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October 29, 2002 10:53 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
AIFIA is born

It has finally arrived. Something that started only a few months ago has realized its dream.

Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture

Get involved!

October 28, 2002 09:05 AM Information Architecture  |   Link
Wanted: Wait Staff with PDA Experience

Just came back from breakfast at Stacks in Menlo Park. Just your typical Monday morning breakfast with my husband. With coffee in hand and menu in the other hand, our waitress approached us with PDA in hand to take our order. This isn't just your ordinary PDA, it was a PDA with wireless connection. Just moments earlier I had noticed hubs around the restaurant with blinking lights. From my experience they did not look like a security system. So when the waitress took our order, it made sense and I immediately saw the PDA/wireless hub connection.

So as she was taking our order, it looked a little cumbersome to see her go through the menu screens. The hostess said it was definitely faster since in most cases many restaurants only had 2 terminals to enter order with several wait staff members. I could see how this could save time; For instance a typical scenario is a wait staff taking your order on a paper and then heading over to the order entry terminal where there could be 2 folks ahead of you. By taking your order once, and having it sent directly to the kitchen it could save time.

This is my first exposure to a new venue for PDA use to improve efficiency. It was kind of weird seeing our wait staff trying to fill our order one person at a time. If we were a party of 6 or 8, it may have taken longer. How much time is really saved? Yes the restaurant is innovative and possibly the first to implement this type of system, but what about the customer experience? I'm very patient, but to see the wait staff just stare really(concentrate) hard at the PDA screen, I wasn't sure if she was really listening to me.

Here are some interesting potential challenges:
a) software is still new, lots of bugs
b) the battery dies
c) the pda freaks out, the cursor doesn't go where it should
d) someone wants something that isn't on the menu
e) you spill food/drink on the pda
f) parties of more than 6, could take longer than expected. Backup system should be used.
g) the internal network goes down, does your staff(wait & kitchen) know how to take orders the old fashion way?


October 25, 2002 03:11 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
XML overview for Information Professionals

Two articles from ASIST Bulletin October/November 2002 issue.

What Can You Do with XML Today? Jay ven Eman

Automatic Indexing: A Matter of Degree Marjorie M. Hlava

I thought the articles were informative from an introductory level. So if you're interested in XML and Automatic Indexing take a few moments to peruse the articles.

October 23, 2002 08:15 PM Business & Finance  |   Link
MBA or Bust

An interesting controversial journal article was published recently by a Stanford GSB professor on the value of an MBA. Somehow the business press really had a field day with this article especially with its timely print during all the CEOs being indicted for one thing or another.

Busines 2.0 Article on the topic: What's an MBA Really Worth?
By Andy Raskin

Citation to Pfeffer & Fong Article:
Pfeffer & Fong, "The End of Business Schools? Less Success Than Meets the Eye," Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2002, Vol. 1, No.1, 78-95.

Some of the issues includes the following:
Practitioner vs. research, bar-crawls, networks, direct application of textbook learning, does an MBA actually equate to success..

For me, I think I'm going to hold off on pursuing that "dream" of an MBA. I'm beginning to learn that experience really gets you far, and any piece of paper to tell me that I'm special won't really help. Also based on my previous GMAT, I have no chance for those top tier schools...he he he. Maybe someday I will, just not right now.

Information Architecture  |   Comments (0)  |   Link
I in Ideas, I in Information Architecture

Recently I've been trying to push the boundaries of Digital Libraries and Information Systems. It's quite a challenge trying to locate research and case studies that revolve around synergies among such fields such as digital libraries, knowledge management, data mining/data warehousing, and information systems. I've asked around and haven't found much. I guess my frustrations with search surfaced in my previous MyWhine entry.

So here is the problem: How can we truly connect people to people through the ideas or objects that they produce or publish?

Peter Morville's article touches on similar ideas. As information architects we develop the structures for gaining access to information. What if we all just took a step back(NOT backwards) and evaluate the organization and management of information from an enterprise perspective and see how we can take a top down review for providing the best solutions. I just have this strange feeling that many of the challenges we face as IA folks for web development could be easily averted with better IA of information systems.

October 16, 2002 06:19 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
Congratulations Christina

October 10, 2002 10:47 PM Whine  |   Link
Whining Part 2: Find, Locate, Search, Look For It...

It's been a few years now since I first got hooked onto the web and first entered my first search query into a web search box. So Google gets me what I want most of the time, but it's not always the only search engine I go to. Just like newspapers, I like to go to a few other engines to get a good mix of what I'd like to get.

My search experience...


October 03, 2002 10:21 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
JJG & Book Launch

Remember seeing that really cool diagram in the IA's cubicle the other day, you know the one that looks like this? Well the brains behind that diagram, just published a book describing the various components and why it's good for your business.

Elements Book Cover
Jesse James Garrett
The Elements of User Experience(2002), New Riders Publishing