Annual Report 2012

To view the annual report with financial data, Download a copy of the 2012 Annual Report (PDF 348KB).

Annual Report 2012
06 April 2013

In 2012, the IA Institute Board of Directors continued within the strategic framework defined in 2011 to allow us to meet the needs of a series of constituent relationships to create value for our members and our discipline. To this end, we have moved forward with infrastructure improvement projects, including a refactoring of our website content, launched a re-imagined, global, conference, World Information Architecture Day, and began research into improvements to our development and operations strategy.

Some of the year’s highlights:

  • Organization: Some changes to the board structure have been proposed and will be discussed further at the annual members meeting in April 2013. Additionally, a development model is being drafted to suggest possible, alternate revenue streams. See page 2.
  • Membership: We ended the year with 1,385 members in 55 countries, an decline of 0.1% since 2011. Our member renewal rate was 37.0% versus 48.8% in 2011. This is a loyalty measure based on the number of eligible members that chose to renew in a given year. See page 2.
  • Infrastructure: The Board presented a Business Model Canvas to membership for feedback around our current business model. A series of articles and updates on the website refactoring project have been presented on our News Blog. See page 3.
  • Communications: Learn about the ways we connect with our members and the community at large. See page 6.
  • Events: World IA Day, our new signature event, was launched on February 11, 2012 in 14 locations. World IA Day allows us to focus on developing local communities of practice throughout the world. See page 8.
  • Partnerships: We expanded our list of event, education and product partners. With Bev Corwin’s guidance, we continue to develop collaborative partnerships with external organizations, both to support our infrastructure initiatives and to develop projects for volunteers. See page 9.
  • Initiatives: Our member initiatives continued to flourish. See page 11.
  • Financial Report: Check out the numbers. See page 15.

Over the next year, we look forward to putting our development and operations research into practice 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 are committed to working with you to help our profession flourish.

Scope of this report
The 2012 Annual Report covers the period from January 1, 2012 until December 31, 2012.


Our 2011-2013 board included Andrea Resmini of Jonkoping, Sweden, serving as President; Jeff Parks of Ottawa, Canada, Secretary; Dan Klyn of Ann Arbor, MI, Treasurer; Christopher Baum of San Francisco, USA; Laura Creekmore of Nashville, USA; Dorian Taylor of Vancouver, Canada; and Shari Thurow of the Chicago, IL, USA metro area.

After a long series of meetings to discuss the path for effective leadership of the IA Institute, the Board of Directors concluded that the staggered, two-year terms were a barrier to effective management of long-term Institute goals. After much discussion, the board concluded that it would be more effective to have a full board serve concurrent two-year terms, beginning in the Spring, rather than introducing new members every year on a staggered schedule. Necessary changes to our bylaws were reviewed by legal counsel and approved by the board, including removal of the reference to staggered terms and the date the term begins.

Outgoing board members will continue to serve in an advisory role for three months after new members are inaugurated to ensure that new board members are sufficiently oriented and that the World IA Day and IA Summit planning and logistics are supported. These changes were announced to members via email. Nominations for the 2013-2015 term will take place in Fall 2013.

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. In addition, Bev Corwin, one of the original founders of the IA Institute, continues to serve as Development Manager in a volunteer capacity.

Association Management
The Board engages 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.

As part of Development Management, Bev Corwin has been researching 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 worked on refining our member and partner/affiliate model, with input from past board members and founders. She has been working closely with Board members Shari Thurow and Dorian Taylor, Operations Manager, Noreen Whysel.

As part of the IA Institute Development and Operations plan, a number of founders, past board members and professional members of the Institute have been approached to advise informally on strategy. A more formal advisory board will be created in 2013 after the Board election.

In 2012, we processed 519 new memberships and 419 renewals. We ended the year with 1,385 members in 55 countries. Overall membership decreased by 0.1% from 2011, versus a decline of 1.8% between 2010 and 2011, and a decline of 20.8% between 2009 and 2010. The current figure appears to represent a continued leveling of a declining trend that began in 2008. Membership had increased by 25% between 2007 and 2008. It is possible that switching from a requirement to be a member to attend the IDEA Conference to the more open World IA Day registration policy may account for some of the earlier increases and subsequent decline. World IA Day is discussed further in the Events section.

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 2012 the renewal rate was 37.0%. This is down from 48.6% in 2011, but higher than any year between 2006 and 2009, when the figure was never above 30%.

We had 1,148 individual Professional membership subscriptions in 2012; 420 new Professional members joined, and 393 Professional members renewed their memberships. New Professional memberships made up approximately 36.6% of the Professional memberships in 2012.

