IA Summit 2018

I was honoured to deliver a keynote presentation at the IA Summit in Chicago this year entitled ‘Postcards from the Edge’. I have created a .pdf version of it with detailed text. I apologise in advance for the large file size so download it at work.




While at the Summit I participated in the 6th Academics and Practitioners Roundtable. This year the topic was ‘Ethics and Information Architecture’ where I presented a lightning version of the paper ‘Wicked Ethics in Design’.

Thank you and well done to the organisers of both of the above.






Pics by Resmini

04. April 2018 by admin
Categories: Community | Comments Off on IA Summit 2018

Overdue updates…

I haven’t posted in ages. I have a great reason though: I took 2017 off. I highly recommend it to anyone who can afford it (in one sense or another). I did do stuff though. I sold my apartment, put all my things in storage and travelled through Israel then settled down to write a book about information architecture design. It’s almost done.

I did some other things too. Terence and I wrote and presented a paper on strategy design at ICoRD ’17 in India entitled: Conceiving and Applying Relationship Models for Design Strategy. A further version of the paper, co-written by us, was then presented in Hong Kong by Terence at the Design Management Academy International Conference 2017 titled: Experience-led Design Strategy.

In March myself and Dan Klyn conducted the workshop Human-Centered Design and IA at the 2017 IA Summit in Vancouver.

Terence, Tasmin Donaldson and myself put on World IA Day in Johannesburg last year and this year. At the latter I presented some of the new thinking to be included in my book.

Other stuff…Terence and I are working on a paper for a special edition of the journal Philosophy and Technology. We wrote a chapter for a book soon to be published addressing ‘educating citizen designers’ in South Africa and our paper ‘Wicked Ethics in Design’ will be republished in a new book on ethics and design.

Perhaps not much of a year off, but it’s been great just to do research and write. Long overdue but nonetheless, this year I start my MA in Design at the University of Johannesburg.



At the top of Masada in Israel

04. April 2018 by admin
Categories: About | Comments Off on Overdue updates…

UXSA Jhb – keynote and workshop

A few weeks back Terence and I conducted a great workshop on developing human centered UX strategy to a mixed crowd of around 30 people. It seemed to go really well and we received great feedback. At the last minute I was also asked to keynote at the conference and spoke on the same topic. Thanks to the UXSA folks for the opportunities and the fun time.

thumb_IMG_0110_1024 thumb_IMG_0112_1024 thumb_IMG_0106_1024 IMG_0119

27. May 2016 by admin
Categories: Community | Comments Off on UXSA Jhb – keynote and workshop

IA Institute board post


The new board of the IA Institute has just begun its two-year term and I have the good fortune of having been nominated and voted in as the Director of Education. It’s a new, and much needed, position at the institute and I hope to be able to help move things along positively. It’s been great fun so far and my first project is well underway and on track.

23. April 2016 by admin
Categories: Community | Comments Off on IA Institute board post

WIAD 2016

Once again, we have hosted World IA Day Johannesburg and, once again, we had a ball. The line up this year included: Sebabatso Mtimkulu, Ray Whitcher, Rob Enslin, Stephen Hobbs, Nicholas Hobson, Lindi Maritz and Rob Cowie.

The star of the event was Flavia Lacerda who we brought out from Brasilia to present on the topic “Pervasive Information Architecture: designing information  ecosystems for the Internet of Things” It was, as it always is, a complete joy to see her again.

We also used the event to host a ‘townhall’ to discuss the possibility of forming a UX body of some kind for South Africa.


