I am absolutely positive that someone was leaning on the Fast Forward button during April because it flew by. It is only now that I am able to see over the paper piles on my desk and talk about my fantastic experience that started my April 2011 off at a brisk pace. In early April, I was privilege to be asked speak at the Polish IA Summit in Warsaw. My deepest thanks to Wieslaw Kotecki, Hubert Anyzewski and all at UseLab for putting together such a terrific program. And, a very special thanks to Magda Wolszczak- Protas who did such an incredible job of coordinating the event on top of taking good care of this clueless American visitor to Warsaw. It was an exceptional experience.
My colleagues have done such a fantastic job of representing the content of the Polish IA Summit that I will refer you to them for specific representations of what we learned over an inspiring two days.You will also find many tweets using #iasw as your search term. The summit hash tag was the most popular tag in Poland for the first day of the Summit on April 7, 2011.
My personal epiphany from the conference was confirmation that the U.S. hegemony over IA/UX/Experience Design, or whatever you want to call what we do and where we do it, has long been over. We’re lucky here in the United States where we have been blessed for years with the thought-leadership of many of the originators of our practice. When we limit ourselves to conferences, meet ups, webinars and other information sharing venues from the continental U.S., it is easy to think that this is where all of the innovative, thought-leadership is happening. Au contraire. The viral nature of the Web has spread the good word far and wide. Our colleagues overseas are blazing many trails with innovative work and forward-thinking.
We service a global community that deserves a global perspective. Such perspective does not come from following the same superstars on Twitter or seeing the same people deliver similar PowerPoint slides at local conferences. I believe that a truly global perspective comes from the experience and intellect of our colleagues overseas. And for this you need to get on the long plane ride and go find it. Here are some international IA events for which I could find links: German IA Summit, Italia IA Summit and the EuroIA.
The IA Institute site, Boxes and Arrows and other professional sites announce other events in Australia, South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. I plan to do what I can to include educational opportunities from outside the U.S. in my professional development from now on as I believe strongly that it makes me a better IA. I hope that you do also. And, in the United States, it is a tax deduction.
Martin Belem on the Polish IA Summit. Martin has done a fantastic job of bringing forth salient points for many of the presentations. He is too modest to talk about his own presentation that illuminated an interesting path from SEO to IA in Five Lessons from an Information Architecture career.Peter Boersma did a fantastic job of sending us on our with with his closing plenary that examined the state of IA and UX, where it came from and where it is going, in UX: (still) the next step for IAs. He also has excellent notes for many of the sessions from the Polish IA Summit.
Claire Rowland and Chris Brown, from Fjord, delivered a thought provoking presentation on extending our concept of design in Designing Beyond the Glowing Rectangle: User Experience Design and Research Implications of the Internet of Things that closed out the first day’s session.
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