We had 179 Student membership subscriptions in 2012. 93 were new and 20 were renewals. New Student memberships made up approximately 52% of total Student memberships, similar to last year.

We had a total of 21 Professional Group membership subscriptions 2012 versus 15 in 2011. Six were new and six were renewals. This is an important figure in that it illustrates growth in the value of Institute membership by company management.


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, banking and insurance.

Business Plan
The 2010-2012 Board of the Information Architecture Institute chose 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. This was later tested against the IA Business Model Canvas, which we presented to the membership in May 2012 for comment.

Figure 1: IA Institute Business Model Canvas

We continue to define our audience along axes of communication and collaboration represented in the diagram below. Beginning with this year’s annual report and going forward, we will present progress on initiatives that directly benefit these relationships.

Figure 2: IA Institute Service Concept

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.
    Mentoring and student programs directly affect the future of the information architecture discipline, as they promote foundational learning and professional development. It is fitting for us to focus our energies here, beginning in February 2012 with a new conference, World IA Day. Locating these events primarily at educational institutions, at 14 sites all over the world, allows us to highlight Information Architecture processes and thinking in an atmosphere of shared learning. World IA Day also is a prime venue for mentoring. Each location was given instructions for hosting mentoring activities, including our mentoring booth, and information about our program, fostering connections between professionals and students within these local communities. More on these activities below.
  • 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.

    In 2012, we revised our IA Progress Grant program. Instead of two $1,000 grants for studies advancing the field of Information Architecture, the new IA Research Grant program offers a single $3,000 grant designed to encourage researchers and practitioners to investigate IA-specific issues, and to publicize work that furthers the information architecture body of knowledge. Read more about the revised research grant program and our 2012-2013 winner below.
  • 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 endeavors of the organization.

    Several volunteer initiatives continue to thrive, thanks to volunteer efforts, including translations, mentoring, the Job Board and the IA Library. Volunteers were also engaged in 2012 for special assignments involving the website refactoring project, which will ultimately serve to support these efforts.
  • 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.

    As part of the development and operations plan proposed in 2012, we have been working with our event and vending partners to review and renew formal partnership agreements. In the past, most agreements have been informal email exchanges confirming terms of discounts to our members, which left partner benefits subject to staff memory and turnover. Formal documentation and contracts with key partners allows us to maintain, archive and renew agreements more easily and creates a uniform process and documentation for developing new partnerships.
  • 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.

    We continue to receive high praise for our salary survey and job board and are analyzing response patterns that may suggest new services that should be developed. We have added new questions to our salary survey that will provide a clearer view on what our members do and the skillset that is required to do our jobs.

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. Some of these activities include providing single sign-on across all systems, and unifying the presentation layer.

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 service concept model as a guide, Board Member Dorian Taylor and a team of volunteers continue to make progress on the refactoring of the IA Institute's Web properties. Dorian led a team who has taken on persona development and customer journeys. Thanks our volunteers, Silvia Di Gianfrancesco, Prabhu Singh and Jeremy Hulette.


Monthly Newsletter
As of year-end 2012, there were 3,895 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. Our open rate has ranged between 22.6-26.3%.
In 2012, 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.

Members discussion list
The Members discussion list had 2,073 subscribers and 169 posts in 2012. Subscribership has not changed much since last year, but the number of posts represents a continued downward trend from 291 in 2011 and 632 in 2010. Some of the most popular list topics in 2012 were lively topics on Information Architecture higher education, portfolio sites, search UI, personalization, taxonomy software, the role of IA at agencies, and new IA Master programs.

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, such as 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 IA Institute LinkedIn group ended 2012 with 5,967, members, up 1,330 since 2011. 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 discussions on IA/UX thesis topics, IA portfolios, prototyping tools, Intranets, content architecture models, enterprise search, taxonomy, soft UX skills, and the IA Institute Business Model Canvas, which we presented to members in May. We are pleased with the conversation and networking that is facilitated via this resource.

The Institute maintains three twitter accounts, including @iainstitute, @WorldIADay and @IAisIN. To date, @iainstitute has seen an impressive response, with a steady growth of active followers with over 6,000 followers by year-end 2012, a gain of 1,000 since year-end 2011. The @IAisIN account passed 200 followers and the @WorldIADay account was over 800.

The Information Architecture Institute Facebook Page reached 200 likes; however, most Information Architecture discussion takes place in the Information Architects group, which we helped to create and heartily support. The Information Architecture Facebook group had 200 members at year-end 2012. The Facebook Page is primarily used by the IA Institute as a place to promote events and publications of the IA Institute. Timeline posts on Facebook are less easily quantifiable than discussion lists, but most recent posts on the Facebook Page have a view rate of 80-100 people.


