Annual Report 2009

To view the annual report with financial data, Download a copy of the 2009 Annual Report

March 17, 2011

2009 was a year of continued streamlining for the Institute, as we completed back office development work to create a firm operational foundation that will allow us to better meet current and future growth. Our objective remains to do so without sacrificing the nimbleness and flexibility required to effectively serve the needs of a rapidly evolving profession.

Some of the year's highlights:

  • We ended the year with over 1,830 members in 59 countries. Our member renewal rate was up slightly at 45% in 2009 versus 44% in 2008 and 30% in 2007. This is a loyalty measure that indicates that members are more likely to renew than in previous years. See page 3.
  • We hired an Executive Director who served from April through August 2009, to create procedures that will help streamline our back office operations, bringing our processes and records into good condition. To learn about our decision to move from an Executive Director toward an Association Management consultant for the near term. See page 3.
  • We have begun to review web system infrastructure, content and integration, to replace our current disparate system with a single integrated system. This will allow a more streamlined experience across all of our systems. See page 4.
  • To improve transparency and communication, we launched a Minutes blog to publicize board meeting minutes and invite comment. Additional improvements in communication and branding included streamlined IA Network and Learn IA section content, an interactive map of UX Book Clubs and a professional newsletter campaign system that will help us track our message. See page 5.
  • IDEA 2009 was held in the MaRS Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which continues to exceed our expectations with regards to quality, attendance, and income. We also had a considerable presence at the IA Summit in Memphis, and sponsored various other events around the world. See page 6.
  • Our member initiatives continued to flourish. We've been working to handle the growth in some of our programs, by conducting a local group survey, working continued back end improvements to our mentoring registration system and extending the reach of our translations initiative in Asia, Central Europe and the Middle East. See pages 9 to 13.

We closed the year with a clearer understanding of the challenges and opportunities before us. Over the next year, we look forward to continue improving our infrastructure and partnership opportunities to better serve our members and the IA profession. We thank you for being a part of it all, and look forward to keep working with you to help our profession flourish.

Scope of this report
The 2009 Annual Report covers the period from January 1, 2009 until December 31,2009.


In September 2009, Board of Director elections were held. Jorge Arango and Stacy Surla stepped down as Directors to join our Advisory Board. Will Evans, Jonell Gades, and Andrea Resmini, were elected to serve on the Board. They will join Christian Crumlish, Andrew Hinton, Livia Labate and Russ Unger who are continuing the second year of their two-year terms. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Jorge and Stacy for their dedication these past four years.

The new Board elected Russ Unger as president and chose Livia Labate as secretary and Jonell Gades as treasurer.

Four other areas of responsibility were also delegated, although the roles were assigned more loosely this year than in previous years:

Christian Crumlish, Membership
Andrea Resmini, Resources/Technology
Andrew Hinton, Mentoring/Grants/Local Groups/Webinars
Will Evans, Events

It is important to note that these areas of responsibility are not new initiatives. Rather, they are simply a way for us to channel information and thus provide faster action on key operational issues.

The Institute currently has two part-time staffers. Noreen Whysel has been our Operations Manager since September 2005 and Melissa Weaver has served as Volunteer/Membership Coordinator since July 2006. It is important to note that in addition to their myriad "official" duties, both of these talented women have also devoted many unpaid hours to making the IDEA conference a practical reality and keeping many other initiatives running smoothly. The fact that we are as robust an organization as we are is due in no small part to their exceptional efforts.

Melissa Weaver chose to step down as our Membership & Volunteer Coordinator as of December 2009. Over the years, Melissa wore many hats at IAI and was a critical part of infrastructure building, increasing communication channels, improving the membership program and organizing the IDEA conference. We will miss her unwavering dedication to improving the member experience at IAI. After more than three years of excellent service, Melissa is taking a sabbatical to focus on her music and work with arts organizations. We will miss her contribution to IAI and wish her the best of luck. A search for a new Membership Coordinator began in December.

Executive Director, Paul Goodson, served from April 2008 to August 2009 streamlining back office operations to get the Institute's processes and records into good condition, including proposing draft policies to comply with 990 regulations. The Board introduced Paul as Executive Director at the 2009 IA Summit in Memphis. We elected not to renew Paul's contract in August 2009, at which time the Board determined that the expense of a part time Executive Director could not be justified by our current finances. The Board began a search for an association management firm to take on the back office activities, such as mail handling, bookkeeping, and records storage, with engagement expected in early 2010.

