In mid-December, the venerable Lou Rosenfeld asked me if I would join the UXnet board of directors. Saying no to Lou would have been wildly foolish. After all, he literally wrote the book on information architecture. Initially published in February 1998, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, co-written with Peter Morville, is one of the seminal works in the field of user experience and is undeniably responsible for paving the way for all of us who are practicing today.
The first time I had ever heard the term “information architect” I was an intern at Mercury Seven, then acquired by X-ceed (now defunct from the dot-com bust), a web design consultancy. It was the summer of 1999 and I had just finished my junior year in high school. There was a really tall, good looking, bald guy who sat behind me, and damn I wish I remembered his name now. He was the team’s information architect, and his desk was covered with huge pieces of paper with sitemaps and flow charts — I didn’t know what this stuff was, but it sure looked cool! And oh yeah, he had a copy of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. So you get my point.
Ten years later, I’m living the dream. I had met Lou briefly at last year’s IA Summit when he gathered a group of people together to discuss Kevin Cheng‘s upcoming book (read more about that here). Then it wasn’t until I hosted an IA Salon at my apartment building in October that we met again. Soon after that, Lou asked me to grab coffee with him, just to chat about UX, my foray into consulting, my involvement in social media, etc. We’ve had a few coffee dates since and have become fast friends. To say that I am friends with someone who helped make my career possible is a true honor.
So finally, I’m back to the reason I’m writing this post. During one of these chats over coffee, Lou asked if I would join the UXnet board of directors. I didn’t know what it would entail exactly, but I immediately said yes. I’ve been waiting to figure out the details before I announced it here. After an incredible conversation I had with fellow director Harry Max this week, I realized just what a great opportunity this is and now I’m super eager to get started.
Read more about UXnet on their website. I’ll keep you posted on the initiatives I’ll be working on as roles and responsibilities start to shake out.
Thank you so much to Lou and the rest of the board. I am honored to be included and can’t wait to contribute to the cause, and most importantly, learn from all of you.
- I was asked to join the IAI Board of Advisors November 17, 2008 | 6 comments
- I’m running for the 2008 Information Architecture Institute board of directors September 6, 2008 | 9 comments
- Reaching outside the UX tribe at STC’s Technical Communication Summit May 10, 2010 | 3 comments
- I’ll be speaking at IA Summit 2009 in Memphis February 4, 2009 | 3 comments
- The boxee website redesign July 20, 2009 | 0 comments
Keith Instone says
Welcome, good to have you on “board”. I just cannot resist that pun, sorry.
tom sakell says
Thanks for mentioning Rosenfeld's, “Information Architceture.” Your post sent me back to the library. I remember the first time I went through, I thourgh too much of it was … so obvious. Was I wrong.
I realize now I'd simply skimmed this treasure. If little else, I'll be using the glossary to better define terms at work tom'w.
Thanks again, Whitney.
Tom Sakell, tomsakell.blogspot.com
Carmen Hetrea says
IA and UX and how much work ahead of us!!! We are bringing science to Web publishing and making the user experience all that it can be. You may want to visit my brief post on the Britannica Blog and bring the UX and IA community to comment.