Annual Report 2011

To view the annual report with financial data, Download a copy of the 2011 Annual Report.

Annual Report 2011
16 March 2012

In 2011, the IA Institute Board of Directors developed a new framework to guide our strategy and allow us to meet the needs of an evolving membership. This framework defines a series of constituent relationships that we believe will create value and enable both the Institute and the discipline to stand out in a growing, yet still turbulent space. We are confident that all of our members, partners and others interested in our progress will find themselves and their respective needs within these relationships.

Some of the year's highlights:

  • Organization: In February, the Board of Directors participated in a retreat in Reykjavik, Iceland to develop a new direction for the Institute, with a goal of defining the needs of the Institute and its members and a strategy for meeting these needs. One artifact that was produced is a concept model for the IA Institute which will serve as the litmus test for all current and future initiatives, materials and functionality. We also named Bev Corwin as Development Manager, a new role overseeing grant and partnership program development. See page 2.
  • Membership: We ended the year with 1,423 members in 55 countries, an increase in membership over 2010. Our member renewal rate was 48.8% versus 51% in 2010, 45% in 2009 and 44% in 2008. This is a loyalty measure based on the number of eligible members that chose to renew in a given year. See page 2.
  • Infrastructure: Using our new concept model as a guide, Board Member Dorian Taylor has begun to inventory and analyze the contents of the IA Institute's Web properties. We are fairly confident that the Semantic Web will play a lasting role in our progress, at least in some form. See page 3.
  • Communications: The Institute's new framework for building relationships was announced at the Annual Members Meeting in April. A podcast discussing the changes was released in August, which the board would like to continue to do as a regular feature for communicating to our members. Also, we replaced our Facebook group with a Facebook Page, added a few new social media accounts and are now featuring new Library additions in our newsletter. See page 8.
  • Events: We did not host an IDEA Conference in 2011 but instead explored and began planning a new concept, World IA Day, which would be held on February 11, 2012 in 14 locations. World IA Day will allow us to focus on developing local communities of practice throughout the world. See page 10.
  • Partnerships: We expanded our list of event, education and product partners. With Bev Corwin's guidance, we are exploring collaborative partnerships with external organizations, both to support our infrastructure initiatives and to develop projects for volunteers. We feel these partnerships will strengthen our status on collaborative, grant funded projects in the future. See page 11.
  • Initiatives: Our member initiatives continued to flourish. See page 12.

We closed the year with a plan for redirecting our activities toward facilitating seven defined relationship paths. Over the next year, we look forward to implementing changes to our partnership and membership models and continue improving our website and interpersonal infrastructure 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 2011 Annual Report covers the period from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011.


In September 2011, Board of Director elections were held. One Board member, Ian Fenn, was removed from office by Board vote on 5 January 2011. Andrea Resmini completed his first two-year term and was eligible to stand for re-election. The Board voted to return to a seven seat body, leaving three open seats for the 2011-2013 term.

Chris Baum of San Francisco, CA, USA and Laura Creekmore of Nashville, TN, USA, were elected to serve on the Board. Andrea Resmini of Jönköping, Sweden, was re-elected to serve a second two-year term. They joined Dan Klyn of Ann Arbor, MI, USA, Jeff Parks of Ottawa, Canada, Dorian Taylor of Vancouver, Canada and Shari Thurow of the Chicago, IL, USA metro area.

The new Board unanimously elected the previous executive officers to continue in their respective roles: Andrea Resmini as President, Jeff Parks as Secretary and Dan Klyn as Treasurer.

The Institute currently has two part-time staffers. Noreen Whysel has been our Operations Manager since September 2005 and Tim Bruns has served as our Membership Coordinator since February 2010.

Association Management
The Board continues to engage the services of association management firm, Supporting Strategies, to manage our back office activities, such as mail handling, bookkeeping, and records storage. Supporting Strategies serves as our permanent mailing address: 800 Cummings Center, Suite 357W, Beverly, MA 01915, USA.