In October, the Board extended invitations to a new group of Advisors, who will serve from October 2008 until September 2009:

Advisors 2007-2008

Liz Danzico
Andrew Hinton
Jason Hobbs
Carolina Leslie
Peter Merholz
Dorelle Rabinowitz
Leisa Reichelt
Samantha Starmer
Lou Rosenfeld
Don Turnbull
Dave Weinberger

Advisors 2008-2009

Paul Ford
Whitney Hess
Rick Johnston
Laura Lessa
Victor Lombardi
Matthew Milan
Eric Reiss
Andrea Resmini
Sarah Rice
Donna Spencer

We would like to express our gratitude for the commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by all of our Advisors – past and present. A huge thank you for your ongoing support and wise counsel!

In 2009, we processed 1,300 memberships including 811 new memberships and 489 renewals. We ended the year with over 1,830 members in 49 countries. Overall membership decreased by 12.9% from 2009. This is a new trend compared to the previous year, in which membership increased by 25%. The decrease could be related to continued decline of economic conditions worldwide, as we had members in 59 countries in 2008 and ten fewer countries in 2009.

The renewal rate (renewals compared to expirations) was up slightly at 45% in 2009 versus 44% in 2008 and 30% in 2007. This is a loyalty measure that indicates that members are more likely to renew than in previous years.

We processed 1,160 individual Professional membership subscriptions in 2009; 705 new Professional members joined, and 455 Professional members renewed their memberships. New Professional memberships made up approximately 60% of the Professional memberships processed in 2009.

We processed 122 Student membership subscriptions in 2009. New Student memberships made up approximately 87% of the Student memberships processed.

We processed 18 Professional Group membership subscriptions in 2009; 16 one-year Group subscriptions, and 2 two-year Group subscriptions.


As mentioned in our 2008 Annual Report, two of the key factors that led the board to hire an Executive Director were our desire to ensure that the operational aspects of the organization are in order, and that firm foundations are in place to prepare us for future growth. We feel that during his short tenure, Paul Goodson put us on the right track toward these goals:

  • Developed policies and procedures for tax and regulatory reporting, management oversight and reporting, bookkeeping, accounts payable, banking. Developed additional policies for consideration around financial management authority, audit, financial oversight, budget, disbursement authority, cash deposits, check cards, PayPal, investments, contracts and changes to policies.
  • Worked with bookkeeper to finalize 2008 financial reporting and 2009 budget. Made recommendations for moving banking accounts to a new provider to enable broader access to our board members. Paul processed our move to Bank of America in April 2009. He also proposed a policy update for signature authority for deposit accounts.
  • Drafted bylaws that would address presidential succession.
  • Devised recommendations for a way to structure a sponsorship agreement with local chapters.
  • Recommended a new voice conferencing service provider.
  • Looked into additional revenue streams, such as affiliate memberships and dues increase, which were not yet acted on by the Board.

This work was a significant step towards streamlining operations. Next, we expect to return to our business plan to define strategy for 2010 and beyond. Until that strategy is finalized, the Board has determined that the expense of an Executive Director is a luxury and that our funds would be better directed toward continued support of operational management. In 2010, the Board expects to engage an outsourced management firm to handle operational tasks (mail, records management, accounts payable).

Business plan
The Institute is guided in its strategic direction by a business plan that was developed during 2007, and is continuously updated by the Board of Directors. This work indentified eight key areas of focus for the Institute over a two-year period. These points were outlined in our 2008 Annual Report. One point that we have focused on in 2009 was our plan to "build a strong, stable 'back office' that enables a consistent handoff from each Board to the next, supports excellent member communication and volunteer coordination, and allows the Board to be more strategic and less tactical and operational." We are deeply satisfied with the results of this endeavor and are confident that incoming boards will appreciate the improved operations.

Thanks especially to Treasurer, Jonell Gades, for efforts in this regard. Jonell put in a major effort to organize books and records so future Boards are in good shape.

