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Michigan 2024

United States


North America

World Information Architecture Day Michigan 2024

Date: Saturday, March 2, 2024

Time: 1:00pm–4:00pm

World Information Architecture Day (WIAD) is an annual global celebration held in locations around the world dedicated to teaching, learning, and discussing the future shaping of IA. It's a day for building local communities of practice within a global network. We invite you to join us for an illuminating afternoon as we delve into the power of understanding context when designing today’s networked products, apps, and places.

This Year's Theme: Context

Inspired by Andrew Hinton's seminal work, Understanding Context, this year's theme invites us to explore the complex tapestry of context in our digital worlds.

As Andrew noted in 2013 when he presented the ideas behind the book at the 2013 WIAD in Ann Arbor:

“Context is all around us. It shapes the meaning in all types of communications. Without context, you can’t communicate effectively. Without context, you can’t understand meaning. Context is fundamental to the way we come to understand people, situations, and ideas. Context inspires feelings, thoughts and beliefs of groups and individuals. It is the background information that allows people to make informed decisions.”

Event date
Sat, 2 March 2024

Venue, parking and transit

Having participated nearly every year since 2012, we have witnessed the way Michigan weather reminds you who is in charge. So in 2024, we decided to adopt a hybrid model. The public is welcome to join University of Michigan students in North Quad for a viewing party hosted by Dan Klyn and Kaarin Hoff or watch online.

Ann Arbor
University of Michigan School of Information
North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex
105 S. State Street, Room 2435
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Remote viewing information will be provided with registration.


12: 45 PM—Online Lobby and NQ2435 Open

1:00 PM—Welcome and Introductions

1:15 PM—Context Windows and Why IA Matters in LLMs & RAG
Matt Payne
The conversations around large language models and RAG applications have been moving quickly with tons of good, and bad information. Much of this focuses on using real time context from knowledgebases in a prompt format. But how do we best structure that information we want to use in context with LLMs? Let’s take a dive into why you need to structure your information soundly for use in LLMs & RAG, and how context windows should be thought about from the IA perspective.

The Body Electric: Finding Ground In Our New Digital Reality

Andrew Hinton

At times, it feels like the very ground under our feet is shifting — or even dissolving — as digital information and devices disrupt and even replace parts of our world. In this talk, we’ll look at these trends, and consider the possibility of a radical re-introduction of the human body as the organizing principle of information architecture and interaction design practice.


2:45 PM—An Approach for Finite Humans to Grapple with the Infinite
Joe Elmendorf

Explore the art of focused, impactful modeling and dive into the Model Approach Placard (M.A.P.) Technique, a methodology that champions the agile principle of doing the simplest thing that works by paying attention to what truly matters.

3:15 PM—Panel Discussion
Dan Klyn, Kaarin Hoff, Andrew Hinton, Matt Payne, and Joe Elmendorf

The afternoon will wrap up with a lively, facilitated discussion about the presentations.

3:45 PM—Closing Raffle