Philadelphia, PA, United States

World IA Day 2016 Philadelphia

DATE: Saturday, February 20, 2016, 8:00am-4:00pm

LOCATION: University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Find on Google Maps

723 South 43rd Street
McNeil Science and Technology Center
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Brought to you by Platinum Sponsor:

Platinum Sponsor EY Intuitive

(Interested in co-sponsoring? Contact us by Feb. 14.)


Our world is full of information. Whether we are using the latest mobile app, watching the local news, or navigating our way through the post office or grocery store, information is all around us. Because of the ubiquitous nature of information, information architecture is not just practiced by specialists. Instead information is architected by people holding all sorts of titles, coming from all walks of life.

World IA Day focuses on the telling these kinds of stories. Stories of information being architected by everyone from teachers to business owners; technologists to artists; designers to product managers. With representation from 39 countries around the world, we believe that the power of similarity and the beauty of difference between these stories will inspire those who work in information architecture, as well as those who may be new to it.


Come celebrate and learn about the world of Information Architecture at Philadelphia's 2016 World IA Day. We will have a day full of speakers, conversation, connecting, and learning about what the state of the art is for IA in Philadelphia and beyond.

University of the Sciences will host this year's event in their state-of-the-art facility at the McNeil Science and Technology Center.

Our generous sponsors have allowed us to provide food and coffee breaks for attendees throughout the course of the event, as well as the following giveaways.

Raffle Prize Items:

For All Attendees:


Print-friendly driving directions with campus map.

University of the Sciences can be reached via public transportation by taking the green line trolley #36 or #11 to Woodland Ave.

Driving directions from various points can be found here. Visitor parking is located in front of or behind the Athletic/Recreation Center (#4 on campus map).

The McNeil Science and Technology Center is located next to the Athletic/Recreation Center (#20 on campus map).


8:00am-9:00am — Check-in / Breakfast
Join us bright and early for coffee, tea, and continental breakfast available to all attendees courtesy of EY Intuitive.
9:00am-9:15am — Opening Remarks
9:15am-10:00am — What Do User Interfaces Want?
Rob Tannen (@robtannen)

As information architects, we design the future. But what is the future of IA and how do we prepare for it? We could rely on tech trends and best guesses, or we can use scientific theory to inform our predictions. For example, by considering design as a language for communicating with technology, we can look at the evolution of human languages as a model for the future of user interfaces.

I'll envision the future of interaction design at intervals of 5, 50, and 500 years. I'll illustrate how design processes, the design profession, and the focus of interaction design itself will shift for future generations.

Dr. Rob Tannen has 20-years experience in research and design for a variety of contexts including consumer appliances, financial systems and aircraft cockpit displays. He has blogged for over a decade, contributed to Fast Company, Design Bureau, and BloombergTV, and presented at numerous conferences.
10:00am-10:10am — Snack Break


10:10am-10:55am — Powering New Digital Experiences with Content Modeling
Clare Cotugno (@clareco) & Rebecca Deery (@BeccaDeery)

Our clients are at the forefront of digital transformation, and EPAM leads in making those transformations possible. But who creates the strategy behind the content that we are all here to transform? Content strategists! In partnership with UX, Analytics, and of course our endlessly creative developers. It's not always easy to find a way to combine our expertise and make it all happen for our clients—especially when we EPAMMERS are scattered across the globe. We will share how content modeling has become the intersection that enables us all to realize the future of content development. We'll share the ways that Content Modeling is transforming our practice by making seamless, new, data-driven, omni-channel experiences a reality. We will review/define Content Modeling terms, its purpose, and especially its inter-disciplinary demands. We'll present use cases showing how content modeling brings to life cutting-edge and sustainable, cross-channel digital experiences. We will demonstrate:

  • How content modeling can ensure that searching for products online and purchasing in-store are a seamless and delightful experience for consumers.
  • Shaping the most efficient user-experience for intranets and other internal systems so that global companies and their employees can handle any task from anywhere on any device.
  • How through modeling, we help our clients understand a mobile-first mindset and integrate a better way to create and govern content across devices.
Clare Cotugno is Director of Content Strategy EPAM.
Rebecca Deery is Director of UX EPAM.
11:00am-11:45am — The Education of a Designer through Information Architecture: Process, Meaning and Methods
James Pannafino (@JPannafino)

Design is about communication and human interaction, it goes well beyond the visual context. Many times design thinking is focused on how information is structured and less on creating a visual solution that is aesthetically pleasing. How do we educate our designers to understand how to design for the information age and what projects can students create to show this knowledge? This presentation will talk to how designers can better understand information and how non tangible architecture is just as important as standard forms of design delivery. It will discuss how to transition into design thinking for information architecture and the new language that comes with it.

