London, United Kingdom

London skyline

Saturday February 18th, 2017

World IA Day London will take place on Saturday, February 18th 2017 at City, University of London.


What's new this year

Our 2016 event followed a traditional format of 30 min talks, and post-conference conversations in the pub. This year, we are keeping the talks, the pub, but we are adding more coffee to the mix, and, most exciting: workshops!

The theme of this year's World Information Architecture Day is Information Strategy and Structure.

In today’s world, organisations are required to rethink how to architect and manage information to maintain a competitive and organisational edge. Many are embracing strategies that are more flexible, moving away from isolated systems and departmental silos. These organisations recognize the need for information to be structured so that it is clear, usable, findable and understandable.

But, the need for information strategy and structure extends beyond the enterprise. Whether information is architected to inform algorithms, to bring awareness to important societal challenges, or to clearly communicate available resources to help those in need; information strategy and structure plays an important role in our everyday lives.

Code of Conduct
The World IA Day team is dedicated to providing a safe, enjoyable and harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof). By attending World IA Day you agree to abide by the policies set out in our Code of Conduct.

Get in touch - we are looking for sponsors!

If you are interested in sponsoring, or have any questions, please get in touch at


City, University of London
Northampton Square, EC1V 0HB
Program Schedule
09.30am - 10.00am
10.00am - 10.15am
Welcome to WIAD 2017!
10.15am - 10.45am
Nick Marsh

The Information Architecture of Personalised Storytelling

We've been telling universal stories to each other since the beginning of time. We've been telling personal stories, one to one, for just as long. But only recently has it been possible to tell personal stories to millions of individuals. 

In this talk Nick Marsh will share what he has learnt about how to structure and design personal stories, unique for each individual, from his time as Head of Product at Lost My Name, a leading personalised book company based in London.

10.50am - 11.20am
Helen Lippell

It's your first day in a taxonomy job. Now what?!

Get some tips from a fellow taxonomist on how to get stuck into a new taxonomy job. Whether you're lucky enough to be creating a brand new taxonomy, or you're picking up the reins from someone else, get advice on getting up to speed quickly and making a difference. I can't tell you where the toilets and the coffee machine are, but this is the next best thing.

11.20am - 11.35am
Morning Coffee

Sponsoring our coffee break gets your brand seen by everyone. Ask us how!

11.35am - 12.05pm
Matt Hollidge


For architects of information and UX professionals the majority of our work is surprisingly confined to the ground floor; we are champions of the digital bungalow, ushering users through delightful experiences like Daleks of the sixties unable to climb the stairs of possibility.

Inspired by the history and future of the elevator and how its invention transformed the Manhattan skyline; is the future of content structure on a third axis and could we propose a paradigm of depth that charts the topography of experience as we navigate increasingly connected, content rich environments in three dimensions?

12.10pm - 1.30pm

Sponsoring lunch associates your brand with the best part of the day. Ask us how!

1.30pm - 4.30pm

Spend the afternoon attending one of 6 in-depth workshops. 

Paul Rissen: Beyond the Hero's Journey - The Architecture, Structure and Strategy of Narrative

Storytellers are adept at structuring information, and deploying strategies to achieve particular effects in their audiences. Whether it's through the use of split screen, flashbacks, or even a good old whodunnit, these techniques are key to keeping an audience engaged and informed. We'll examine a number of elements of storytelling craft, exploring the effects each technique helps achieve, why, and how you might use them to improve the products, services and experiences you work on.

Rahel Anne Bailie: The Secret Lives of Structured Content

Structured content is powerful. Structure lets content perform at optimal levels, delivering from multiple content sources, to multiple audiences, into multiple channels, through multiple interfaces, and often with more complexity. As we're challenged to meet the needs of more market segments with personalised content in an increasing number of contexts, it's critical to understand how much structure to apply, and how to make that structure stand up under the stresses of complexity and scale. This workshop will cover the processes for structuring content, and demonstrate the benefits that accrue as the sturdiness of the structures increase.

Sophie Freiermuth: Information Architecture Lean Coffee

If you'd like to get together with other attendees to discuss all topics IA, ask questions, or get advice, this is the workshop for you. Sophie will facilitate this workshop using the Lean Coffee format, so you'll be walking away with a new facilitation technique for your toolbox. Bring suggestions for topics you'd like to discuss or things you'd like to share.

Lean Coffee is a facilitation technique for a structured, but agenda-less discussion. Participants gather, build an agenda, and begin talking. The Lean Coffee format is both easy to follow and effective at facilitating learning and collaboration through group discussions.

