Annual Report 2013

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Annual Report 2013
19 March 2014

In 2013, the IA Institute Board of Directors focused on improvements to our governance, development and operations strategies. In particular, changes to the structure of the Board of Directors will allow the Institute to operate more efficiently and improved delivery of our fiscal responsibilities and our responsibilities to our membership.

Some of the year’s highlights:

  • Organization: Changes to the board structure that were proposed in 2012 were carried out in 2013, including removing staggered terms and assigning specific roles for four non-executive board members. See page 2.
  • Membership: We ended the year with 1,412 members in 55 countries, an increase of 2.4% since 2012. Our member renewal rate was 56.5% in 2013 versus 37.0% in 2012 and 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 4.
  • Infrastructure: Due to changes in our strategic governance model, tactical infrastructure projects were put on hold. We expect the 2014-2015 board to make infrastructure improvements a priority in the coming term. See page 5.
  • Communications: A direct challenge to increase member numbers and sponsorship participation from IA Institute founder, Louis Rosenfeld resulted in a public Twitter #iaipledge and Kindred Spirits web campaigns. See page 8.
  • Events: The second annual World IA Day took place on February 9, 2013 in 21 cities worldwide. World IA Day allows 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, and continued to develop collaborative partnerships with external organizations. See page 12.
  • Initiatives: The 2013 IA Research Grant was awarded to Sally Burford. We launched an online education initiative with Kent State University’s IAKM program called UXconnect and continued our participation with Reframe IA workshops at the IA Summit. See page 14.
  • Financial Report: Check out the numbers. See page 18.

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 2013 Annual Report covers the period from January 1, 2013 until December 31, 2013.


Our 2011-2013 Board of directors included Andrea Resmini of Jönköping, 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, USA metro area. Near the beginning of 2013, Jeff Parks resigned his board position and Chris Baum was made Secretary. Also, Dorian Taylor resigned. Bev Corwin, an Institute founder, filled in as proxy for Shari Thurow on occasion.

This year the Board voted to eliminate the staggered, two-year terms, which were a barrier to effective management of long-term Institute goals, and set the election date to December with a three month period between the election and the Annual Members meeting in which incoming members would work with the current board to learn their roles. Additional refinements to our bylaws were reviewed by legal counsel and approved by the board.

An election for the 2014-2015 Board of Directors took place in December resulting in the following new members:

  • President: Abby Covert
  • Treasurer: Dan Romano
  • Secretary: Rhonda Ranney
  • Membership Director: Kate Wilhelm
  • Development Director: Judy Siegel
  • Programming and Events Director: Erin Stratos
  • Strategic Planning and Projects Director: Cassandra Moore

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 Annual Members Meeting planning and logistics are supported. These changes were announced to members via email. Nominations for the 2015-2016 term will take place in Fall 2015.

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 volunteer 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. Noreen is the only staff member who draws a consulting fee for her services, and has reduced her hours significantly this year in an effort to reduce overall expenses. The new board anticipates taking on additional roles with support from member volunteers to help hold down staff expenses.

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 continued to research funding opportunities to fulfill the operational needs of the Institute. Her focus in 2013 was on refining our partner and sponsorship model, with input from past board members and founders. She has been working closely with Board member Shari Thurow and Operations Manager, Noreen Whysel, with advisement from Louis Rosenfeld. To date the bulk of our development plan includes the member revenue model, event partnerships, association and educational institution partnerships and vendor discounts, as well as a technical and communications infrastructure plan and related expenses.

A direct challenge to our current membership structure, founder Louis Rosenfeld urged the IA Institute board of directors to consider changing the membership structure to allow a free membership, which would increase the base membership and the impact of sponsors and partners. A blog post in April 2013 titled "Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is," outlined a pledge of financial support to the IA Institute as certain milestones are reached including $2,000 for creating a free member level and presenting a formal sponsorship plan, a second $2,000 when membership increases by 50% and another $2,000 when membership is doubled. The sponsorship plan will be integrated into our overall development plan.
The board voted on a number of changes in our membership structure to accommodate the addition of a free membership as well as a higher, Benefactor level membership, which is described in detail in the Membership section below.

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. The 2014 incoming Board of Directors will decide whether to formalize our Advisory Council going forward.

In 2013, we processed 610 new memberships and 760 renewals. 586 memberships expired and were not renewed. We ended the year with 1,412 members in 55 countries. Overall membership increased by 1.9% in 2013 versus minus 0.1% from 2011 to 2012. This represents a modest reversal of a declining trend that began in 2008. Membership had increased by 25% between 2007 and 2008. As suggested in last year’s report, switching from a requirement to be a member to attend the IDEA Conference to the more open World IA Day registration policy appears to have accounted 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 2013 the renewal rate was 56.5%, an increase over 2012 rate of 37.0%. Between 2006 and 2009, when the figure was never above 30%.

We had 885 individual Professional membership subscriptions in 2013; 313 new Professional members joined, and 544 Professional members renewed their memberships. New Professional memberships made up approximately 36.5% of the Professional memberships in 2013, just 0.1% lower than 2012.