James Pannafino is an associate professor at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. He works in the Art and Design Department where he teaches UX, Motion and interactive design courses. He is the author of Interdisciplinary Interaction Design.
11:50am-12:15pm — Inside Man: Architecting Internal Experiences for Large Organizations
Gerry Gant (@GeraldGant)

Advice for overcoming the challenges presented by complex internal structures. Non-client facing projects are often a complicated battleground where multiple stakeholders fight over everything from budget, business strategy to page level designs. This presentation will feature examples from the "everyday" to edge cases experienced over my years as an in-house IA.

Gerry Gant is a Philadelphia area information architect. Over the years he's had the honor of serving on the PhillyCHI board, as a member of the IAI, and as the organizer of last year's WIAD in Philadelphia.
12:15pm-1:30pm — Lunch


1:30pm-2:15pm — Important but Invisible: What the Aging Workforce Needs from Design
Michael Carvin (@mcarvin)

We all look forward to growing old and the promise of retirement years without worrying about about working. Unfortunately that promise is falling short for more and more. For millions around the world, working almost a decade past retirement age is the new reality. Even more challenging is the jobs these would-be retirees take on often feature tools designed for much younger people.

We're entering a new age of information architecture, where tools we create must work for larger sets of people across age groups. Tools, interfaces, and services must be ready to adapt to shifts in ability, and for that we need different perspectives.

During many field research engagements, I've found I'm the youngest person in the room. (For someone considered "old" in UX, that's saying something.) Through these conversations and discussions, I'll share first-hand experiences learned from interviews with a wide range of folks dealing with these new realities. I'll share how they cope, what they expect, and what designers and developers can do to help. The reality is, we're only helping ourselves down the road.

Michael Carvin is an independent consultant who works to improve the relationship between organizations and their customers. He has consulted with several consumer, financial/insurance, governmental, and non-profit clients independently and alongside some of the east coast's leading agencies.
2:20pm-2:45pm — Backstage: How Invisible Architecture Contributes to a Ballerina's Success
Alicia Raciti (@acr523)

When we think of ballet, we are usually thinking of art and for some people, an opportunity to catch a nap. The world of ballet is architected to allow the dancer to focus fully on their craft instead of the moments, or movement, throughout their day. The nested structure of the day's activities create an invisible architecture which the dancer relies on for their health and the advancement of their skill and craft.

This invisible architecture has worked so well for the dancers and companies, that it has been applied to all 6 major ballet methods used throughout the world. We will examine what that architecture is and how it has contributed to the success of the dancers.

Alicia Raciti is a User Experience Designer based in Philadelphia. She transitioned from music school student to UX designer in the middle of her collegiate career. Now, she specializes in UX design for experts. You can regularly find her dancing around the hallways or at her desk.
2:45pm-3:00pm — Snack Break


3:00pm-3:45pm — IA Is a Team Sport: A UXer's Journey to Realization
Michael Gadsby (@gadsbyo3world)

You know that scene in Mad Men where Don Draper walks into a conference room and wows the folks at Kodak with his carousel monologue? I love that scene. That's who I wanted to be—that guy. The guy who saves the day, comes up with the best and brightest ideas and is ultimately solely responsible for winning the account and making the project successful. As a UXer, I used to feel like that was my job. What I've learned in over 15 years in this industry is that I was wrong. Very wrong.

I've been the co-owner of O3 for 10 years now. In that time, I've seen the Web, application and digital product space evolve tremendously from simple read-only experiences to the complex web of information and interaction it is today. I've also learned that the process of creating effective IA and engaging user experiences cannot and should not be any one person's responsibility. While the role of UX designer and information architect is important and considering user behavior is critical to creating a successful user experience, so too are the thoughts and ideas of front-end developers, back-end engineers, account folks and, of course, our clients, as well.

In this talk, we'll examine the various methods we employ in our creative and production processes to ensure that the IA and overall experience is the responsibility of the entire team - including our clients. I'll discuss past successes and failures in design, development and account management that have molded our current approach. While it's not perfect (and likely never will be), it is a far more inclusive, effective and ultimately enjoyable experience for our team and our clients.

"Gadsby" (as he's commonly referred to) is co-founder and CXO at O3 World, a digital product design and development agency located in Fishtown. He oversees strategy, UX and UI design for O3 and brings over 15 years of experience advising everyone from startups to Fortune 500 brands.
3:45-4:00pm — Closing Remarks



Platinum Sponsor: EY Intuitive


Gold Sponsor: Vitamin Talent


Gold Sponsor: Think Brownstone


Silver Sponsor: Delphic Digital


Bronze Sponsor: Inverse Paradox