March 2009 Archives

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

| 1 Comment

"I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same." — Suw Charman-Anderson

I signed up and pledged to blog about a woman in technology. Turns out 1832 other people have also signed up. I wanted to blog about Dr. Lene Vestergaard Hau, a Danish physicist who works in the field of quantum physics.

I worked with Lene Hau when I was a librarian at the Rowland Institute for Science in Boston, around 1997-2000. Lene ran the group working on atom cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation. While I and her team were working there, they slowed the speed of light! I remember walking into the Institute one morning, and the team had put up a spoof of those Volkswagen Beetle ads that said "0 to 60? Yes.", but with numbers for the speed of light: "300,000 km/sec to 17 m/sec? Yes!" Eventually they were able to stop it.

Lene now works at Harvard University. She has published numerous scientific articles and papers, and was honored with Harvard University's prestigious Ledlie Prize in September 2008. She was Elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on January 16, 2008.

In 2002, John Preskill wrote a poem about her, called Lene Hau.

I admire Lene for her amazing achievements. Physics is a branch of science that is still dominated by men. Lene is incredibility smart and talented. She has risen to the top of her field. I'm proud that I was able to work with her for the little bit that I did.

You can learn more about her on her lab's page at Harvard and on her wikipedia page.

--- Originally posted on the Adaptive Path Blog ---

About a year ago, Jesse came to me and suggested I change my title from Information Architect to User Experience Designer. He gave a number of reasons, but none of them resonated with me. I clearly remember commiserating with some dear friends at the IA Summit 2008 about this proposed change in title.

I didn’t want to give up the title. I considered myself an information architect first and foremost. I’ve called myself an IA for nine years now. I was proud of the name. It was who I was. So I didn’t change it.

In Memphis this past weekend, at the IA Summit 2009, I spent a lot of time talking with first time attendees and those new to the field of information architecture. I hosted a round table at lunch for those new to IA. They were a great table, with tons of questions.

One of the things they really wanted to know was how to become a great IA. My answers surprised me. I didn’t tell them that they had to master multi-faceted classification or be able to generate thesauri and controlled vocabularies from scratch. I didn’t tell them about stencils and templates for making better wireframes.

I told them how important it was to listen to the customers of the organizations they would be working for and to deeply understand their behaviors and motivations. I told them to be champions for the user. I told them to listen to the pain of their clients, and think about how their designs could ease it. I told them not to go in shouting about CVs and classification and indexing and how their clients were doing it all wrong. Be subtle, I said. Listen for their needs. Present classifications and metadata and all that cool stuff as the way to get your designs implemented, not as an end in and of itself.

And I realized… I wasn’t telling them how to do good information architecture. I was telling them how to do good user experience design. I realized while I love IA, and it is my core competency, it is also only a small part of what I do.

For that reason, I am taking on the title of User Experience Designer.

The Semantic Web

Today I am giving a talk at the IA Summit about the Semantic Web, called The Semantic Web: What IAs Need to Know About Web 3.0.

It's hosted here on Slideshare:

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2009 is the previous archive.

June 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Recent Comments

  • Laura Zucchetti: Speaking as someone who started out as a jack of read more
  • Kate: Hey Chiara: This is a wonderful post. I am so read more
  • Lisa Paul: Wow. This is great. I always try to shop proactively read more
  • Elisa Camahort Page: Thanks Chiara!! Hope we will see you in Chicago this read more
  • Chiara: Hi Conner- That's great that you are happy with the read more
  • Conner Versione: I used these guys for my website They did read more
  • Conner Versione: Conner, I used these guys to add a video to read more
  • Mamacita: Wow, I've been quoted! Thank you so much for those read more
  • scotter: Yes, I guess that anger hangover is right. read more
  • anger hangover: i've been blogging for a few years and i don't read more
Powered by Movable Type 5.04