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 Board’s belief has been that making the Institute’s identity crisp requires making our conference goals clearer. To those ends, we've launched a signature, multi-site, worldwide conference, World Information Architecture Day.

World IA Day
The inaugural World IA Day event took place in 14 sites worldwide on February 11, 2012. World IA Day was conceived by Abby Covert, producer our 2010 IDEA Conference, as a worldwide celebration. World IA Day 2012 is about bringing the Information Architecture community together. Through this event, we foster links within local practitioner and educational communities on a global scale. We’re sharing information, ideas and research.

Jessica Duvearnay produced the 2012 event, along with a team website producers and many local coordinators. The first ever World IA Day focused on Designing Structures for Understanding. We located the events primarily at educational institutions so students and practitioners can learn from world-class IA minds, network, showcase new ideas and attend events tailored specifically to their communities.

  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Ghent, Belgium
  • Bogota, Colombia
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Paris, France
  • Milan, Rome and Sardegna, Italy
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Panama City, Panama
  • Bucharest, Romania
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Malmö, Sweden
  • Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA

Major sponsorship funding for World IA Day and giveaway items were contributed by O’Reilly Media, Adobe Systems, UXPin, Semantic Studios, Rosenfeld Media, Kent State University, Protoshare, and Balsamiq, with community participation of IxDA, ASIS&T and the IA Summit.

The IA Summit
The 2012 IA Summit, was organized jointly by the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) and the IA Institute, and held in New Orleans, LA, USA in March 2012. The 2012 IA Summit website and marketing materials acknowledged this partnership. 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.

Regional Events
During 2012, the Institute sponsored or partnered with a variety of regional IA-related events including:

  • Euro IA in Paris, France
  • IA Konferenz in Munich, Germany
  • IA Summit in New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Italian IA Summit in Milan, Italy
  • Polish IA Summit in Warsaw, Poland
  • World IA Day in 14 cities worldwide

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 2013.

IA Institute Event Promotions
The IA Institute promotes to our membership events related to the practice and theory of information architecture such as conferences, workshops, and meetings through direct email, our event calendar and the newsletter. Free events are posted directly, and when we post events with a fee, the events 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. These events provide 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 2012, the event calendar posted 44 total events versus 54 in 2011.


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.

2012 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 continued our discussion with event providers, technology providers, standards organizations and professional associations, including the New York Technology Council, XSEDE supercomputer partners, UXPA, NIST, and various working groups of the W3C. 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 2012 included 22 organizations representing 44 events throughout the year:

  • ASIST (IA Summit, Euro IA Summit, Webinars)
  • East Carolina University
  • Enterprise Search Summit
  • Follow the UX Leader
  • IA Konferenz
  • Ideias e Imagens (UX-LX)
  • IxDA (Interaction12, local group meetings)
  • Italian IA Summit
  • Library 2.012 (Library 2.012, Learning 2.012, Global Education Conference)
  • Mediabistro (Semantic Technology and Business Conference)
  • New York Technology Council (UX Design Group seminars)
  • Online Information UK
  • Pervasive Information Architectures as Architectures of Meaning for Complex Cross-channel Systems
  • Polish IA Summit
  • International Management Forum (TOGAF 9 and Archimate Foundation)
  • User Interface Engineering (UIE Virtual Seminars, UIE 17)
  • UX Camp Brighton
  • UX Hong Kong
  • UX London
  • UX Masterclass (Moscow)
  • UX Sofia
  • Web Visions (Barcelona, Chicago, New York, Portland)

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 2012 included:

  • AIIM
  • Justinmind
  • Optimal Workshop
  • O’Reilly Media
  • Peachpit Press
  • ProtoShare
  • Rosenfeld Media
  • UXPin


As of year-end 2012, 24 events posted to the IA Institute calendar could be classified as symposia, workshops or webinars. The majority of these events were hosted by ASIS&T, Follow the UX Leader, Library 2.012, The Open Group and UIE. Smaller events such as East Carolina University’s Symposium on Usability, Information Design, and Information Interaction to Communicate Complex Information and New Castle University’s Pervasive Information Architectures as Architectures of Meaning for Complex Cross-channel Systems were academic events. We are continuing to watch for opportunities to expand educational initiatives and welcome volunteer participation.

