January 2009

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In case you were wondering which of the fabulous IA Summit 2009 pre-conference seminars to spend your hard-earned (or hard-begged) money on, look no further than “Beyond Findability: Reframing IA Practice & Strategy for Turbulent Times

It’s being presented by the IA Institute, and includes some very smart, experienced people in the UX/IA world: Livia Labate, Joe Lamantia and Matthew Milan. In addition, it includes little old me.

Hit that link to learn more about the workshop. I’m excited about it — we’ll be digging into some meaty subjects, and stretching our brains about IA. Yet we’ll manage to have lots of practical take-aways and fascinating conversations too.

I’m peeking my head up from the last few bits of holiday time to point out that this is a great rant from Bruce Nussbaum. The first paragraph is terrific enough that I have to quote it in full.

“Innovation” died in 2008, killed off by overuse, misuse, narrowness, incrementalism and failure to evolve. It was done in by CEOs, consultants, marketeers, advertisers and business journalists who degraded and devalued the idea by conflating it with change, technology, design, globalization, trendiness, and anything “new.” It was done it by an obsession with measurement, metrics and math and a demand for predictability in an unpredictable world. The concept was also done in, strangely enough, by a male-dominated economic leadership that rejected the extraordinary progress in “uncertainty planning and strategy” being done at key schools of design that could have given new life to “innovation. To them, “design” is something their wives do with curtains, not a methodology or philosophy to deal with life in constant beta—life in 2009.

That said, I’m not sure I’m that thrilled with “Transformation” either. Because the same philistines who bastardized “innovation” and “design” will turn “Transformation” into something just as awful. Like some tassel-loafered Pygmalion sculpting a sad excuse for a girlfriend out of pie charts and paperclips.

“Transformation” sounds way too much like the self-help books these people (mostly guys) read when they want to improve their memory, pectoral muscles or golf swings.

I’m convinced there will always be a minority who “get it.” And a majority who take whatever “it” is and turn it into a hollow, dry husk of what “it” could be.