Jenny Egan & Paul-Jervis Heath: The information architecture of physical spaces

In this workshop, Paul-Jervis Heath, founder of design consultancy Modern Human, and Jenny Egan, designer at Modern Human, will explore the crossover between physical and digital spaces, considering the elements of organising information, navigation, and wayfinding. Using a public space as an example, attendees will apply IA skills hands-on.

Through a series of projects designing physical spaces, Paul, Jenny and their colleagues at Modern Human have developed a deep understanding of designing intelligent physical environments. Their human-centred design process combines ethnographic design research, interior design, architectural design with experience design and service design to create smart environments. Their work has included designing retail environments that seamlessly integrate digital retail technology into the shopping experience, libraries, museums, and workplaces of the future.

Luisa Sousa, Jo Chambers, Dan Tallis & Rob Scott: Diagrams, maps and models

Drawing a diagram of a system or information architecture is one of the most important skills an IA can develop. Whether you’re describing a structure, explaining a domain or following the path of an experience, being able to visually represent the otherwise abstract end of UX design brings value to projects and coherence to teams. In this workshop three members of the user experience architecture team at the BBC will help you explore ways of drawing systems, structures and experience.

  • Learn and share the best ways to represent structures and systems
  • Explore the difference between describing structures and the experiences that contain them
  • Gets tips on the tools, techniques and process to visually represent relationships and systems

In the workshop we’ll explore a range of techniques. It will help if you come along with a product, project or design challenge in mind. It will also help if you come with own ideas and experiences about what kind of diagrams, maps and models work best for you.

Stephann Makri: Architecting Serendipity - designing for discovery and discoverability

Information Architecture is not only about ensuring and enhancing findability, but also discoverability. Coming across information serendipitously can propel people in unexpected and useful directions, surprising and delighting them along the way. But it is difficult to 'architect' serendipity in digital information environments; the very act of building it into digital products and services can potentially destroy its unexpectness or usefulness. Given this paradox, how how can we best design for discovery and discoverability?

In this workshop, you'll explore the current design space by:

  • Discussing these questions in the context of academic research into serendipity and information discovery
  • Critiquing examples of existing digital information environments designed to facilitate serendipity.

You'll also explore the future design space by:

  • Creating a low-fidelity prototype of a digital information environment (mobile/desktop site/app) that aims to help users discover useful information, people, places or products unexpectedly
  • Formulating serendipity-related design guidelines based on your discussion, criquique and design activities.
4.30pm - 5.15pm
Closing Keynote: Giles Colborne

IA vs Algorithms

Are we about to be made redundant by a new wave of user experiences where algorithms create the value and flow? In this talk, Giles will be talking about designers at cxpartners, AirBnB and Spotify create user experiences with algorithms at their core; why algorithms are the new 'usability fail’; and exploring our role and whether we will continue to be able to bring humanity to a future that’s governed by machines.

5.15pm - 5.30pm
Wrapup and Party Directions
5.30pm - Late
Speakers & Presenters
Photo of Helen Lippell
Helen Lippell - Talk
Taxonomy, Metadata & Search Consultant

Helen is an experienced Information Architect with a special focus on taxonomies. She has designed and implemented taxonomies for websites, intranets, content management systems, enterprise search solutions and semantic publishing tools.

She works with clients across sectors including technology, media, academia, ecommerce and government. 

Helen lives in London with cats and books and has been a contestant on quiz shows such as Only Connect and Brain of Britain

Photo of Rahel Bailie
Rahel Anne Bailie - Workshop
Chief Knowledge Officer

Rahel Anne Bailie is an integrator of content strategy, requirements analysis, information architecture, and content management to increase ROI of content that matters, and a supporter of content structure and standards. She is Chief Knowledge Officer at Scroll, Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy, and co-producer of Content Strategy Workshops.

Nick Marsh
Nick Marsh - Talk
Head of Product
Lost My Name

Nick is a designer and manager. He leads the product and story design team at Lost My Name, creating personalised books and gifts for kids. Before this he worked in startups and various design agencies. He'd secretly like to be an academic.

Matt Hollidge
Matt Hollidge - Talk
Information Architect & Ideator

Matt is an information architect and ideator at Kore who draws upon broad cultural and societal influences to innovate through the collision of ideas and fields, re-imagining approaches and strategies. He is Co-Founder of Kore, has led Central London UX teams, been a finalist in national cocktail competitions, sells antique maps in his spare time and is a passionate advocate of applying the practice of IA beyond digital spaces.

Photo of Sophie Freiermuth
Sophie Freiermuth - Workshop
UX Consultant
Baguette UX

Sophie is a lean startup, product management, UX and Agile expert, and director of London-based UX consultancy Baguette UX. Working with product teams all over the world, Sophie's input helps teams find their focus, smooth their dynamics and engage in high performance behaviours and processes.

