How to Make Sense of Any Mess by Abby Covert will help you do two things:
- Understand how to break a big hairy problem into smaller steps so that you can approach solving it.
- Understand some approaches to solving it.
It will give you examples of various activities, tools (i.e. worksheets) and things to understand about problems. It’ll do this one page at a time, which is to say each of the 150ish pages covers exactly one topic, and covers it well enough that you’ll know how to move forward to the next topic. It also gives references and resources to places that you can learn more, because let’s face it, 150 topics is a few too many for anyone to cover in depth in one book.
Many of the topics in this book are topics of their own.
But that’s really the point of this book beyond all the others: it’s the book to help you find the path through the mess you’re dealing with, and help you identify what you need to know more about. It’s the solution to the “I don’t know what I don’t know” problem, at the highest level.
It’s immediately on my recommendation list for all new Information Architects, User Experience Designers, and a good number of others that are both inside the Information Technology field and outside of it. This book is well-written enough that I feel like I could hand it to someone in a totally different industry and say “Hey, here’s where to start” or “Hey, if you’ve ever wondered what I do for a living…”
I’m glad it’s a tool I can now use to make my own work better.
Hello! We’re on a new server now!
We’re also on a new host!
And since we got hacked on the old host, we’re on a fresh WordPress install!
Every day is a new adventure.
In about a month, I’ll be presenting my talk, What Letter Are You? An Alphabet of Accessibility, to the IA Summit. It’s in Chicago this year, and looks to be a fantastic conference.
Here’s the synopsis:
Every one of us needs the internet to be accessible. Our needs may not surface today, but they will in the future. Do we know enough about what accessibility needs look like — beyond the stereotypes of people with disabilities that we’re all too aware of? And how do we get from “I know my site has problems” to “I know how to approach them?”
This talk, based on Anne’s 2014 articles “An Alphabet of Accessibility Issues” and “Reframing Accessibility for the Web” will frame accessibility through the lens of 26 people who need accessibility considerations. It will cover:
- Four broad categories of accessibility needs that we must be aware of: visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive and neurological.
- Twenty-six people who need us to design accessibly. Some of them you’ll recognize as being disabled, and some of them may come as a surprise.
- An approach for designing accessibly by concentrating on the functional changes we can bring to our project work.
- Emphasis on keyboard use, images, and forms.
Attendees will learn about accessibility issues, both common and surprising, and leave with a framework for approaching accessibility problems based on what websites need to do instead of based on what people can’t do.
It’s the same talk I presented at World IA Day on February 20th, so if you didn’t get a chance to see it locally and you’ll be in Chicago, I’d be honored if you’d attend.
You can use the discount code ‘IAS18SPEAKER’ to take $50 off the final registration cost, and register at http://www.iasummit.org/registration/
On the 17th, I gave my first structured talk outside of the walls of whatever company I was working for. (I’ve talked quite a bit in the course of my career, but it was mostly for in-company presentations, projects, training, etc.)
It made me think about the question of exposure — that is, the things we do to make sure that other people notice us and our careers and what we’re capable of. For someone who works in-house their entire life, the sphere of influence is pretty much confined to the in-house work… but for those working in agencies or freelancing, the sphere of influence is necessarily much larger.
This week’s post is born from a conversation with a friend about how someone could believe what they did.
Morality is sticky business.
It’s actually a topic people have studied, which on one hand, no surprise, people have studied everything. On the other hand, I learned about the study of morality and systems of morality back in high school and it was such a bizarre experience that I thought it was worth writing about.