    “What if you applied the same design/IA tactics to something like a communion ritual? Like counting clicks to a certain destination… you’d say why not just hand out the wine and wafer to people at the door as they walk in. And you lose the entire point.”

  • Countless other little things that I’ve got jotted down in notes. Microformats, design patterns, data streams, agile workflows… I’ll try to collect my thoughts into some more in-depth follow-up posts.

Any downsides or disappointments? Just that trying to fit in some Vegas fun on top of a jam-packed conference was barely doable, and very exhausting. It didn’t stop me, but it was a very hard bizarro-city to find that balance in.

What a great conference. I can’t wait until next year in Miami.

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