World IA Day and the Journal of Information Architecture represent two pillars for developing partnerships with educational institutions. The Journal of Information Architecture published a single edition for 2012, which is available at World IA Day 2012 was hosted in affiliation with a number of educational institutions at 14 locations worldwide, including:

  • Fundación Universitaria Sanitas (Bogotá, Colombia)
  • Fundação Educacional Inaciana Padre Sabóia de Medeiros (São Paulo, Brasil)
  • University of California Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
  • Istituto Europeo di Design (Cagliari, Italy)
  • Università 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)
  • University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)
  • University of Johannesburg (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA)

Job Board
The Job Board continues to be an important service of the Institute and postings have risen significantly since a low in 2009. We posted 618 jobs in 2012, 775 jobs in 2011, 668 in 2010 and 452 in 2009. Full time postings reached 500 in 2012, with six months reaching more than 50 postings each and a record 93 full time postings in March. This tops last year’s record of 65 postings in April. Spring seems to be the time to hire. Part-time postings were slower in 2012 with 118, compared to 209 in 2011, 222 in 2010 and 157 in 2009.

Big thanks are due to our steadfast job board volunteers Samantha Bailey and Marianne Sweeny, who as the job board newsletter editor, injects a weekly shot of personality and warmth into our communications, as well as Austin Govella who performs regular maintenance.

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, works with Shari on this effort. Improvements include continued technical patches, and increased archiving of content owned or sponsored by the IA Institute, including World IA Day 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 and World IA Day, 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 further explore the connections between local groups, student activity and the mentoring program as well as with and increased focus on prospective funding organizations in 2013.

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 2012, we received 122 mentoring applications from prospective protégés and increased our mentor roster to 145, of which 11 registered in 2012. The figures indicate a continued growth of the mentoring program from previous years, but there remains a shortage of volunteer mentors. We do not keep data on how active our mentors are, but we know that many will mentor more than one person at a time.

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 and processing new applications.

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 197 members in 2012, but there were no posts at all for the year. The UX-Management list, a discussion list for management level-IAs was stable at 627 members in 2012, versus 602 members in 2011 and 600 in 2010 also had very little activity in 2012 with only 102 messages. The UX-Management list 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.

We often hear from mentoring participants that the program is life-changing and the most important factor for membership renewal. We hear from a few people that it could be better or that it is in fact a disappointing experience. We addressed the disparity of views through actively engaging with participants and stressing the protégé’s responsibility in approaching and maintaining mentoring relationships. Since we are more an introduction service than a matching service, participants need to play an active role to ensure participation of both parties, and they must communicate to the mentoring team when problems arise.

In 2013, we will continue to expand our available mentors list and provide our members educational and networking experiences that supplement the mentoring program. We are reviewing and revising our documentation and mentoring resources. Through continued recruiting and planning more mentoring events, we will ensure that our mentoring program becomes the best program in this discipline.

IA Research Grants
The IA Research Grant program was changed in 2012 to a single $3,000 award instead of two $1,000 awards. Sally Buford of University of Canberra, Australia, received the 2012-2013 award for her proposal: “The practice of web information architecture in small and medium enterprises.” Results of her work are expected to be published on the IA Institute website in May 2013.

Salary Survey
The 2012 IAI Salary Survey was the ninth salary survey conducted since 2003. Members of the IA Institute, IxDA and sigia-l were invited to participate. A total of 312 responses were collected. The salary range with the most responses was the USD$90,000-99,999 range, representing 13.3% of the total responses. The ranges between USD$100-109,999, USD$80,000-89,999 and USD$70,000-79,000 were second, third and fourth highest. The inferred mean salary (not counting the Over $200,000 USD and Under $20,000 USD groups) was $99,152 or just under $6,000 higher than 2011. For comparison purposes, the median midpoint was $94,999 USD, the same as 2010 and 2011.

Responses for freelance hourly rate ranged from USD$6.00 to USD$600 per hour (or USD$6.00 to USD$295.00 per hour, if you exclude three outliers). Excluding outliers, the average freelance rate was USD$94.59, up USD$4.01 over 2011. The median rate was USD$90.00 and the modal rate was USD$100.00, with six people indicating that rate.

The gender split continues to be nearly even with 47.4% female and 52.6% male, a nearly equal swap of gender rates from 2011. The inferred average salary for females was USD$97,781, lower than males' salaries (USD$100,156) again this year. Median salary, on the other hand was the same for males and females (USD$94,999). Though the median salary for respondents with a Master's Degree was equal to those with Bachelor's Degrees ($94,999), the average salary was $8,836 higher. Even some graduate school credit is helpful. In fact those citing some graduate credits, though not a Master's, earned $9,260 more than those with Bachelor's Degrees and are in a higher median bracket.

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 2012, The Translations team, led by Barbara Wiel Marin, who took over from Janette Shew who stepped down in July, had 19 translators in 14 languages. The library currently holds dozens of translations in 14 languages. The website has 18 language sites. Translators work in language-based teams with at least one reviewer to check completed work before it is published. 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 2012. 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 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 2012 full report with financial data (PDF 348KB).

This page was last modified on April 6, 2013 05:10 PM.