Pervasive Information Architecture is the result of roughly four years of work and research. Its basic tenet is that IA is not just about websites, not anymore. Information is going everywhere and “cyberspace is not a place you go to but rather a layer tightly integrated into the world around us” (Institute For The Future), and IA is the layer that has to bring the different silos together in one continuous flow for a better user experience.
The workshop explains how to design ubiquitous ecologies and pervasive information architectures through an iterative, holistic, imprecise process. The framework consists of a heuristic methodology based on what we call the CHU model or CHU cube (friends and family call it CHUbe), comprising:
- Channels, the different media, devices, or environments
- Heuristics, our design guidelines or indicators
- User-tasks, the various actions that the system allows or encourages.
Let us tell you one thing: it will be a prime, but this won’t be the first time we give this workshop. We are already working on some of the materials we assembled from our own professional practice through the years and on the sketches we drew while we were writing the book, building a storyline and turning some examples into exercises. Then I will be running tests for most of March, trying out different combinations and trying to assess what works best, what makes understanding how to design pervasive information architectures easiest and comfortable.
If the final structure holds, once we are done with introducing ourselves, we will have a brief cross-channel surprise experiment, and then we will introduce the idea of IA as a pervasive layer, and its design methodology, with a few stories from the book which will explain what the experiment was all about in the first place.
Then we’ll get our hands dirty with a full-blown design exercise (or exercises) meant to acquaint us with the five heuristics (place-making, consistence, resilience, reduction, correlation), the CHU cube model, and what it means to design an information architecture which is successfully cross-channel. We will use pen and paper and plenty of coffee, and the only skill that is really required to get out of the workshop room with some valuable take-away is that you bear with our accent.