A journalist and an information architect face exactly the same problem - how to give shape to the pile of information in front of you in a way that will make it easy and natural for people to comprehend. I can't imagine any better preparation for the work I do now.
Besides, Weebles are too hard to draw - they just end up looking like eggs, not people.
The more everybody knows about all aspects of the problems we face, the better off all of us will be. Less time spent explaining things means more time for coming up with creative solutions.
Also, if nothing else, writing this book has really changed the way I experience bookstores. I have a whole different appreciation for the amount of work packed into even the slimmest volume on the shelves.
If you need to take a step back from day-to-day operations and plot out the long-term direction of your user experience strategy, consultants can give you a perspective you can't get on your own.
Well, the whole story is in the book, but the short answer is that I was the first information architect in an organization that was traditionally design-oriented, and I felt I needed a tool to help me gain the trust and support of my colleagues.
But the best teams I've encountered have one important thing in common: their team structure and processes cover a full range of distinct competencies necessary for success.
Building technical systems involves a lot of hard work and specialized knowledge: languages and protocols, coding and debugging, testing and refactoring.
At Adaptive Path, we've been doing our own work with Ajax over the last several months, and we're realizing we've only scratched the surface of the rich interaction and responsiveness that Ajax applications can provide.
My job involves a lot of different skills now - I'm as much entrepreneur and management consultant as anything else these days - but IA is still my favorite part of the work I do.
The main benefit of the book for the more experienced practitioners is as an evangelical tool. The book will give you some ways of expressing the value and importance of your work that you may not have had before.
Ajax isn't a technology. It's really several technologies, each flourishing in its own right, coming together in powerful new ways.
Content is often the reason users come to your site.
User-centered design means understanding what your users need, how they think, and how they behave - and incorporating that understanding into every aspect of your process.
As much as we may want to withdraw into a world of pure problem solving, we have to acknowledge that the most successful architectures are the ones you can actually convince someone to implement.