The Board named Bev Corwin to serve as Development Manager in a volunteer capacity. Bev, who is also one of the original founders of the IA Institute, is overseeing the research of grant and other funding opportunities to fulfill the operational needs of the Institute. These needs include the development of an interoperable platform to host our internal communications, internal and external document repositories (including the IA Library) and member database and networking/mentoring programs. Bev has been reviewing our member and partner/affiliate model as well as seeking opportunities for volunteer participation in grant funded activities and making recommendations to the Board. She has been working closely with Operations Manager, Noreen Whysel, and volunteer researchers and grant writers.

The incoming board chose not to appoint an Advisory Board for the 2011-2012 term.

In 2011, we processed 563 new memberships and 680 renewals. We ended the year with 1,423 members in 55 countries. Overall membership decreased by 1.8% from 2010, versus a decline of 20.8% between 2009 and 2010. The current figure appears to represent a leveling off of a declining trend that began in 2008. Membership had increased by 25% between 2007 and 2008.

The renewal rate is a member loyalty measure, which we calculate as to the number of renewals divided by the sum of renewals and expirations. In 2011 the renewal rate was a healthy 48.6%, up from 47.6% in 2010, 27.0% in 2009, 30.3% in 2008, 23.2% in 2007 and 28.1% in 2006, when we first began analyzing membership data.

We had 1,254 individual Professional membership subscriptions in 2011; 478 new Professional members joined, and 638 Professional members renewed their memberships. New Professional memberships made up approximately 38% of the Professional memberships in 2011.

We had 154 Student membership subscriptions in 2011; 82 were new and 36 renewed. New Student memberships made up approximately 53% of total Student memberships.

We had a total of 15 Professional Group membership subscriptions in 2011. Three were new and six were renewals. The rest were not up for renewal in 2011.


We continue to outsource non-core administrative processes through association management company, Supporting Strategies, our hosted membership system, MemberClicks and various professional services: legal, accounting, and insurance. Our Paypal account was switched to a non-profit account in 2010. Development Manager, Bev Corwin, investigated additional options for streamlining our infrastructure and is working on a development plan that will address infrastructure needs for 2012.

Business plan
The Institute is guided in its strategic direction by a business plan that was developed during 2007, reviewed in 2009 and is continuously updated by the Board of Directors. This work identified eight key areas of focus for the Institute over a two-year period.

1. Provide a stellar web presence that is influential and represents our expertise in this arena.
2. 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
3. Increase the membership base and improve member retention.
4. Increase activity on all continents.
5. Achieve more frequent, accurate, and influential media coverage of IA and the IA Institute.
6. Provide services and products that enable members to acquire outstanding IA skills, validate their practices and knowledge, and achieve a high level of confidence that they're doing good work.
7. Support IAs becoming leaders within organizations (e.g. as CTO, CIO, or CEO); clarify and promote career paths to leadership.
8. Gain the ear of the business community, and be viewed by business leaders as thought leaders in the User Experience domain.

Concept Model
The 2010-2012 Board of the Information Architecture Institute has chosen to frame its function in terms of relationships which we believe will create value and enable both the Institute and the discipline to stand out in a growing, yet still turbulent space.

At the February retreat, the Board reviewed the Institute's vision and goals and redefined our audience along axes of communication and collaboration represented in the following diagram:

We aim to facilitate the following relationships and the people and groups they serve:

  • Mentors/Institutions and Apprentices/Students This is the relationship of induction, education, training and professional development. It is about bringing people into the practice of information architecture and strengthening their acumen.
  • Researchers and Practitioners
    This is the relationship of reconciling theory with practice. It is about getting important research out into the field, as well as getting feedback from the field about which research is important.
  • Project Teams and Volunteers
    This is the relationship of service. It is about providing the infrastructure for motivated people, whose time we recognize as valuable, to perform effectively and achieve results in the endeavours of the organization.
  • Vendors and Customers
    This is the relationship of commerce. It is about enabling our members to find and access the products and services that make them more effective at the practice of information architecture.
  • Workers/Consultants and Employers/Clients
    This is the relationship of work. It is about connecting information architects with the projects and organizations that make their skills useful to the outside world.

