World IA Day and tools

9 February 2013 was World IA Day - a global event in 15 cities where folks got together to discuss various aspects of “information architecture” (IA). I attended the Canberra event, run by one of my best friends, Donna Spencer. It was a lovely intimate group, covering interesting topics such as a great presentation about project management and IA personas (The Professor, The Tool, The Dummy Spit, The Baby and The Professional), testing your IAs and more.

One of my favourite sections was covering the various tools that we all used. Here’s my raw notes from the ‘tools discussion’ so I can remember to come back and explore some of them. Continue reading → banner banner out the front of the Manning Clark Centre

What does a user experience designer have in common with hundreds of open source technical folk? One awesome conference and a renewed appreciation for the open source movement. Continue reading →

UX Australia 2012 reflections

Ruth Ellison & Kim Chatterjee - UX Australia 2012, Day 1

Kim and I presenting our 21.5 ways of adjusting attitudes to accessibility (photo credit: Sarah Isaacson)

This past week, I had the pleasure of attending UX Australia 2012 as a presenter and attendee. Every year I attend, I say how brilliantly awesome it was…and this year was no exception. Great speakers (I had great trouble deciding which talk to attend at many instances), fantastic attendees (everyone was so friendly and interesting) and a great overall experience. What made this year particularly interesting for me was that I learned how reliant I am on my voice to interact with people and how important verbal communication is in building relationships (for me anyhow).

This year, I lost my voice. Continue reading →

Skepticamp Sydney 2011 – it’s a wrap

Skepticamp Sydney 2011 sign, posted on a clear glass door

Yesterday, hubby and I (along with a car-load of family & friends) made the very early morning drive over to Sydney for the very first Skepticamp Sydney 2011. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, with lots of interesting things learned.

“SkeptiCamps are informal, community-organized conferences borne from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. Everyone from casual skeptics to the experienced participate, give talks and get to know each other. Diverging from the traditional lecture events which have dominated skepticism for decades, these ‘open events’ tear down the barriers to organizing substantive (and fun) events by building on the wildly-successful Barcamp conference model from the tech community.”


Continue reading →

BarCampCanberra #3 – it’s a wrap

Photo of Pascal looking at the BarCampCanberra #3 schedule

The highly anticipated BarCampCanberra event happened yesterday, with a large gathering of smart and passionate folks from around Canberra, Yass, Wollongong and Sydney discussing interesting topics such as Government 2.0, social innovation, collaboration, typography, hackerspaces and more.

For those unfamiliar with the BarCamp concept:

BarCampCanberra is a free-to-attend community-run conference where anyone can come and watch, participate or present on anything they are passionate about – either something interesting they’ve been working on, an idea they’d like to present or to brainstorm the solution to a problem with a bunch of like-minded smart people

We had over 150 people registered for the event, 46 pizzas consumed, 72 bottles of water drunk (plus the additional cups and water containers) and 39 sessions including a series of 5 minute lighting talks (I love the 5 minute lighting talk format).

The event was tweeted, flickred, livestreamed and Googled waved. We were even covered in the Canberra Times (page 8 of the Sunday 7th February newspaper).

Some of my favourite quotes about BarCampCanberra comes from @dekrazee1:

Brain is still abuzz from #bcc2010. BarCamp is the techy equivalent of a day spa. Energising and invigorating. #I<3BarCamp


@RazChorev Yep. Sound ROI. That $50 of fuel (and ~8hrs of travel time) got me about $500 worth of education today. #bcc2010

Continue reading →

Oz-IA 2009 conference wrap up

Eric Scheid (organiser of the OzIA 2009 conference) opens the conference.
Another Oz-IA conference has passed and it was great. There were a lot of familiar faces but also a large number of new faces. The twitter back channel were buzzing with activity for most of the conference, no doubt fuelled by the on-site barista and fruit cocktail maker.

Here’s a rundown of some of the presentations. Not every session is covered.

Continue reading →

Local Government Web Network Conference 2008 writeup

We Believe In Community
21st and 22nd of August was the very excellent inaugural Local Government Web Network Conference 2008. This conference was aimed at those in Local Government, the public sector, community groups, and non-profits, and other tiers of Government. It was put together by Reem Abdelaty and Diana Mounter, from Local Government and Shires Associations of New South Wales.

I really enjoyed the strong sense of community spirit among the 70 (I think it was around 70?) participants. People were eager to chat and share experiences of managing their websites and providing services to their constituents. It was interesting to see the diverse range of roles – some of the participants managed the websites as a full time job, while others balanced the website management along with other duties.

There was a great line-up of speakers, including John Allsopp, Cameron Adams, Ben Buchanan, Brian Hardy, Lachlan Hardy, Matthew Hodgson, Tim Lucas, Russ Weakley… the list goes on :)

As the conference was a dual-track conference, here’s my attempt of one sentence summaries of the sessions I attended:

Adrian and Ruth presenting at the conference
Used with permission from Ben Buchanan

My co-worker (Adrian Newton) and I did a presentation titled Usability for Government: improving service delivery. We talked about usability, why it’s important, some of the user centred design techniques, and tips for people to take away.

I had a great time at the conference! Many thanks to Reem and Diana for putting together a great conference, and for the wonderful speaker’s gift (which now means I’m not an Apple virgin any more).

To check out what happened at the conference, view the twitter stream and flickr photos. Other presentations should be up on Slideshare over the next few days.

Upcoming conferences

I’ve been neglecting my blog terribly over the past year, thanks to a throng of interesting projects (both web and non web related). I really should have posted the following weeks ago but better late than never!

There’s a number of interesting Aussie web conferences coming up, which I strongly recommend registering for if you get the chance.

Local Government Web Network Conference 2008: We believe in community

The first is the Local Government Web Network Conference 2008, which will be held in Sydney on the 21st and 22nd of August 2008. The conference is aimed at those working in the public sector, community groups, and non-profits, as well as other tiers of Government. Tickets are priced extremely reasonably.

My co-worker and I will be presenting on Usability for Government: improving service delivery.

Oz-IA 2008

Oz-IA 2008 is Australia’s annual Information Architecture conference. It’s intimate in size in terms of the number of people attending, but lots of great topics! This is a great conference if you’re interested in learning more about the information architecture field or if you’re already an experienced practitioner. Check out the great looking program! I just love the chance to catch up with all my IA friends who understand where we’re all coming from!

It’s happening on the 20th and 21st of September in Sydney.

Web Directions South 2008

How do I even start to describe one of my favourite conferences? Web Directions South has heaps of great presenters, fantastic topics and a chance to mix and mingle with heaps of other cool folks who are also passionate about the web.

It’s happening on 25th and 26th of September in Sydney but there’s also a number of great workshops being run on the 23rd and 24th of September (including Designing Interaction in the Age of Ajax by my friend Donna Spencer, and Web 2.0 Executive Bootcamp by my friend Stephen Collins).

I’m also presenting one of the sessions – integrating accessibility into design.

Want a discount off your Web Directions South 2008 conference ticket? Use the promo code WDS08-RE to take $50 off the ticket price. Feel free to share the discount code.

Edge of the web

My hometown of Perth seems to be the happening place this year! The excellent Perth web folks have lined up a fantastic bunch of experts to speak about all things web, at the Edge of the web conference. It’s happening on the 6th and 7th of November in Perth, and tickets are very reasonably priced.

Hopefully I’ll get to see you at these conferences!