Peter Morville, June 15th

Peter Morville is speaking in Toledo during lunch on Wednesday, June 15th! NWSPUG and Tech Toledo are the organizers and it is open to the public. The event will take place at the Auditorium at One SeaGate (Fifth Third Center) in downtown Toledo. Free lunch, stimulating talk about the Architecture of Understanding, and a chance to hang out with some of the region’s most interesting people. Register at Eventbrite.

morville-mwux intertwingled-cover intertwingled-cover

Wait, who is Peter Morville?


Peter Morville is a pioneer of the fields of information architecture and user experience (who lives in Ann Arbor). He does consulting as Semantic Studios with an impressive list of clients.

You may know him best as one of the authors of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (aka, “the polar bear book”). The 4th edition is subtitled “For the Web and Beyond.” Or you may have read some of his other books.

morville-preziYou may have enjoyed his Prezi Understanding Information Architecture.  It ends with: we are…Architects of Understanding. We help our users to understand where they are, what they’ve found, what to expect, and what’s around. We help our clients to understand what is

Or you may know him from the User Experience Honeycomb. Or his popularization of the term Findability. Or something else from his Wikipedia page.

I am lucky to have known Peter for almost 20 years: first reading his Web Architect column in 1996, then spending 2 years working with him at Argus Associates, and staying in touch as professional colleagues ever since. I am excited he is visiting us!

Left to right: Peter, Keith (me), Amy and Dennis. From the 2000 IA conference.

Left to right: Peter, Keith (me), Amy and Dennis. Four Argonauts at our Information Architecture 2000 conference.

What will he talk about?

Here is his official description for the talk, The Architecture of Understanding:

  • We think we’re designing software, websites, and experiences. But we’re not. We are agents of change. Our systems shape belief and behavior at scale.
  • If we hope to be better, empathy for the user isn’t enough. We must also wrangle with culture, governance, methods, metrics, and the false dichotomies of mind-body and plan-build, because the things we make are reflections of how we see and sort ourselves.
  • In this spirited tour of information architecture, organization strategy, and systems thinking, Peter Morville draws from his new book, Intertwingled, to reveal how everything is connected from code to culture.

Since this is part of a “world tour” by Peter, he has given this talk many times. Check out some of the slides and videos of his talks to get a better sense of what he will cover.

My favorite slides (select to enlarge):

morville-slide1 morville-slide2 morville-slide3

Why should I bother attending?

Sure, you can watch Peter’s talk on video and review his slides any time you want. And it will be a pain to get off of work for a few hours on June 15th. Why bother attending his talk in Toledo? It will be worth it!

  • You will get more out of the talk if you listen live, in person. You can ask Peter questions before and after. You can talk about his concepts with the other attendees. You will learn something that changes the way you think about the future of the “information age.”
  • It is free. Other people have paid to attend conferences to hear this talk. Lunch is also free.
  • You will meet lots of other “cool kids” from the Toledo region who are interested in user experience, digital information, design, and technology. You might meet someone new or you might connect with a colleague you have not seen in a while.

But you have to register first. We need to be able to plan for lunch and other logistics, so you should not just show up on 6/15 without a “ticket.” Register at Eventbrite!

How can this be FREE?

The event is free, including free food, because of the support of our great sponsors. So far, Warnock Tanner & Associates, Inc. will be providing lunch. Thread Marketing Group is also contributing money to help pay for the venue and other expenses. We need more sponsors! Contact me so we can talk about the options.

Keith Instone