Since 2000, my experience in the software and web design fields have shown that content is often used as a salve to fix bigger communication and interaction problems. I moved into information architecture to ensure that companies use their dollars most effectively, plan correctly, and execute the user experience and information architecture phases efficiently.
With a Masters of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, my focus is on user needs in content management systems (websites, intranets, and other CMS projects), digital asset management systems, and digital libraries.
My approach can be summed up in one word (repeated 3 times): collaborate, collaborate, collaborate.
It makes no sense to work in a bubble only to expose a design to the light of day and be rejected (yes, this is experience talking). No matter what’s included in the scope of the project, I take a collaborative approach to each deliverable.
When applicable, my approach can include:
- Educating the project team about user experience, information architecture and what deliverables are for and how they help.
- Interviewing stakeholders and users to discover business needs, concerns, frustrations (and dare I say hopes and dreams?)
- Producing deliverables while working with others and asking questions (ensuring the work product is desirable and do-able)
- Presenting the deliverable and ensuring everyone is informed about the progress of the project or any issues
- Incorporating feedback to respond to the project cycle
I find that UX projects are most successful with the right mix of UX research and strategy and information architecture and design. One area of resistance I frequently run into is clients wanting to create a user-centred product or website, but not wanting to do user interviews. If you want to create a user-centred product or website, be prepared to reach out to your users.