Technology and Systems
As noted in 2008, infrastructure and technology platforms used by IAI need to be transitioned to platforms that are more flexible and extensible. In Spring 2009, the Board formed an Infrastructure Taskforce to develop a project plan and make a recommendation on Membership Management system so that we can begin migration by September 2009. Board members Christian Crumlish and Livia Labate and Membership Coordinator Melissa Weaver sat on this taskforce.

Board member Livia Labate formally launched operation "Cobbler's Children" in August 2010 to review web system infrastructure, content and integration, initially proposed to live on a Drupal platform. She attended Drupalcamp Philadelphia and recruited several volunteers to work on the project. Timeframe is to launch on Drupal in mid-2010. In November, Livia Labate began working with advisor Jonathon Knoll to plan the infrastructure transition and how volunteers should contribute over time.

Board member Christian Crumlish developed a more short term focused "Infrastructure Mending Project" also known as Project Switchboard to address constraints of the current MemberClicks system. Christian enlisted his mentee Nicola de Franchesi to research potential alternatives. Together they conducted a discovery engagement and researched the options, settling on a new implementation of aMember as the best alternative, one that will allow for short-term improvements in processes and member services while also being compatible with any possible future migration of website infrastructure to Drupal.

Executive Director, Paul Goodson, reported on a proposed review of the IAI website to make it more inclusive and welcoming to broader audiences to include IAs by any title, those who perform any aspect of IA under the broadest definition, and all those who have interest in improving the practice of IA, again under the broadest definition. This project was prompted by feedback from multiple members including comments offered by Whitney Hess at the Advisors meeting in Memphis. IA Network and Learn IA section content was streamlined to provide more immediate access to underlying pages. We temporarily removed the geolocate map, which was growing increasingly outdated as maintenance of a non-integrated system became too costly in terms of volunteer time. We expect that our new membership solution will allow us to develop a more robust member directory and mapping features in 2010.

In 2009, website improvements focused on continuing to deliver pertinent information to our members and the larger IA/UX community.

  • Created shorter branded links to member database and Join page to replace MemberClicks branded links. Website and offline collateral were updated to reflect the new URLs: and
  • The Minutes blog was launched in October 2009 to publicize board meeting minutes and invite comment:
  • IA Network and Learn IA section content was streamlined to provide more immediate access to underlying pages.
  • A map of UX Book Clubs around the world was added to the IA Network section.
  • Images from the IA Summit mentoring booth were added to the mentoring section to highlight the human connection offered by the program.

New channels for member interaction
IAI started a LinkedIn group in 2008 and ended the year with over 1,200 members. Originally a members-only group, we extended the membership to nonmembers as a way to extend our message and community to the larger world. As a result, we increased our membership to 2,050 LinkedIn members by year-end 2009. Those members were introduced to our free online resources and invited to become IAI members. New discussion threads on LinkedIn offer another way for members to connect outside of our discussion list. So far our initial fears of irrelevant postings have not been realized. We are pleased with the conversation and networking that is facilitated via this resource.

In late 2008, tools like Get Satisfaction and Twitter (@iainstitute)were introduced to test-drive how these technologies can help the Institute. To date, Twitter has shown an impressive response, with a steady growth of active followers (750+ new followers between November 2008 and February 2009 and well over 2,000 followers by year end 2009). Get Satisfaction was less well received. Although 117 people signed into our Get Satisfaction site, only nine topics were posted and five of these were posted by board members.

Members discussion list
The Members discussion list had over 2,000 subscribers and 1,776 posts in 2009, which is quite a bit down from the 4,006 posts in 2008. Some of the most popular topics in 2009 were "Damned 40 Dollars" which discussed the monetary and intangible value of Institute membership and "Forrester Definition of UX" which charged Information Architects with the term "web weanies". This discussion prompted Board member, Andrew Hinton, to reach out to the Forrester author to Explain IA as we see it. Other popular topics: how to become a freelancer, IA and Aesthetics, good IA and critiques, quick research methods, essential characteristics of UX, well crafted IA job descriptions, and undergraduate courses of study, etc. In 2010, we will continue to support this discussion list which is of considerable value to our membership.

Monthly newsletter
There are nearly 5,000 subscribers to our monthly newsletter, which highlights IAI news, volunteer opportunities, events from our calendar and news from our sponsors. The newsletter is available free to any subscriber.