In addition to these mediating relationships, there are the relationships the Institute itself forges directly:

  • Business Decision-Makers This is the relationship of outreach. It is about explaining to business leaders the value of information architecture and how it fits into their organizations.
  • Other Organizations
    This is the relationship of alliance. It is about adding further definition to the Institute by situating it among a broader community of similar, but different organizations.

To facilitate these relationships, the Board began identifying necessary improvements to our web presence and platforms that support services to members worldwide.

Dorian Taylor worked on refactoring the IA Institute website and plans to implement changes in early 2012. These changes will not only connect website users to content more quickly and intelligently, but also intends to serve as a stellar example of Information Architecture practice.

In the Summer of 2011, Development Manager, Bev Corwin and Treasurer Dan Klyn began weekly meetings to explore funding opportunities primarily focused on developing our online library and other member resources. From these discussions, we are creating a new framework for partnerships and alliances with external organizations, which will include not only partnering on grants but also creating opportunities for IA Institute members to collaborate via volunteer projects in the digital humanities, mentoring and related areas.

Also, we have abandoned a two-day, single-site conference model in favor of a model that will join IA practitioners worldwide in a one-day celebration of our field, while providing a venue for local IA groups to meet their own community needs. World Information Architecture Day, a global, multi-site celebration to be held in February 2012. Key to the World IA Day concept will be locating the events at educational institutions to strengthen the ties between the student, researcher and practitioner communities.

A next step will be fully integrating the new framework and development plan into our business plan to serve as a guide for future boards.

Technology and Systems
Using our new concept model as a guide, Board Member Dorian Taylor has begun to inventory and analyze the contents of the IA Institute's Web properties. The following is an excerpt from Dorian's update in our November 11, 2011 Newsletter.

"The IAI website has been in our sights for some time. It has taken us this long to even characterize the problem. Ultimately, we're looking at nearly a decade of accretion and agglomeration of content:

  • Thousands of pages
  • Over a dozen languages
  • A dozen different publishing platforms
  • Half a dozen disparate third-party hosted services
  • (that don't talk to each other)

"Our human resources consist of a loosely-knit group of volunteers scattered around the planet, in different cities, countries and time zones, who work 40, 50, even 60 hours a week making software and websites. Frankly, it's a miracle that anybody so much as wants to look at this stuff on their off-hours (and for that, volunteers, we thank you).

"It's obvious that we can't tackle this problem the way we do our day-jobs.

"For the IA institute, a website is not just another media property. It is the brain, spine, and central nervous system of a globally-distributed virtual organization. Attempts to treat it like our clients' projects, if not already inhibited by the sparsity of the people available to advance it, have been and will continue to be ground to a halt by the fact that we are our own patients.

"The IAI website is not a problem of technology, or even of project management, but one of conceptual integrity. As Frederick Brooks says, without a single coherent mental model for a given endeavour, we will have as many mental models as there are people involved. It is likewise a gratuitous assumption that our Web presence would be any more coherent or organized than our community of practice at large.

"As such, rather than promising to launch a shiny new artifact into the community, we are introducing a process that makes continual and ongoing improvement not only possible, but the path of least resistance.

"This is why we began back in February of 2011 with an artifact that could be evaluated wholly separately from application domain, technology or representational medium. I speak, of course, of our conceptual model (presented in the Organization section on Page 4), which will serve as the litmus test for all current and future initiatives, materials and functionality. The consistency of the model itself will likewise invariably be tested against these resources.

