Building Solid Information Architecture

ia

We had another UX session, this time with Lisa Min, Senior Experience Architect at Akendi. In this post I will go over the key points I took away from the session.

Information architecture (IA) is the foundation or skeletal structure of the product. It’s about the relationship between users and content, and how that content is organized. It’s also about how we shape information and experiences to support findability.

IA shouldn’t be confused with wire-framing, graphic design and coding. IA done well helps reduce frustration in not finding information. If a user feels confident while using your site/app, it’s probably because it has a strong IA.

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The Importance of User Experience Design

UXD

Our design team has the unique opportunity to learn about User Experience with Akendi, a UX design, research & product strategy firm in Toronto. The first session provided an in-depth look at the theory, process, tools and techniques of UX design, and mixed it with practical application. Tedde Van Gelderen, President of Akendi, led the first session, introducing us to the human factors that influence usability, and gave us a thorough overview of UX and user-centered design and its applications. Without giving too much away, I’d like to hit on the most important bits of information I’ve taken away from this session that helped me better understand the importance of UX Design.

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RGD Headstart Conference: Part 1

abby-headstart

I was generously invited to attend the RGD HeadStart Conference by the kind folks over at Creative Niche. HeadStart is RGD‘s largest conference for emerging designers and students. There are various presentations and panels that discuss the latest trends in the design industry, how to land your dream job, how to start a successful freelancing career, and more! Their experienced speakers guided us through the process of creating a strong portfolio, and also gave invaluable interview tips. One-on-one portfolio review sessions allowed industry professionals to give us constructive criticism on our work. It also gave us the chance to practice our interview skills. It was a full, jam-packed day, and I learned so much that it couldn’t be contained in one blog post. Let’s begin!

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Interactivity, Transmedia, and the Things You Can Do With HTML5

Pietro

The Secret Location‘s very own VP and Creative Director, Pietro Gagliano, dropped by our class to talk about interactive digital story telling and transmedia. Pietro showed us extensive and impressive case studies of past projects, including process work, wireframes, mood boards, competitive audits, and reels. I was blown away by the amount of interactive game-related work that his company produced for big clients like The Amazing Race Canada and Big Brother Canada. Next time I watch these shows, I’ll remember the hard work of Pietro and his team.

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UX Design in the Realm of Startups

Genco

This week we had the ever dapper Genco Cebecioglu,  CEO and Creative Director of Junction Design, speak to us about UX design for startups.  Junction Design is a Toronto based visual identity, UI/UX design studio. Their clients include Mobilicity, Virgin Gaming, and Metrix Group, to name a few. Genco had a lot to say about the successes and pitfalls of starting your own business, so if you’re ever planning to do that, you might want to read this.

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