In 2008, we streamlined our newsletter to make it denser and more accessible. In 2009, we improved it further to ensure that it becomes a more effective communications channel. In addition, MailChimp, an IDEA sponsor, offered to host our monthly newsletter for free. This allowed us to better track subscription data, click rates, open rates and abuse reports, while eliminating some of the problems we were having with the Mailman Announce list.

Free discussion lists
The IAI also hosts discussion lists that are available to members and non-members. Each list is moderated by an IAI volunteer with support from IAI staff. Lists can be region specific like Australia-New Zealand and Portuguese-Brazil lists. They may be topic specific such as the UX management list and the Enterprise IA list. Volunteer Marianne Sweeny continues to provide a job-listing digest to any interested subscribers.


The Information Architecture Institute conducts and participates in events that are established to help further the practice of Information Architecture across the globe. Through these events, we continue to build and strengthen our presence as the leading resource for Information Architecture.

The IDEA Conference
In October the Institute hosted the fourth edition of Information: Design, Experience, Access, our yearly conference about the issues that affect designers of complex information spaces. The conference, which was held in Toronto's MaRS Center featured the theme, Social and Experience Design: Inspired Ideas, Practical Outcomes. With 206 registered attendees, IDEA 2009 nearly matched 2008's attendance of 220 participants.

Apart from being a valuable opportunity to discuss the issues that affect IAs, IDEA is also an important source of income for the Institute. In this regard we were also considerably more successful than last year: profit from was up more than 140% over the 2008 edition. Thanks to our sponsors: Axure, Critical Mass, Draftfcb, Infragistics, Mad*Pow, MailChimp, Research In Motion, uxSEARS,, Sapient Interactive, Usability Matters, crowdSPRING, Happy Cog, Johnny Holland, nForm, Rosenfeld Media, Sprout Builder, and New Riders.

IDEA 2009 featured 14 speakers from a wide variety of fields, including Erin Malone of Tangible UX, Christina Wodtke of LinkedIn, and Luke Wroblewski, Director of Product Ideation & Design at Yahoo! Inc.. The conference also featured a sold-out pre-conference workshop on Modular User Experience Design & Deliverables organized by Nathan Curtis of EightShapes.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make IDEA 2009 a success, and especially our volunteers and sponsors. Twenty people volunteered their time to help plan, organize, advertise and staff this successful event. We thank our volunteers for their countless hours and continued dedication to the IDEA Conference.

The IA Summit
The Summit, which is organized by the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), was held in Memphis, Tennesee, USA in March 2009. Once again, the Institute was highly visible, with a permanent table set up outside the main exhibit hall, where attendees could learn about the Institute. As we've done in past years, we also hosted the popular IA Mentoring Booth.

The Institute also organized and presented a preconference workshop at the Summit entitled Beyond Findability- Reframing IA Practice and Strategy for Turbulent Times. This day-long workshop, led by Andrew Hinton, Joe Lamantia, Livia Labate, and Matt Milan, provided tools and techniques that will help UX designers grow as professionals in these trying times. The workshop had XX attendees, and was considered a great success.

The Institute will continue to support the IA Summit through sponsorship, leadership workshops and various activities throughout the event.

Regional Events
During 2009, the Institute sponsored or partnered with a variety of IA-related events including:

  • Canux: the Canadian User Experience Workshop
  • Euro IA in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • German IA Konferenz in Berlin, Germany
  • Italian IA Summit in Forli, Italy
  • OZ-IA in Sydney, Australia
  • UX Australia
  • UX London

The Institute provides financial sponsorship of these events, as well as strategic and marketing assistance. However, they would not be possible without the leadership and hard work of local IA professionals and students. We thank them all, and look forward to helping them develop their local communities and IA-related initiatives during 2010.

IA Institute Event Promotions
IAI promotes conferences, workshops, and meetings through direct email, our event calendar and newsletter. Free events are posted directly and we greatly increased the number of local groups posting their events to our calendar in 2008. Events with free registration are approved by a board member and offer a discounted registration to IAI members. The activities provide a lot of value to our partners and emphasize our need for a more robust and flexible infrastructure so we can continue to deliver on those expectations. In 2009, the event calendar posted 79 total events.