IA Institute Concept Model

"In addition to this model, we have also begun to inventory and analyze the contents of the IA Institute's Web properties ( The inventory is currently an RDF database of metadata gathered from each page by a custom-made Web robot. Its chief value currently resides in assessing the scope of work and informing our next steps, though we are fairly confident that the Semantic Web ( will play a lasting role in our progress, at least in some form. Site Map Rendering

"The path information below ( was generated by another custom piece of code to identify natural cliques of resources which may hint at particular areas of interest. This information will be useful for assessing the composition of the site. User Path Analysis

"There is also a prototype of a tool ( for viewing both sides of a link at once, which we expect will come in handy in the later stages of content development. 2-Up Prototype

"We are sharing this information because it is ready and available, and represents work which is already done. It is only a partial account of the work pertaining to the IAI site that we have performed. It is our policy going forward to place a moratorium on aspirations and relegate our communications on this matter to tangible results, either in the form of finished products or of precursor materials pertaining to clear, well-defined tasks for what we anticipate to be a considerable volunteer effort."

We also would like to acknowledge website analysis, user surveys and content inventories prepared by Janette Shew and Jamila Vaughan. Janette prepared a redesign report that included supplementary documentation from various research studies conducted: interviews, survey, card sort, and usability tests. Jamila prepared an inventory of all translated content. We thank both Janette and Jamila for their efforts.


Monthly newsletter
As of year end 2011, there were 3,999 subscribers to our monthly newsletter, which highlights IAI news, volunteer opportunities, and events from our calendar and news from our sponsors. The newsletter is available free to any subscriber. MailChimp, a three-time IDEA Conference sponsor, hosts our monthly newsletter for free. This system allows us to track subscription data, click rates, open rates and abuse reports. In 2011, we sent out nine newsletters and are working toward getting back up to one per month. Our open rate has ranged between 20.3-25.6%. Four special edition newsletters for the World IA Day Conference had a more focused recipient group and open rates of 54.5%, 61.2%, 46.6% and 43.8%.
In 2011, website improvements focused on continuing to deliver pertinent information to our members and the larger IA/UX community. As noted above, we are in the process of developing improvements to our web presence that will not only bring our external communications in line with our updated framework, but which will also serve as an example of high quality information architecture that our organization and members strive to represent.

The IA Institute started a LinkedIn group in 2008 and ended 2011 with 4,637 members, up about 1,500 members since 2010. New discussion threads on LinkedIn offer another way for members to connect outside of our discussion list and continue to remain on topic. We noted lively topics on Information Architecture careers, favorite books, accredited online courses, the role of search, taxonomy and ontology development in IA, tips for UX designers and content managers, as well as links to interesting conferences and webinars. We are pleased with the conversation and networking that is facilitated via this resource.

The Institute maintains twitter accounts including @iainstitute and @IAisIN. To date, @iainstitute has seen an impressive response, with a steady growth of active followers with over 5,000 followers by year end 2011. The @IAisIN account, doubling in one year to 167 followers, was created for the 2010 IA Summit in Phoenix as a way to promote the Mentoring Booth. We have continued to use it to provide updates on the mentoring program and have plans to use it for guest mentoring appearances in 2012, depending on feedback from prospective mentors.

The Information Architecture Institute Group on Facebook was migrated to an archive in 2011. We created a Facebook Page to replace the Group page; however, most Information Architecture discussion takes place in the Information Architects page, which we heartily support. The Facebook Page is primarily used as a place to promote events and publications of the IA Institute.

Get Satisfaction
Due to a lack of activity, Get Satisfaction was removed from our website in 2011.

Members discussion list
The Members discussion list had 2,123 subscribers and 291 posts in 2011. Subscribership has not changed much since last year, but the number of posts represents a continued downward trend from the 632 posts in 2010, 1,776 posts in 2009 and 4,006 posts in 2008. This is likely due to the many social media outlets available, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora, Twitter and other media. Some of the most popular list topics in 2011 were's new microformat standard, metrics in user experience, form fields, navigation label format, content strategy, search engine strategy, and Peter Morville's August 8 article, "Information Architect." Despite the drop in activity, we will continue to support this discussion 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.

