Time, perhaps more than any other force, determines if we will succeed or if we will fail. From being persistent over time to being in the right place at the right time, we find ourselves planning, using and losing time constantly.
We know how our time began yet we lack any certainty of how our time will end. This drive we all take through the unknown is what makes us human.
What we do with our time is our own to decide, yet we tend to follow cultural patterns etched in the larger human timescale. Whether it be the timeliness of our work, or the timing of our major and minor life-decisions, time is an element that surrounds and confounds us in our personal lives regardless of career paths.
But what about those of us who have chosen to give our time to designing things for other people? How can we use time, ours and theirs, as a material in our process? How might being thoughtful about time affect the quality of the experiences we deliver to our users, clients and colleagues?
We know what you’re thinking. Designing for user experience would be so much easier if there wasn’t all that messy information to be presented. It’s hard to organize that stuff. We get that. Really, who could possibly deal with it?
Abby Covert is an independent information architect living and working in New York City. She specializes in delivering a collaborative information architecture process and teaching those that she works with along the way.
She speaks and writes under the pseudonym Abby the IA, focusing on sharing information architecture content with those working within the design and technology communities. She is the author of How to Make Sense of Any Mess, a book about information architecture for everybody. Apparently the answer to "Really, who could possibly deal with it?" is actually “Abby Covert, along with everybody!”
Abby teaches information architecture at The School of Visual Arts and General Assembly NYC. She is the current, well-organized, not-messy-at-all president of the Information Architecture Institute, a global non-profit membership organization focused on empowering IA leadership, currently serving members in 73 countries.