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Desiring Ecologies: Meaning-Making in the Network Wilderness

About the Talk

April 24, 2015 4:00 PM

Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis, MN

As networked information ecologies get more complex, interdependent, and unpredictable, designers must focus on the simple, foundational, and emergent. Connected networks are growing beyond our ability to grasp them as a whole. The big changes will catch us by surprise. Our best chance to positively impact these systems is by influencing the creation of effective small pieces that work as part of a holistic ecology.

This talk will explore the changing role of the information architect in the emerging wave of connected computing. It will propose strategies for reframing the way we approach information design in order to better create enriching and empowering experiences for users. We’ll look at examples from technology, cultural movements, and nature in order to frame a set of guidelines for creating systems that desire collaboration and clarity as an innate function of their underlying nature.

Session Takeaways

  • Why emergent, non-linear systems continue to (and will continue to) surprise us
  • How simple structures loosely coupled leverage information in the environment to produce complex behavior (we’ll draw examples from nature, network architectures, and social media)
  • Core principles for designing for emergent desiring ecologies: hierarchy, modularity, redundancy, generativity (with a practical example of what these looks like in action)
  • How to incorporate an ecological approach to IA into traditional IA practices

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