We would like to thank these event organizers for their continued support. We hope to see a lot from all of you in 2010.


As our organization gains momentum, it's only natural that we seek to formalize partnerships with allied institutions, professional groups – and even individuals.

Our partners fall into three distinct categories:

  • Professional organizations
  • Event organizers
  • Corporate sponsors

Professional Partners include organizations that help the Institute advance its mission. Partnerships may include agreements to exchange resources, interoperate technically, and act together to form a community of people and ideas. Continued relationships with our longstanding partners have brought excellent benefits to IAI members from event and product discounts for our membership to free podcast recording of our events.

The IA Institute promotes our partners' events and web content through our website, newsletter and event calendar.

Current Professional Partners include:

  • American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)
  • Boxes and Arrows
  • CMSWatch
  • Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
  • Journal of Information Archtiecture
  • University of Baltimore
  • Web Indexing Special Interest Group of the American Society of Indexers
  • UX Book Club
  • UXnet

Event Partners include groups who arrange conferences and events focused on IA or closely related to IA interests, which offer give our members a significant reduction on the admission price and possibly other benefits. These partnership agreements are made on an ad hoc basis and include free events as well. The Institute provides two kinds of support to these partners:

  • Online promotions, in which the Institute offers promotional assistance for the event.
  • Financial support for an event.

Event Partners in 2009 included 40 organizations representing 79 events throughout the year:

  • Adaptive Path
  • Ark Group
  • Bristol Knowledge
  • Canux
  • Cloud Symposium
  • Creative Employment Confab
  • Documentation and Training West
  • Enterprise Search Summit West
  • EuroIA
  • Gilbane Conferences
  • IA Konferenz
  • IA Meetup
  • IA Summit
  • IDC
  • Information Architecture Association of Japan
  • Intelligent Content 2009
  • Italian IA Summit
  • IxDA Interaction09
  • IxDA Local
  • J. Boye Conferences
  • James Kalbach
  • Key Forums
  • MessageFirst
  • Online Information UK
  • OZ-IA
  • PhillyCHI
  • Rosenfeld Media
  • School of Visual Arts
  • Science and Technology Leadership Institute
  • SOA Symposium
  • TriUPA
  • UIE Roadshow
  • UIE Virtual Seminar
  • UX Australia
  • UX London
  • UX Workshop
  • VizThink
  • Web App Summit
  • Web Content 2009

Corporate Sponsors and Partners are commercial entities who provide economic or technical support to the Institute and to our members in exchange for promotion on our website and newsletter. Corporate sponsors fund Institute operations and activities. The IDEA conference enjoyed strong corporate sponsorship in 2009.

Corporate sponsors offering member discounts in 2009 included AIIM, OptimalSort, Peachpit Press and Rosenfeld Media. Corporate sponsors of the 2009 IDEA Conference included Axure, CBC.CA, Critical Mass, CrowdSpring, DraftFCB, happy cog, Infragistics, Johnny Holland, Mad*Pow, MailChimp, New Riders, nForm, RIM, Rosenfeld Media, Sapient, Sears and Sprout.


In April, a Webinar Taskforce was formed to investigate, compare, and make recommendations on a plan to go forward with a distance learning / curriculum program, including revenue model for such a system. This team was comprised of Board member Andrew Hinton, Melissa Weaver and volunteers Jennifer Brook and Alex Hogan. Investigations resulted in an updated Standard Promotion Agreement for non-Institute events and a new Webinar and Events Promotion Policy developed by Melissa, and an online Event Intake Form developed by Alex. Jennifer entered into negotiations with education providers resulting in an expansion of our current offerings of discounts for members by year end.

Job Board
The Job Board continues to be an important service of the Institute; however postings dropped dramatically in 2009. During the year 452 positions, including 295 full time and 157 contract jobs, were posted. This is compared to 667 positions, including 514 full time and 153 contract jobs, in 2008. This represents a continued decrease in use since 2007. On the brighter side, only one technical problem was reported in 2009 involving spam listings that were successfully dealt with by Job Board volunteer, Marianne Sweeny.

Hearty thanks are due to volunteers Samantha Bailey, our steadfast job approver, and Marianne Sweeny, who as the job board newsletter editor, injects a weekly shot of personality and warmth into our communications.

