London, United Kingdom

London Skyline

Goodnight London! Our 2016 event is now over, but you can watch the whole thing on YouTube.


World IA Day London was held on Saturday February 20th 2016 at City University, London.

We had a day full of exciting speakers: a nice mix of experienced speakers and new faces. We discussed topics such as data, content strategy, architecture or accessibility, all with a focus on Information Architecture.



Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre
City University London
Northampton Square
EC1V 0HB London


09:30 AM  Registration and breakfast: Sponsored by Pivotal Labs

10:00-10:15  Welcome

10:15-10:45 Adam Scott: Experiencing is Believing

What we really connect with today is not merely bricks and mortar, but rather the experience attached to them. But whether you are a Property Developer or a Designer, how do you really define that ideal experience, particularly given all the channels available? How do we make that whole experience genuinely delightful, individually meaningful and deeply memorable? Perhaps the answer is found 30,000 years ago with a shaman in a cave in Namibia...

10:50-11:20 Silver Oliver: Dangerous Things Every IA Should Know

26 years after the publication of George Lakoff's Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, Silver revisits why the prototype theory of categorisation is still just as relevant today. With lessons from Lakoff and Donna Spencer, Silver will use examples from the BBC, service design, and a certain TV gameshow to review how we create and percieve categories in our mind.

11:20-11:35 Morning coffee: Sponsored by Scroll

11:35-12:05 Nancy Willacy: Building Bridges to the Back-End

Sometimes the hardest relationships to figure out in IA aren't between categories or entities, but between designers and developers. Collaboration doesn't just happen on by magic, but by finding common ground in the way we work together. As the worlds of UX and front-end design collide, so to does IA need to get conversant with back-end development, together devising the design behind the design.

12:10-12:40 Alastair Somerville: Structuring Space

With ideas from cognition research, sensory design and accessibility, Alastair will explore how the physical gaps between us and the digital spaces where there is no content are so important to the building of meaning by users and enabling their personal agency.

12:40-14:00 Lunch and sponsor booths

14:00-14:30 Sarah Richards: Pyjama-based Content Design

Web publishing can involve a lot of dashing about and spending vast sums on lab research. There are ways to get an fairly good idea of prioritised content and structure while you are sitting at your kitchen table, with a cup of tea. Possibly whilst you are still in your PJs (entirely up to you).

14:35-15:05 Gaynor Burns & Vicky Buser: Information Agility: Making structure that scales

How did the team at GOV.UK tackle the IA for a site where the users are ‘everyone’ and needs range from the personal to the professional? Where content is uneven, unpredictable and being constantly added to by hundreds of organisations? Where content is crucial because users have nowhere else to go? Is it possible to create a simple and flexible underlying architecture that is user-focused and can meet a variety of demands alongside a process that is sustainable and can scale?

15:05-15:20 Afternoon coffee: sponsored by YunoJuno

15:20-15:50 James Smith: The Open Road: from Information Architecture to Data Infrastructure

Data is infrastructure for the modern world. Making information accessible, reliable, and discoverable isn’t just about people; it’s increasingly important to make sure machines can understand it automatically as well. In this talk, you will learn where your information lies on the data spectrum, what to consider when making it available, and how to make sure your users can rely on your data and use it effectively.

15:55-16:30 Paul Rissen: Closing Plenary

16:35-16:45  Closing remarks & party directions

from 17:00 After-party at The Easton 



Photo of Adam ScottAdam Scott
Architect, designer and creative force behind FreeState, the award winning Experience Design agency responsible for storyboarding some of the world's greatest brands, Adam's singular approach to the art of communication explores the idea of brand as experience.


Photo of Sarah RichardsSarah Richards
Content strategist, digital consultant, and former Head of Content Design for GDS. Sarah has led high-performing, agile teams (including the team that won the 2013 D&AD Yellow and Black Pencils, in the Writing for Design category), and has a longer and more varied editorial career than she cares to admit.


Photo of James SmithJames Smith
James leads ODI Labs, where he looks at the future of data and how it can be applied to connect, equip and inspire people around the world. He is passionate about using web technology and open data to make a better future for everyone, with a particular focus on the environmental and social benefits.


Photo of Nancy WillacyNancy Willacy
Information architect and UX Lead at Wellcome Trust, the global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. Nancy bridges the gap between design, development, and content publishing helping transform organizations to be digital first.


Photo of Alastair SomervilleAlastair Somerville
A specialist in sensory comprehension and haptic design, Alastair uses his experience from accessibility projects and research to inform new ideas of multimodal user experience for wearables and post-screen interaction in tactile, visual, and audio formats.


Photo of Gaynor BurnsGaynor Burns
As an information architect and product manager, Gaynor spent 10 years at the BBC delivering search and metadata products and is now developing the IA vision for GOV.UK. She takes a holistic view of the IA, UX, systems, planning and organisational change that's needed to deliver the best experience for users.


Photo of Vicky BuserVicky Buser
Former IA and Linked Data specialist for BBC R&D projects, and more recently developing a vision for GOV.UK's information architecture, Vicky's experience spans the broadcasting, media, government, academic publishing, and national newspaper sectors.


Photo of Silver OliverSilver Oliver
Information Architect, metadata specalist, and creator of ontologies and domain driven information architectures, Silver has lent his expertise to the healthcare, broadcast and financial publishing industries.


Photo of Paul RissenPaul Rissen
Senior data architect for BBC News. Currently overseeing the BBC’s relationships with cultural institutions through the Research and Education Space project, he pioneered the “storyline” architecture which creates structured data from traditional narratives, allowing audiences and machines alike to explore networks of narrative using RESTful Web architecture. He developed this first in fictional environments - continuing dramas at the BBC including Doctor Who and Eastenders - and adapted it to news where it has been the basis for new approaches to the presentation of news through the BBC’s website. 


Big thanks to our local sponsors City University, Scroll, GatherContentYunoJunoThoughtWorks, and Pivotal Labs!

Big thanks to Giles Colborne for coordinating all things sponsorship! And to Stephann Makri at City University for making magic happen.


Photo credit: Oliver Charlene

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