World IA Day
In 2011, we did not hold an IDEA Conference. Instead, we began planning a new conference, World IA Day, which will allow us to consolidate our identity and invite broader, worldwide participation. For years, the IA Institute's identity and name have been misunderstood to be synonymous with those of the IA Summit. And in the past, the Institute would explain that the IA Summit is an ASIS&T event, and that the Institute's conference is a different event called IDEA, and that unlike the IA Summit, the Institute's conference event did not have a specific emphasis on information architecture.

The Board's belief has been that making the Institute's identity crisp requires making our conference goals clearer. To those ends, we've formalized sponsorship of and participation in the IA Summit with ASIS&T (the 2012 conference for the first time will be hosted jointly by ASIS&T and the IA Institute), and created World IA Day 2012.

No less important than consolidating identity is our goal to increase participation. IDEA 2010 producer, Abby Covert, put it succinctly on Twitter, "1 conference for 300 folks or a global grassroots celebration of IA? Easy choice." That the executive producer of the most profitable IDEA conference in IA Institute history (IDEA 2010 in Philadelphia) was able to get beyond the confirmation bias of that success is no less than an epiphany. In the rear-view mirror it's difficult to imagine a more effective way to put flesh and bones on the Institute's desire to increase global participation in conversation, teaching and thought leadership around information architecture other than inventing World IA Day.

The IA Summit
The Summit, which is organized by the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), was held in Denver, Colorado, USA in March 2011. The Institute was highly visible, with a permanent table set up in 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 and hosted our Annual Members Meeting at the IA Summit. The Institute began talks with ASIS&T about increasing our involvement with a goal to host the event jointly in future years, resulting in an agreement to host the 2012 IA Summit as a joint partnership. The 2012 IA Summit website and marketing materials now acknowledge this partnership. We will continue to support the IA Summit through sponsorship, leadership workshops and various activities throughout the event.

Regional Events
During 2011, the Institute sponsored or partnered with a variety of regional IA-related events including:

  • Euro IA in Prague, Czech Republic
  • IA Konferenz in Munich, Germany
  • IA Summit in Denver, Colorado, USA
  • Italian IA Summit in Milan, Italy
  • Polish IA Summit in Warsaw, Poland

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 2011.

IA Institute Event Promotions
The IA Institute promotes conferences, workshops, and meetings through direct email, our event calendar and newsletter. Free events are posted directly. Events with free registration are approved by a board member and those that are not free typically offer a discounted registration to IA Institute members or another arrangement, such as free passes for student emissaries who will then write up the event for our newsletter. 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 2011, the event calendar posted 54 total events versus 48 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 Organization 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.

2011 Professional Partners include:

  • AIIM
  • American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)
  • Boxes and Arrows
  • CMSWatch
  • Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
  • IAKM Program at Kent State
  • Journal of Information Architecture
  • University of Baltimore
  • Web Indexing Special Interest Group of the American Society of Indexers
  • UX Book Club

In addition, thanks to founder and Development Manager, Bev Corwin, and Operations Manager, Noreen Whysel, we have extended introductory handshakes to additional organizations and associations, including AIGA and IASA. We will continue to meet and introduce ourselves to members of these organizations and gauge interest in our initiatives and member offerings.

Event Partners include groups who arrange conferences and events focused on IA or closely related to IA interests, which offer our members a significant reduction on the admission price and/or 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 promotional assistance
  • Financial support

Event Partners in 2011 included 29 organizations representing 54 events throughout the year:

  • ark Group Australia
  • Associazione Culturale
  • Big Design
  • CS Forum
  • EuroHCIR
  • Follow the UX Leader
  • Houston IA/UX
  • IA Konferenz
  • Ideias e Imagens
  • Internet World
  • Architecta (Italian IA Summit)
  • IxDA
  • Kicker Studio
  • London IA
  • Matt Moore
  • MobX
  • Oklahoma University
  • Online Information UK
  • Polish IA Summit
  • Rosenfeld Media
  • STC
  • The Open Group
  • UIE
  • UX Hong Kong
  • UX Paris
  • UX4Good
  • Web Visions
  • Writers UA

Corporate Sponsors and Partners are commercial entities who provide economic or technical support to the Institute and/or to our members in exchange for promotion on our website and newsletter. Corporate sponsors help to fund Institute operations and activities.

