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2019: Design for Difference

62 locations, 26 Countries, 5 Continents

WIAD19 theme illustration by Sketch Squad
Design for Difference, illustration by Sketch Squad.

As designers, we are responsible for creating worlds of experiences, environments, services, and systems that impact millions of people – with lasting impacts. While we don’t have a Hippocratic Oath, it’s important for us to follow a similar goal to “do good” and “do not harm.” It is our responsibility as IAs to consider the consequences and impact our design decisions have on humanity and society as a whole.

Research is a foundational step in the design process. It ensures that we understand and account for diverse user needs within communities, both in our own domains and globally.

So, what differences are we designing for?

  • Difference in ability and disability

  • Difference in access to information and technology

  • Difference in language and cultural understanding

  • Difference in age, gender, and identity

  • Difference in experience

There is no average user. There is no norm.

“Different is the new normal we should be designing for.”
inclusive design strategist Elise Roy at the 2018 IA Summit in Chicago.

How do we as information architects and designers design for this difference? What is this difference that we’re designing for? How can we better understand it and become more engaged and mindful for our different and diverse users? How might we communicate this understanding to others and provide more meaning and depth?

We build worlds. Let’s do it responsibly.

Locations celebrating WIAD on February 23, 2019



With contributions and feedback from Peter Morville, Andrea Resmini, Kaarin Hoff, Noreen Whysel, Paul McAleer, Stuart Maxwell

Theme illustration by Sketch Squad, a student organization at Purdue University, that specializes in making ideas and information visually compelling.

Global Team


2018 is Catherine's second year helping bring World IA Day to LA. In 2017 she managed Marketing and Social Media for WIADLA17. In addition to creating communications for WIADLA events, Catherine works in development, fundraising, and visibility for social impact organizations. 

Photo of Amy Espinosa


Driven by her passion to learn, share and grow the practice of information architecture in her community, Amy brought World IA Day to Tampa Bay in 2015. She is the Global Executive Producer for World IA Day 2017 and is honored to serve teams around the world who bring this celebration to their community. In her professional life, Amy founded Dots & Cubes, a Tampa-based consulting firm specializing in information architecture and user experience design.

Evgeni Minchev

As a member of the WIAD16 Jönköping, Sweden team Evgeni was officially responsible for marketing the celebration. Additionally, he lined up two presenters and contributed to content archival. In his professional life, Evgeni worked as a Design Consultant for Tobias & Tobias and co-founded, a company that helps organizations improve the user experience of their website, software or online game by performing high-quality testing with real users. 


Latin America Regional Director for World IA Day 2020
Director Regional de Latinoamérica para World IA Day 2020

Ayudando a darle sentido a productos y servicios a través del diseño estratégico y la arquitectura de información.


Development Director of IA Institute and Sponsorship Director for World IA Day from 2018-2020

Toiling in obscurity since before the Web, Bram Wessel is the co-founder of Factor, a Seattle-based IA firm specializing in modeling information and experience. An avid oenophile and fly angler, Bram is passionate about terroir and tight loops. With stolen time, Bram makes Yakima Valley wine and cultivates shellfish on Hood Canal.

Global Sponsors

Optimal Workshop
Euro IA Summit
IA Conference