Andrea Resmini spent much of 2009 addressed some of the redundant coding and security issues in the IA Library system, with the help of mentoring program protégé, Nicola De Franceschi. Volunteer Bev Corwin has also been evaluating future directions of these resources and began compiling a list of functional requirements, as well as recommendations on partner institutions, whose members may be able to provide recommendations on further development of our library system.

To date, we have incorporated the featured IA Tools into the library and developed some ideas around improving the way the library catalogs and delivers translated resources. A number of different ideas and development paths were also considered for an implementation of the library in line with the Institute's own long-standing position as an authoritative institution in the field of IA, but no final agreement on a restricted set of features has been reached, in accordance with the necessity to consider the possibility of moving the whole technological infrastructure from in-house code to externally developed, free or open source platforms like Drupal.

To supplement our library efforts, Andrea Resmini continues to manage the Information Architecture group on where IAs can share and discuss books covering topics in information architecture. Join group at

Local Groups
Throughout the year the Institute continued to provide support for local groups, including the sponsorship of regional conferences, engagement with the Alliance Research initiative to develop new services through existing industry and educational networks, support of the IA Education initiative, and support of the Translation initiative. Local Groups and global networking planning activities are continuing with the creation of a viable Local Groups and Chapters strategy. To inform our strategy for local participation, we conducted a survey of local group leaders, performed a review of local group structure at partner and similar professional organizations, and initiated a Local Groups pilot project.

The 2009 Local Groups survey was conducted in March and April of 2009 by Board member Stacy Surla and Operations Manager Noreen Whysel. 468 individuals, whom the IAI operations manager and members of the boards of directors and advisors identified as leaders in the IA community, were asked to participate in the survey. 105 individuals responded, or 22% of those invited.

Survey respondents represented a worldwide sample, though primarily concentrated in the United States and Europe. A solid majority live close to at least a few fellow IA/UX practitioners, and about half say they live near many people in their field, which is a key to developing a local presence. Most report that organized group activities are available for practitioners in their area, although about one-in-three describe their professional community as disconnected, dissipating, or only beginning to form. On average, respondents hold organized IA/UX activities about once a month, and they believe these events primarily offer the potential for socializing and networking.

Overall, respondents report that the IAI has been most helpful in its awarding of grants for organizing events and conferences. In looking to the future, they are particularly interested in the potential for forming greater relationships with local and regional organizations, for leadership support, and for support with managing events. About half are interested in playing a greater role in the Institute's Local Groups/Chapters program.

Board member Andrew Hinton, conducted a review of local group structure at partner and other professional organizations that are similar in structure to the IA Institute. One activity that holds promise for the Institute is a student-chapter structure, which would help to build relationships with people while they're forming their professional identity. We plan to explore the connections between local groups, student activity and the mentoring program further in 2010.

As sponsoring board member for local groups, Andrew Hinton initiated collaboration with local leaders in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to find out how the Institute might innovate a more loosely structured, informal affiliation program with existing or nascent local groups interested in information architecture theory & practice. Efforts continue into 2010

Mentoring is one of our key offerings and one of the main ways in which the Institute can help to develop IA practitioners and to differentiate itself in the UX arena. In 2009, we received 177 mentoring applications from prospective protégés and increased our mentor roster to 120. This represents a continued growth of the mentoring program from previous years, and a particularly welcome increase in the number of mentors.

We are proud of the mentors we have in our program who have gone beyond the call of duty to mentor two or more protégés at a time or sequentially, and those who have provided input and encouragement for the program. Noreen Whysel, our Operations Manager, devotes several hours a month of unpaid time to make introductions and walk protégés through the process of finding, interviewing and selecting mentors, in addition to paid hours developing the program and mentoring systems. We have been better able to manage the backlog of protégé applicants, as mentors have become much more communicative. We are grateful for the many protégés who have expressed to us their continued gratitude and patience.

The UX-Management list, a discussion list for management level IAs added in 2007, serves as a successful peer-to-peer mentoring forum. Membership increased from over 400 by December 2008 to over 500 by December 2009.

In 2010 we would like to continue to expand our available mentors list and provide our members educational and networking experiences that supplement the mentoring program. Through continued recruiting and planning more mentoring events, we will ensure that our mentoring program becomes the best program in this discipline.