Corporate sponsors offering member discounts in 2011 included AIIM, Justinmind, Optimal Workshop, Peachpit Press, ProtoShare and Rosenfeld Media.


As of year end 2011, 25 events posted to the IA Institute calendar could be classified as workshops or webinars. The majority of these events were hosted by ASIS&T, Rosenfeld Media or User Interface Engineering, but they also included events promoted by The Open Group, Oklahoma University and Industry/Academic forums like EuroHCIR and the VIEW Conference. We are continuing to watch for opportunities to expand educational initiatives, including developing Information Architecture tutorials and updated mentoring documentation as well as creating transcripts of IDEA Conference content for the hearing impaired. These are time intensive programs and depend on volunteers for completion.

World IA Day and the Journal of Information Architecture represent two pillars for developing partnerships with educational institutions. The Journal of Information Architecture published two editions for 2011 which are available at World IA Day was hosted in affiliation with a number of educational institutions at 14 locations worldwide, including Fundación Universitaria Sanitas (Bogotá, Colombia), Fundaçăo Educacional Inaciana Padre Sabóia de Medeiros (Săo Paulo, Brasil), University of California Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Istituto Europeo di Design (Cagliari, Italy), Universitŕ per Stranieri di Perugia (Perugia, Italy), Malaysian Institute Of Microelectronic Systems (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Malaysia, School of Technology (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Malmö University (Malmö, Sweden), the University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan), the University of Johannesburg (Johannesburg, South Africa) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA).

Job Board
The Job Board continues to be an important service of the Institute and postings have been on the rise since a low in 2009. We posted 775 jobs in 2011, 668 in 2010 and 452 in 2009. Full time postings reached 569 in 2011, with six months reaching more than 50 postings each and a record 65 full time postings in April. Part time postings kept pace with 2010, with 209 in 2010 versus 222 in 2010 and 157 in 2009.

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.

The IA Library serves as a repository of resources related to the discipline of Information Architecture. Board member, Shari Thurow, is the Chief Librarian, and Board member, Dan Klyn, who also has a background in library science, continues to work with Shari on this effort. Improvements include continued technical patches, broken link review, and a renewed focus on posting content owned or sponsored by the IA Institute, including IDEA Conference and IA Summit proceedings, Journal of IA articles, IA tagged articles published by our partners and relevant translations.

Local Groups
Throughout the year the Institute continued to provide support for local groups, including the sponsorship of regional conferences, engagement with the development initiative to provide new opportunities and services through existing industry and educational networks, support of the IA Education initiative, and support of the Translation initiative.

We plan to explore the connections between local groups, student activity and the mentoring program further in 2012.

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 2011, we received 132 mentoring applications from prospective protégés and increased our mentor roster to 142, of which 20 registered in 2011. The figures indicate a continued growth of the mentoring program from previous years, but there remains a shortage of volunteer mentors.

Board member, Jeff Parks, has made a commitment to study the mentoring program to identify future improvements. Noreen Whysel, our Operations Manager, continues to devote 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.

Alternate mentoring processes continue to be popular at local events and conferences. Peer to peer mentoring, where we introduce protégé applicants at similar experience levels to each other, partnering with book clubs and UX show and tells and expanding our documented programs such as speed mentoring and online mentoring vie the @IAisIN twitter feed round out these offerings. We are grateful for the many protégés who have expressed to us their continued gratitude and patience.