23. April 2016 by admin
Categories: Community | Comments Off on WIAD 2016

UX South Africa Conference

The guys behind the UX SA Conferences have really been doing a great job. For the last few years they’ve been selling out and it’s starting to gain international attention. This year the majority of presentation submissions came from abroad. They’ve also been a great platform for myself and Terence. Here’s some stuff we’ve done at the conferences:

23. April 2016 by admin
Categories: Community | Comments Off on UX South Africa Conference

UX Landscape of South Africa

Last year, Dr. Marco Pretorius, Terence and myself embarked on researching and baselining the maturity of UX in South Africa. It was a huge effort but I think it turned out really well. As part of the project we created the report, published an academic version of the findings, created a website – www.uxlandscape.com – and have also presented the findings (youtube link) at the UX SA Conference 2015 in Cape Town. The contents of the report include:

  1. About the study
  2. Executive summary
  3. Methodology
  4. Findings
    • Part 1: Demographics
    • Part 2: UX Practitioners
    • Part 3: Institutional UX
    • Part 4: Education and knowledge building
  5. Conclusion and recommendations
  6. Next steps

Our intention is now to run this every two years so as to meaningfully contribute to the growth of the field here in SA.

UXlandscape1 UXlandscape2 UXlandscape3 UXlandscape4

23. April 2016 by admin
Categories: Research | Comments Off on UX Landscape of South Africa

Asian Consortium: Hong Kong

The Asian Consortium, part of the Hong Kong 10DAYFEST from the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation, was a great success.

Brief overview: “140 social innovators from all over Asia came to Hong Kong to channel their ideas of social innovation. Founders of social enterprises, start-ups and leaders in academia from 20 countries, more than 25 nationalities have shared their latest projects in the Network Conference, opened the “Living room by Asian Consortium” exhibition, networked in Changemakers Party and joined the local Excursion to experience social challenges in Hong Kong and explore ways to promote social innovation movements here” – view the photo gallery.

Loads more content can be found at Socia.hk

Myself and Terence produced a poster for the “Living room” exhibition through our new company Firma which you can download here in either A3 format or A0 format.

I also had the opportunity to present a bit about Firma and our work. You can view a round up of the trip and the presentation on slideshare.


Above: The incredible Zaha Hadid building where the Institute is situated.


Above: Cool signage


Above: Inside the building


Above: Me presenting on Firma


Above: Prepping our poster for the exhibition


Above: The mesmerising Hong Kong

23. April 2016 by admin
Categories: Community, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Asian Consortium: Hong Kong

Update: DEFSA 2015

This years DEFSA (Design Education Forum of South Africa) theme was ‘ethics and accountability in design’. We submitted two papers. The first, ‘Wicked Ethics‘ and the second ‘The Firma Model’. I think it went well and we definitely enjoyed it.

I’ll post a link to the full papers when the proceedings have been published.

Photo by Tasmin Donaldson


03. September 2015 by admin
Categories: Research | Comments Off on Update: DEFSA 2015

Tokyo round-up: UX Strategy Forum (Sociomedia), Metaphase workshop and IA Camp

The incredible folks at Sociomedia brought me to Japan (along with Dan Klyn and Peter Morville) to participate in the UX Strategy Forum for Summer 2015.

Outside of Tokyo being utterly mind-blowing (the people, the city, the culture) the conference was superb as well. On the first day I presented my work on the Firma Model and on the second, the application of the Model (all work I’ve been doing with Terence Fenn).

Below: Me presenting the Firma Model on day 1 on UXSF, Dan and Peter and myself (plugged in) with the Sociomedia team


Prior to the conference however I had the privilege of conducting a workshop on the use of the Firma Model with staff from Metaphase (one of the sponsors of UXSF). This was particularly interesting as 1. I’ve never conducted a workshop using the Firma Model and 2. I’ve never done it in Japanese. I got really great feedback and the work by the Metaphase folks was amazing.

Below: My workshop with the Metaphase team


Lastly, I was also able to speak at the Tokyo IA Camp organised by ConcentSoyeon Lee had translated my piece “The design behind the design behind the design” into Japanese so I figured it would be good to present that…for two gruelling hours.

Below: IA Camp, Tokyo


So all in all it was really hard work and really great fun. And what a country! I would give anything to go back again. I discovered some of the nicest people in our field and we were treated like royalty. All round, it was amazing.

Below: View from my hotel ala ‘Lost in Translation’


26. August 2015 by admin
Categories: Community | Comments Off on Tokyo round-up: UX Strategy Forum (Sociomedia), Metaphase workshop and IA Camp

← Older posts