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Thank you - Taming Taxonomy: A Practical Introduction - Jessica Duverneay & Alberta Soranzo

From: Crystal Ehrlich, UX D.
Sent on: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 9:51 AM

I would like to thank all of those involved in our event on Taming Taxonomy: A Practical Introduction by Jessica Duverneay, Information Architect, The Understanding Group and Alberta Soranzo, Manager of User Experience & Strategy, UCLA Center for Health Policy & Research. OMG! What a great duo!


As a community, we are very lucky to have these two extraordinary talented and experienced IA/UX professionals based here and willing to share their experience and knowledge on Taxonomy.


Also, to have taken such a dry topic and make it very compelling, is really hard to do. In fact, the presentation was so accessible and entertaining that it started to go a bit viral on the Twitters.


Also, our sponsor, Ticketmaster, was very generous and great to work with. The food and beverages were wonderful, I loved the free parking, the venue setup was nice and they were so welcoming. Thank you much Michael Van Gorkom and Natalie Kuperman for your support and sponsorship. I hope we get to work together again. And, giving away those tickets was awesome and thanks for letting us know about the open UX positions available.


I also want to thank Christian Sosa-Lanz for connecting our group to Ticketmaster.  It’s nice to go to different venues and different parts of town. Often folks, who have trouble coming to Santa Monica, are able to attend some of our events in other locations. It was great to see some new faces on Thursday.


Also, some of you might know that I’m recovering from a slight cold and just moved into a new apartment. I was very grateful that Lara Fedoroff, part of our LAUX leadership team, stepped in as the MC for the evening and delivered great speaker introductions.


I’d also like to thank Jason Gillard. Often, he is so busy with everything that is involved with the live streaming and event recording that many folks don’t get to chat with him. We are lucky to have him as part of our team. He has an awesome sense of humor too.


And, I would like to thank Charlie Salazar, who really shines when organizing the volunteers. We often need folks to live-tweet, take photos, help at the welcome desk, setup the venue, clean up the venue and more. It’s not an easy job to coordinate all these activities.


And, Marsee Henon and Jon Johns of O'Reilly Media have been incredibly generous to our group during the past year. We are lucky to receive books that basically are hot off the press from them. I hope everyone who received the Lean UX book by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden (Feb. 2013) and User-Centered Design by Travis Lowdermilk (March 2013) will express their gratitude to both Marsee and Jon (@OReillyUG, @Marsee and @jonatoreilly).


For almost a year now, Matt Dandurand and Luke Swenson of Media Contour have been attending our events and interviewing our speakers. I’m grateful for their interest in our activities, the topics we explore and the experts we invite to speak. I hope this is just the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Check out the articles they have written about the Web Design and UX community.


As a final note, I wanted to share some quotes about the event from attendees:

  • This was my first UX Event, and I must say that I enjoyed it thoroughly. I learned a bit (esp. how to tell a really convincing lie to prove a point ;) ), and I met some great people. As one who is just starting out in UX, I think there is so much value to this group. I look forward to meeting you all at the next event!

  • Loved the talk yesterday. Jessica & Alberta are fantastic presenters who made a dry topic really entertaining & shared great techniques. Thanks also for the O’Reilly book giveaways at the end and to the organizers (Crystal, Charlie, Jason, Lara). I have to say, the LA UX community rocks!

  • Loved Jessica's breakdown of modeling a taxonomy—will your language convention favor SEO, natural language, branding, or be a mix? Is it best to have it apply to all touch-points or just the web?

  • Alberta introduced a highly useful tool for driving stakeholder comprehension and buy-in (IMO): The Similarity Matrix in Optimal Sort: And, she deftly pulled the wool over our eyes with PCSA and others, like: "Structural Malta Approach to Card Sorting" (Go ahead, Google it ;)

  • Thanks to Ticketmaster there was great food and the "first-floor conference room" to join in afterward.

Again, I would like to thank Jessica Duverneay and Alberta Soranzo for sharing their extensive experience with the UX community. You both rock!


Best, Crystal


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