The IAI-Mentoring discussion list grew to 185 members in 2011, but there were no posts at all for the year. The UX-Management list, a discussion list for management level IAs was stable at 602 members in 2011 versus 600 in 2010 also had very little activity in 2011. Previously the list had grown by approximately 100 members every year since 2007. It has served primarily as a focus group for IA Institute initiatives such as the salary survey and mentoring program. The rise of other social media outlets are again noted as a likely explanation for the reduced use of these forums.

In 2012 we will 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
2010 IA Progress Grant recipients included two academic entries whose research schedules overlapped semesters into 2011. Awards were suspended for the 2011 season. Separately, a grant of $1500 USD was offered to Emily Rinck of the University of Michigan School of Information to make it possible for her to accept an otherwise un-funded summer internship doing information architecture work on the Intranet design at the International Rescue Committee. We are proud of our role in helping Emily serve this esteemed organization which saves lives through its delivery of aid and relief to refugees around the world.

Salary Survey
The 2011 IAI Salary Survey was the eigth salary survey conducted since 2003. Members of the IA Institute, IxDA and sigia-l were invited to participate. A total of 263 responses were collected. The salary range with the most responses was the USD$80,000-89,999 range, representing 12.2% of the total responses; however, the USD$90,000-99,999 and USD$100,000-109,999 groups represented about 10.8% and 10.4% of the total, respectively. The inferred mean salary (not counting the Over $200,000 USD and Under $20,000 USD groups) was $95,371 or just under $2,000 less than 2010. For comparison purposes, the median midpoint was $94,999 USD, the same as 2010. Responses for freelance hourly rate ranged from USD$10.00 to USD$9,000 per hour (or USD$10.00 to USD$255.00 per hour, if you exclude three outliers). Excluding outliers, the average freelance rate was USD$90.58, up USD$1.93 over 20010. The median rate was USD$85.00 and the modal rate was USD$90.00, with six people indicating that rate.

The gender split continues to be nearly even with 52.7% female and 47.3% male. The inferred average salary for females was USD$94,608, lower than males' salaries (USD$96,227) again this year. Median salary, on the other hand was the same for males and females (USD$94,999). We also noted a negligible salary disadvantage (0.3%) for those with Masters Degrees over those without and an enormous advantage (31.6%) for those with Doctorate Degrees.

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 2011, The Translations team, led by Janette Shew, had 19 translators in 14 languages. In 2011, the team worked on 12 translations of which 8 were completed and added to the library. The library currently holds dozens of translations in 14 languages. The website has 18 language sites, compared with 11 last year. Translators work in language based teams with at least one reviewer to check completed work before it is published.

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 and the Volunteer Wiki for documentation.

As an organization that depends on volunteers to get just about everything done, we are pleased to note an increase in volunteer activity in 2011. From mentoring other members, translating articles, transcribing videos, planning and coordinating World IA Day, representing the IA Institute at events, and contributing to news items and salary survey visualizations, our volunteers have been indispensible.

We also value thoughts and feedback on our initiatives and ideas for new projects to pursue. Our Volunteer Wiki contains guidelines and sample proposals for new initiatives. These documents help to set expectations for what it means to be a volunteer and how that adds value both to the Institute and to the members/volunteers themselves. We encourage our members to submit proposals for projects that they feel passionate about leading. In appreciation for volunteer contributions, we offer more than thanks. We have rewarded members this year with complimentary conference passes for event volunteers and those representing us at external events, T-shirts, notebooks and other giveaways, as well as recognition by name in IA Institute tweets, emails and newsletters.

There is still room for improvement. We would like to be able to offer volunteers opportunities for learning and professional development, including hands-on activities, which are in line with our current initiatives, but also with collaborative projects that serve and support prospective grant partners. With Operation Manager, Noreen Whysel's assistance, Development Manager, Bev Corwin, and Board Member, Jeff Parks, have both been identifying potential collaborative opportunities via the grants and mentoring programs, respectively.

Download the 2011 full report with financial data (PDF 180K).

This page was last modified on March 28, 2012 03:26 PM.