Our world is increasingly made of information, yet so much of that information is not as clear or accessible as it could be to those it is intended for. One way to think of it is in terms of 'Communication Design'. Every organization out there seems to say that they want to make their users happy, but who is really delivering on those promises? Who is really architecting for happiness? This year's global World IA Day theme is 'Happiness' and every talk is going to to focus on how to create more happiness through design.

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 what Information Architecture is and how we practice it:

*What Is Information Architecture?
*Can information affect 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?


A stone’s throw from the Pearl District, the Left Bank Annex is located one block east of the Leftbank Project and across the street from the Moda Center. The Leftbank Annex is easily accessible by bus and Streetcar CL line. Just get off at the first stop 'Rose Quarter' and walk east 1 block. The area is a major bicycle corridor and is easily accessible from every direction. Left Bank Annex

Watch it live on Ustream
Parking is available in the EAST Garage (North of both the Moda Center AND Memorial Coliseum, just on the east side of the Broadway Bridge). Park as close as you can to Weidler Street. Left bank is immediately across the street on Weidler between Williams and Vancouver.

Parking is run by the Moda Center folks. You must pay for and be responsible for your own parking. $5.
But hey, the conference is free and so is the food!

Speaking of food, this is like a movie theater, no outside food is allowed and yes, there will be options. I'm considering bringing in a foodtruck. Email me at with vegan/vegetarian/gluten free carts to ask or if you have any dietary issues that are extreme enough that you want to talk to me about them. I'll do my best to accommodate all.

Thanks! -Amy


9:00 - 10:00
Social Architecture and City System Design: Integrated, Iterative And Intuitive Placemaking

In this talk, we'll examine why current city systems have the designs they do and what kind of information is required to plan for people. Information Architecture and Architecture itself are synonymous. How can being in a building, a city and a community create happiness and how is that information communicated through interpretation of the responses gleaned from those experiencing it? This talk covers information-as-architecture, cities that are more than a collection of just these objects (sidewalks, intersections, etc) and what we can learn about this planning process that can be applied to nearly any industry.

Spencer Williams Spencer Williams Architect and City Planner

10:00 - 11:00
Optimal Sequencing - Human Interaction Design

Optimal Sequencing - Human Interaction Design
Have you ever had an interaction go off the rails and you had no idea why? Verbal and non-verbal communication is indeed a form of Information Architecture and if the above happened to you, the culprit might be ineffective communication design. How can you create more happiness for all? It means that it's possible to design interpersonal communication so you can articulate more than just words. This talk is centered around exposing some common mistakes we all make so that we can get at the most crucial element: effective human interaction. We will explore the essential components and learn ways to build confidence, clarify confusion and provide the most value-for-time ratio to ourselves, clients, customers, vendors, employees and, just about anyone we communicate with.

Thubten Comerford Thubten Comerford He is a Co-Founder of Pitchlandia, Founder & CEO of WePost Media

11:00 - 12:00
Designing Powerful Facilitated Work Sessions

Brainstorming doesn't work. This talk is focused on how to design powerful, effective work sessions, which result in high-fidelity team interaction and create happiness for all involved. The most important takeaway will be how the design of the agenda extends beyond the work session, which will reveal techniques you can use right away. For example; shifting from follow-up design tasks to design experiments can be seen as a happier way of producing more innovative solutions. We will explain the best ways to document and track your ideas to help them become reality by engendering ownership from each team member and instill confidence across all stakeholders.

