Trends for 2014 – Being ambitious


After reviewing submissions for IA Summit 2014 it occurred to me that this might be a good opportunity to think about trends. IA summit is where some of the best minds in IA gather, so the proposals for talks and workshops should represent some dominant themes and concerns. Right?

I went back over the feedback I’d given and grabbed some of the sentences that seemed to make more general points about a trend or an insight that is worth thinking about. Maybe these give us a good indication of things we’ll see in 2014.

My first post was about search and information architecture. Today I’m writing about being ambitious.

Being ambitious

Recently I wrote about motivation in user experience design. I noted that some experiences are task focused, a user begins with a goal in mind and information architecture should support them as they move towards completion. A metaphor for this might be the rails you get when you’re bowling, that keep the ball on track. IA is the safety rail to keep people going in the right direction.  But there is a higher task that IA is capable of supporting, it’s not just keeping people moving in the right direction, it’s keeping people moving.

In 2014 I want to describe a process for identifying missed opportunities where IA could be more pro-active in experiences. I also want to describe the key characteristics to these motivating features that pull users deeper into our products and experiences.

In 2014 I think we’ll see a movement in IA to thinking more about service design. Information architecture has always been about considering context. It feels as thought we’re at a point where user experience architects can bring their expertise to cross-channel design challenges. I’m a big fan of the idea of pervasive information architecture. As ‘information’ becomes more pervasive in our society, I think a huge opportunity exists to harness this data and transform it into value for our audiences and users.

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