Photo of Paul Rissen
Paul Rissen - Workshop
Product Manager
Springer Nature

Last year's keynote speaker at World IA Day London, Paul is a Product Manager at Springer Nature, where he works on recommendation services for scientists and researchers. Previously at the BBC for almost ten years, Paul is a former IA discipline lead and data architect who specialised in domain modelling and linked data, as well as product managing the BBC's Research and Education Space partnership. He is passionate about the Web, in particular the use of narrative and storytelling online, and in the role of popular culture and journalism to improve society and our understanding of the world around us. He runs, an upcoming podcast about narrative techniques in drama and online.

Lovely photo of Giles Colborne
Giles Colborne - Talk

Giles Colborne cofounded cxpartners in 2004; it has grown to become one of the world’s leading independent experience design consultancies working on next-generation experience design, generating hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue for companies such as Marriott, eBay and AXA. His book, Simple and Usable, has sold tens of thousands of copies in Europe and North America and has been translated into Chinese and Korean. Giles is former president of the UK UPA, co-chair of IA Summit, and UX Awards judge. He has worked with the British Standards Institute in developing standards for web accessibility.

Photo of Rob Scott
Rob Scott
User Experience Architect

Rob Scott is a User Experience Architect at the BBC, currently working to describe the Information Architecture of the BBC's Global Experience Language (GEL). He previously worked on products for internet-enabled big screen devices, including the pre-Rio refresh of the Red Button+ service. Prior to the BBC, he spent 7 years with a niche provider of meaningful travel experiences, constructing the IA for CRMs, flight bookings and event management systems. Recently he has co-delivered workshops at EuroIA and Thinking Digital Manchester. 

Stephann Makri
Dr. Stephann Makri
Senior Lecturer and Course Director, MSc Human-Computer Interaction Design
Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design at City, University of London

Dr. Stephann Makri is a Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). He specialises in information interaction (how people interact with digital information tools - e.g. websites, search engines, digital libraries, social media). His work involves understanding how people find, interpret and use digital information and using this understanding to design new and improve existing digital information tools.

Jenny Egan
Jenny Egan
Modern Human

Jenny Egan is a Designer at Modern Human who has worked on human-centred design projects for clients in the education, publishing, retail and financial services sectors.

Jenny’s background is in Architecture, having completed her Part 1 and Part 2 professional Architecture qualifications. After a year in architectural practice, Jenny’s interest in evidence-based design led her to complete an M.Phil in Environmental Design at the University of Cambridge, focused on “Design as Therapy: Facilitating the lives of those with Alzheimer’s Disease through Environmental Design”.

Since then Jenny has conducted building design research for the Danish Cancer Society to inform their £15 million building programme for eight new cancer counselling centres. Jenny’s most recent work has involved designing and prototyping academic library spaces for the University of Cambridge.

Paul-Jervis Heath
Paul-Jervis Heath
Designer and Founding Principal
Modern Human

Paul-Jervis Heath is a designer and founding principal of Modern Human; an innovation consultancy and design studio that helps client’s to imagine what’s next.

His work at Modern Human covers a wide range of products, services and environments, from dashboards for autonomous vehicles to smart home appliances; concepts for digitally integrated retail environments to future libraries. 


Photo of Luisa Sousa
Luisa Sousa
User Experience Architect

Luísa is a User Experience Architect at the BBC, currently working for BBC News. Information has been core in her life: from her first job in information graphics to stepping into the UX and IA world, all the while keeping an incessant – but healthy! –  search for answers throughout her life. She likes logic, pragmatism and understanding the ‘what' and the ‘why' before tackling the ‘how'. She can often be heard ranting about something “that just makes no sense!”. She loves sushi and jelly beans and her pet hates are tupperware and iTunes.

Photo of Jo Chambers
Jo Chambers
Senior User Experience Architect

Jo Chambers is a Senior User Experience Architect at the BBC, currently making an IA presence with the Red Button+ UX&D team and other Internet-enabled big screen products such as iPlayer and internal tools. Prior to the BBC, Jo worked as a UX and BA consultant to the video on-demand, smart DNS and cord cutting markets as well as a tech journalist at Eye on-Demand and several years in the datacentre industry.

Photo of Dan Tallis
Dan Tallis
Experience Architect

Dan Tallis is a Senior User Experience Architect at the BBC, currently helping iPlayer in it’s mission to become an Entertainment destination. Previously he led the UX refresh of BBC Search and devised the navigation and site structure of the BBC Sport site.

Dan loves gadgets, maps and music and organises a small family friendly music festival in his spare time.

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