Progress grants
In 2009, we received four grant proposals from an international candidates. Three from South America and one from India.

  • Miguel Angel Alcántara Ayre, Computer Engineer, Huancayo, Perú: Achieving an Information Society in Developing Countries
  • Rodrigo Gonzatto, Edyd Junges, and Frederick van Amstel of the Faber-Ludens Interaction Design Institute, Curitiba - Paraná - Brazil: Integrating and Fragmenting Data
  • Neha Modgil Co founder and Design Director of Techved Design, Mumbai, India: Emotional Scale - Measuring User Feedback in Rural India
  • Javier Velasco-Martin, PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina from Santiago, Chile: Exploring Intimate Self Exposure in Social Media

Grant awardees were Neha Modgil of Mumbai, India and Javier Velasco-Martine of Santiago, Chile. The first half of the award was presented in November 2009. The second half will be presented on receipt of the final research papers and will be posted to our website in June 2010.

Our thanks to 2009 Grants Jury members:

  • Andrew Hinton, Vanguard, USA
  • Jason Hobbs, JH-01, South Africa
  • Matthew Milan, Normative Design, Canada
  • Judit Pónya, CompLex Publisher, Hungary
  • Andrea Resmini, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Samantha Starmer, REI, USA

The Progress Grants initiative was suspended for 2008 due to a lack of suitable applications, and no grant money was awarded in 2009.

Second Life
The IAI's Second Life initiative sought to explore and model good IA practices in crafting complex information spaces and shaping the user experience in shared virtual environments; provide the IA Institute and its partner organizations with a virtual presence for promotion, education, and membership development; and use Second Life as a platform for IA-related workshops, events, and collaboration.

In 2009 the IAI began to expand engagement on the island through entering into tenancy agreements with affinity organizations. Beginning with the 2009 spring semester, the New York University Digital Communications Program took up residence in a subleased area of our Island. By year end, their multimedia installation representing a study of the environmental impact of water bottles was the only activity for the year. In the Board's November initiative review, it was determined that the affinity of the Second Live project with the goals of the Institute was not sufficiently articulated and that there was not enough ongoing activity by Institute project teams to justify the $1,700 annual investment in this project. The board voted to terminate the initiative in the new year.

Salary Survey
The 2009 IAI Salary Survey was the sixth salary survey conducted since 2003. Members of the IA Institute, UXNet, IxDA and sigia-l were invited to participate. A total of 435 responses were collected, slightly more than in 2009. The highest response group at 14.3% was in the $80,000-90,000 USD range; however the three next-higher groups each represented about 11% of the total. The inferred mean salary (not counting the Over $200,000 USD and Under $20,000 USD groups) was $90,000 USD, down $6,800 USD since 2008, but $4,800 USD above the 2007 figure. For comparison purposes, the median midpoint was $84,999 USD. Rates for freelance consultants ranged from $25.00 USD per hour to $638.00 USD per hour, with a median of $85.00 USD per hour.

The gender split continues to be nearly 50%-50%, with female IAs earning an insignificant $200 USD more than their male counterparts annually. While earning a masters degree does not appear to have a significant effect on salary overall, we did find an unexpected gender effect. Women with a Masters earned an average of $6,000 USD less per year than women with a Bachelors degree. At the same time, men with a Masters degree tended to earn $5,000 USD more annually than men with a Bachelors degree. This effect deserves more study.

You can find the full survey at:

The Translation of Information Architecture initiative (TIA) represents our effort to promote IA internationally by translating key IA documents and our website to several major languages. In 2009, we welcomed two volunteers working on Arabic translations, and greatly expanded our Polish and Chinese teams. Our library currently hosts translations in 15 languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian and Spanish. Language websites for each of these languages are either launched or in progress. Plans for a redesigned translations website are included in the overall infrastructure redesign initiative. We expect significant improvements to our language sites beginning in mid-2010.

Janette Shew continues to lead the article translation initiative, while Operations Manager, Noreen Whysel, manages the websites. Volunteers have been recruited and are utilizing Basecamp for project management.

Download the 2009 full report with financial data (PDF 180K).

This page was last modified on April 6, 2011 07:43 PM.