Chris Do Chris Do Co-Founder, BlindLA
Jose Caballer Jose Caballer Chief Education Officer, The Skool+Director of Digital Strategy @BlindLa

13:00 - 14:00
Culture Fit: More than a Feeling

A bad hire is costly—financially as well as the impact on happiness and morale within the team. When we look back to understand what went wrong, it’s unlikely that the person wasn’t qualified or had the necessary skill set. More often, it turns out that they weren’t a “fit.” How can you really predict if someone is going to fit in and be successful? Does success at one company mean success at yours? Interview teams struggle to properly assess fit, and often rely on their “gut feeling.” Intuition is hard-wired for our survival, yes, but we’re also fallible human beings who have history, culture, experience, context which creates bias and, in hiring, makes the talent pool even more shallow. Understanding and articulating your company’s culture is at the crux of developing an approach to identify culture fit and the potential for success. It is the foundation of a structured approach to assessing talent, employer brand, engagement, talent development and performance feedback. Sara will walk you through her experience at Smarsh as they embarked on developing a program to assess fit, where “not-a-fit” trumps experience every time.

Sara Stowe Sara Stowe PHR; Talent Acquisition Manager

14:00 - 15:00
Identity Design: Breaking The Binary Gender Code

Genderqueer Supermodel Rain Dove will help audiences become more aware of identity design through a look at binary gender identity ('he' and 'she'), its origins and why this form of social design is no longer relevant. This person will discuss implementation of a new system of gender identity, which exposes the advantages of designing one's own identity for maximum happiness and thus a stronger engagement with the world around them.

Rain Dove Rain Dove Androgynous Supermodel and Public Figure

15:00 - 16:00
Not Enough Cooks In The Kitchen: Curating Food Culture with Technology & Design

How does technology and information design around food impact how we cook and eat? In a world marked by an increasing sense of culinary culture amnesia, cooking is a lost art and many have a fragmented and distant relationship to food. So, the world needs more cooks - people who craft their world through a lens of food, cooking and eating. Cooking is not only a potent symbol of empowerment, it is among the most human of all acts that stands at the center of an opportunity for widespread social impact. An increase in cooking has innumerable positive outcomes for individuals, communities and our planet. As an example, cooking literacy is at the core of how we will solve our public health and chronic illness crisis. In designing learning technologies and educational experiences to build confidence in the kitchen, I am on a mission to (re)produce food culture, and happiness, through active participation and engagement with others.

Ken Rubin Ken Rubin VP Culinary Training, Rouxbe Online Cooking School

16:00 - 17:00
We Need All The Help We Can Get: Analytics For Happy People

Here’s a tip: make it a point, regardless of your industry, to familiarize yourself with the terms: “Big Data”, “Data Science” and “Analytics." Increasingly, the need for employing, analyzing and interpreting data is permeating nearly every discipline and there is no sign of it slowing. Believe it or not, there is a shortage of 150,000+ Information Professionals that are needed to dive into huge data sources, create new insights, and analyze all that data! In this talk, I’ll share what kind of valuable work these people do, how you can employ similar concepts in your own practice and ways to clarify your data strategy for happier, more confident data-driven decisions.

Joshua Burkhow Joshua Burkhow Global Ops. Performance Management & Analytics

17:00 - 18:00
What the F*CK is IA?: Learn About IA Through Visual Thinking

After a day of sessions, we will discuss some key visual thinking concepts and develop a PDX-specific answer to that compelling question. Learn how visual thinking will help create more happiness for all in the practice of developing IA.

Cynthia Owens Cynthia Owens Senior Consultant, XPLANE

18:00 - 19:00
Designing for the Unknown

The design of any system is an experiment. The design thinking and execution behind Kickstarter was no different. Yet everything has been done before, so how do we cross the chasm of these two extremes? Using Kickstarter as an example, we'll look into experimentation for happiness across multiple facets of the platform, applied models from blogging, web video and audio while also pressing the envelope with regard to collective fundraising, community, and transparency. Charles will share stories from the company's genesis, design decisions met along the way, and how creating happiness has shaped Kickstarter into what it is today - the largest funding platform for creative projects.

Charles Adler-Co-Founder, Kickstarter Charles Adler-Co-Founder, Kickstarter Designer, Kickstarter Co-Founder


Dan Olson Dan Olson

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