Manchester, United Kingdom

WIAD Manchester location - MMU Business School

Saturday February 18th, 2017

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.

Join us for WIAD Manchester on Saturday February 18th, 2017. First release tickets are just £10.




Code of Conduct
The World IA Day Manchester 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 Manchester you are agreeing to abide by the policies set out in our Code of Conduct.

Sponsor Us
We are also looking for sponsors as we want to keep this a low cost event. If you're interesting in sponsoring WIAD Manchester, please get touch at:


Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
All Saints Campus, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6BH United Kingdom


Floor plan of MMU Business School, All Saints Campus


Map & directions:

Free parking at John Dalton car park, corner of Cambridge Street and Chester Street.

Program Schedule
10:00 - 11am

Registration and refreshments

11:00 - 11:05am
11:05 - 11:40
Visual vocabulary to visual language: what comics can teach information architecture

with Stuart Curran

Information architecture tends to focus on the structure of meaning -  how we organise and connect information to create consistent, relevant experiences. What is less considered is the meaning of structure - the way we interpret and understand a flow of information to create narrative and purpose. Drawing on research about the cognitive experience of sequential art as well as lessons from masters of the comic book form, I’ll show how there is still much to learned from the metaphor of the page.

11:40 - 12:15pm
BBC account: How did the BBC launch a highly strategic, pan BBC, user centric, capacity

with Cyrièle Piancastelli

The BBC is a large and complex organisation. 35 million unique browsers access our services every day. We serve 308 million households worldwide and 64.1 million people in the UK alone. Creating value for these audiences means getting the right content and information to the right person at the right moment. Enabling personalised content discovery and recommendations relies on two main elements : clean and meaningful data as well as sensible and enjoyable user journeys.

I’ll tell you how, as a UX Architect in myBBC, I used the data to create information - using structure and context - and how I used the information architecture to improve the data quality.

12:15 - 1:25pm

Lunch is provided

1:25 - 2:00pm
A statistically significant taxonomy

with Matt Jukes and Jonathan Porton

The Office for National Statistics website was once referred to as “the world’s worst website” in a best-selling book, a “national embarrassment” in the Financial Times and was the subject of a Parliamentary hearing in to why it was so bad.

The website’s navigation was based on the 1400 topic National Statistics Category List (NSCL) used by statisticians to categorise their statistics. However it was never designed with a website in mind and certainly not a user centric one.

We'll talk about what we did to identify a new, user friendly information architecture, what didn't go so well and what we wished we had the time and people to do.

2:00 - 2:35pm
The Chapel and the box: The value of the IA process

with Juls Hollidge

What if the purpose of Information Architecture has been grossly miscommunicated? The process of IA as simply a means to an end surely misses the point discarding with it the revelations and nuances along the way; the development of ‘what’ and the wisdom that comes from ‘not that’. There is a science to IA but there is also an art.

Together we’ll look at the value of the IA process and rhythms of IA thinking, as it is within these that IA finds its true value and its distinction from the rest of our competing, overlapping LinkedIn skill lists. Are we, as Information Architects, required to jump aboard the UX train? How do we strategically communicate our value within a culture driven by deliverables, and why is IA considered a price too high for many?

2:35 - 3:05pm

Refreshments provided

3:05 - 3:50pm
Keynote: Ethics In The AI Age

with Cennydd Bowles

Over the next two decades, connected products will demand an unprecedented amount of user trust. Technologists and designers will ask the public for yet more of their attention, more of their data, more of their lives. AIs will know users’ deepest secrets. Co-operating devices will automate security and safety. Autonomous vehicles will even make life-or-death decisions for passengers.

But ours is an industry still unwilling to grapple with the ethical, social, and political angles of our futures. We mistakenly believe that technology is neutral; that inert objects cannot have moral characteristics. And so we make embarrassing blunders – racist chatbots, manipulative research, privacy violations – that undermine trust and harm those we should help.

This is a dangerous trajectory. We urgently need a deeper ethical dialogue about emerging technology, and design’s role within it.

3:50 - 4:00pm
Closing remarks

Closing remarks, a few thank-you's, maybe even a prize giveaway or two, then off to the pub!

Speakers & Presenters
Stuart Curran
Stuart Curran
Principal Consultant

Stuart is a software design consultant with a background in information architecture, interaction design and user research. He currently works as a principal consultant for ThoughtWorks, a global technology company providing software design and delivery services.

Cyrièle Piancastelli
Cyrièle Piancastelli
Senior User Experience Architect

Cyrièle is a Senior User Experience Architect at the BBC. She started working in creative agencies as a back-end / front-end developer, before turning to user experience design and project management 7 years ago, in order to get involved earlier into production. It’s only when she moved to the UK in 2013 that she specialised in UX Design and Information Architecture. She ❤️ data, is obsessed with semantics, and she loves designing systems to solve issues, whether it’s at work or at home. She’s also known for having a very long cat.


Matt Jukes
Matt Jukes
Product Manager

The majority of Matt's 15-year career has been spent managing digital teams for government and research institutions. 

Throughout those 15 years, he has operated at the forefront of internet-enabled change for his employers.

Since 2001 he has successfully introduced content management systems, corporate social media beyond broadcast, commitment to open source technologies - and in recent years, an agile, user-centric approach to product development. In the majority of cases this was achieved despite organisational inertia and risk aversion.

Jonathan Porton
Jonathan Porton
Co-Founder & Director
Mubu Digital

Jonathan is a UX consultant working in the public and private sector. Coming from a technical background, he worked as a back-end / front-end developer for blue chips and creative agencies before moving into user experience 10 years ago. These days he spends his time providing IA, UX design and research skills through his own company, most recently to the Office for National Statistics.

Juls Hollidge
Juls Hollidge
Co-Founder & Director

Juls is a strategist, information architect and Co-Founder of Kore. With a smorgasbord of experience including law, national campaign strategy, global UX Research, creative agencies and community relations, she combines her skills and experience with deconstructionism to develop innovative concepts and strategies. Juls is inquisitive and passionate in her pursuit of understanding and applies IA practices beyond the confines of digital spaces. Originally from Belfast, she now lives in Southend, Essex, and believes the craic should always be mighty.

Cennydd Bowles
Keynote: Cennydd Bowles

Cennydd Bowles is a digital product designer and writer. He has fifteen years of experience helping companies realise the benefits of good design, most recently as design lead at Twitter. Cennydd is author of the popular book Undercover User Experience Design (New Riders 2010) and is now working on Ethical by Design (due 2017).

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