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Architecting Happiness

Every organization states that they want to make their users happy, but who is really delivering on those promises? Who is really architecting for happiness? On February 21, 2015 we want to ask the world to help us uncover answers to questions we believe to be critical to the future of how we practice information architecture: How can information affect happiness? How can we best architect structures for information that promote happiness? What work are organizations doing to bridge the gaps we face as we transition from a primarily analog to a primarily digital way of life? Learn from world-class minds in the user experience field, network with your peers, and showcase new ideas at a free event tailored specifically for the DC community. Whether you are new to information architecture or an experienced practitioner, this event will inspire you to push the boundaries of IA to make the world a happier place.

Hosted at Sapient: 1515 N Courthouse Road, 4th Floor, Arlington, VA 22201

We are located two blocks from the Courthouse Metro Station on the Orange Line.


8:45 - 9:15
Breakfast and Networking

Enjoy coffee and breakfast, provided by Sapient.

9:15 - 9:30
Introductions and Welcome

09:30 - 10:45
Opening Keynote: The Architecture of Advocacy

Perhaps school taught you how to make a taxonomy or create a persona from research, but did it teach you how to ask for a raise? How to create consensus between your team, product and engineering? Or how to get the right design out in the face of the “just copy Amazon/Google/Netflix” argument?

Designers are taught the skills to make good design, but not the ones that will assure that design will go live. In this talk, I’ll cover key skills every UX practitioner should know.

The techniques I’ll teach are based on a combination of Nonviolent Communication, John Kotter’s Buy In, FBI negotiation techniques, and from real life in the Silicon Valley.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to build consensus
  • How to argue and listen effectively
  • How to stay zen when the situation gets hot
  • How to get buy in
  • How to ask for what you need

While designers historically have shrunk away from selling, It’s not gross or ugly to ask for what you need to get the job done right. If designers want a place at the table, they will have to ask for it.

10:45 - 11:00
Morning Break

11:00 - 12:00
Setting Structure for Social Comfort

Social and collaborative elements have woven their way into many sites, services, and applications but often it is not done with the thought and understanding required. Structuring for social comfort is a basic need that is often overlooked. The talk will give insight into the three high level focus areas for social comfort: tools, people, and content. Then the talk will focus on how to frame structure for what is needed from an IA perspective to improve social comfort, increasing happiness where we interact, share, and collaborate with others.

12:00 - 01:15
Lunch and Discussion

After grabbing your lunch, provided by Sapient, join your colleagues for small discussions around different aspects of information architecture. It will be an organic conversation, though there will be one discussion lead per room to help get the conversation going. Topics will be announced at the event.

1:15 - 2:15
Panel Discussion: Quantifying Happiness
Dustin DiTommaso Dustin DiTommaso Senior Vice President, Behavior Change Design, Mad*Pow
Mona Patel Mona Patel CEO of Motivate Design and UX Hires
Steve Wendel Steve Wendel Panel Moderator; Principal Scientist at HelloWallet
Dave Jeyes Dave Jeyes Product Manager & UX Researcher, AddThis
Hilding Anderson Hilding Anderson Director of Research & Insights, SapientNitro

02:15 - 02:30
Afternoon Break

2:30 - 4:00
Workshop: The Designer is Present

Therapists, as part of their education, must go through therapy themselves. They are expected to achieve a certain level of insight about themselves – their biases, their discomforts, and so on. While we are not therapists, we go out and study people without that level of self-insight! A lack of self-insight sometimes manifests itself as passion, commitment, or being driven by a mission. While those have their place, it’s easy to become blinded by what we can’t let ourselves see. Sometimes this shows up as discomfort at the micro level, when we react to something a user might tell us about themselves; sometimes it’s a macro issue, when we’re uncomfortable with people who hold different values, preferences, or beliefs than ourselves. And it crescendos as know-it-all douchebaggery, when we think our job is to tell other people what’s best for them – when phrases like “frictionless sharing” fall from our lips as naturally as “what time is dinner?”

In this workshop we will delve into the concepts of presence and mindfulness and develop an understanding of how this informs how you engage with the world around you, as a designer and a professional and as a person.

04:00 - 04:15
Afternoon Break

4:15 - 5:15
Lightning Talks

This year we have added lightning talks (10-12 minutes in length) to the agenda. Proposals were accepted through January 2. Speakers will be announced soon.

5:15 - 5:30
Closing Remarks and Raffle

Stick around for our exciting raffles at the end of the event. Thank you to our local partners and global sponsors for their donations.

5:30 - 6:30
Happy Hour

Join us for drinks and discussion, sponsored by General Assembly.

Made Possible By Our Generous Sponsors

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  marriott sponsor   ronsenfeld sponsor   balsamiq sponsor  
  axure sponsor   user testing sponsor   all you can learn sponsor  
     protoio sponsor     

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