We had 143 Student membership subscriptions in 2013. 82 were new and 61 were renewals. New Student memberships made up approximately 57.3% of total Student memberships, versus 52.0% last year.

We had a total of 13 Professional Group membership subscriptions versus 21 in 2012 and 15 in 2011. Four were new and nine were renewals. This is an important figure in that it illustrates the value of Institute membership by company management. Group membership is equivalent to a number of companies who signed on at that level. Individual members of a group are counted as Professional members and may range from one to 16 members per group.

In 2013, the Board voted to add a Free membership level which included access to the member discussion lists and limited access to the member directory and certain sponsor and event discounts. While these changes did not take effect until late October, early 2014 membership figures as of the date of this report indicate that membership has risen above 1500 and is expected to continue to rise due to the new Free membership.

In addition, a Benefactor level membership was created to acknowledge the support of members who pledged to help the IA Institute during the Kindred Spirits campaign and beyond. This level was added in November for individuals donating at least $250. As of year-end 2013, the following people are Benefactors:

  • Christopher Baum
  • John Cady
  • Amy Silvers

As of the published date of this report, additional Benefactors have signed on in early 2014 including:

  • Carl Collins
  • Mary Jane Broadbent

We thank these generous individuals and all of our members who have made contributions to help more the IA Institute forward toward our goals. But we do have continued challenges. As of the end of 2013, we were working on, but had not finalized, a formal sponsorship plan, which is one of the requirements of the first $2,000 of Louis Rosenfeld’s pledge. Also our number of dues-paying members as a proportion of total membership has dropped. The baseline membership at the time of Mr. Rosenfeld’s pledge totaled 1,339 members, which means we have a long way to go toward fulfilling his additional requirements.


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
We continue to define our audience along axes of communication and collaboration represented in the diagram below. Below, we 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 by continuing with our World IA Day conferences held annually in February. Locating these events primarily at educational institutions, at more than 20 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 addition to our annual IA Institute Salary and Benefits Survey, which presents the salaries, responsibilities and benefits, we partnered with the Journal of Information Architecture to create an Academics and Practitioners Round Table at the Information Architecture Summit. The first annual round table, held at the 2013 IA Summit was called "Reframing IA," and was structured to be a free-flowing conversation between researchers, educators and practitioners discussing what information architecture is today, what it was yesterday, and what it should be tomorrow. Links to photos, slides and notes from this event are available at the Lanyrd website and Slideshare: Proceedings will be published at the Journal of Information Architecture. Plans for the second installment of the Academics and Practitioners Round Table was planned for the 2014 IA Summit in San Diego and will cover topics related to :Teaching IA."

    Craig MacDonald, assistant professor at the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science conducted an online survey and an Education Town Hall at World IA Day 2013 in New York City. His work resulted in a research report in the Information Architecture issue of ASIS&T’s Bulletin in the October/November 2013 issue.
  • 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 into 2013 for 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.

    Aligned with the development and operations plan proposed in 2012, we have continued 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, what educational backgrounds they have and the skillset that is required to do their 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 continued identifying necessary improvements to our web presence and platforms that support services to members worldwide, including infrastructure, development and sponsor outreach. IA Institute founders and board members also began actively representing the Institute at industry events in areas as far reaching as digital asset management, web operations, supercomputing, linked open data, rich multimedia interaction, web and identity standards, environmental graphic design, as well as our more traditional IA/UX communities, to explore the role of information architecture in these areas.

Technology and Systems
Using our service concept model as a guide, Board Member Dorian Taylor and a team of volunteers continued to make progress on the refactoring of the IA Institute's Web properties. When Dorian resigned, the board agreed to focus their efforts on the operational structure of the Institute and let the next board take up the focus on our systems. We do realize that our web presence and communications infrastructure is aging and plan for a renewed focus when the new board convenes in April 2014.


Publicity Campaigns
We launched the Kindred Spirits campaign in October 2013, which included a Twitter promotion with the #iaipledge hashtag, linking to a web page with a link to a Paypal donation button and a description of the campaign. Pledges totaled over $7,000 with some conditions. As of year-end 2013, we were still receiving donations directly attributed to this campaign.

Monthly newsletter
As of year-end 2013, there were 3,866 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 19.3-23.6%.
In 2013, website improvements focused on continuing to deliver pertinent information to our members and the larger IA/UX community. No major changes to the overall design or structure of the website was completed after Dorian Taylor’s resignation from the board. With the focus of the institute moved toward updating the bylaws and election changes, the Board of Directors decided to hold off on major site redesign until the new board is introduced in 2014.

Members discussion list
The Members discussion list had 2,081 subscribers and 199 posts in 2013. Subscribership has not changed much since last year, but the number of posts represents a reverse of a downward trend from 2001, which totaled 169 posts, versus 291 in 2011 and 632 in 2010. The most popular discussion occurred in November, regarding "IAI: Proposal for Changes to the Membership Model," which was started by Andrea Resmini in May and picked up again in November by one of the Institute’s founders, Christina Wodtke. Christina’s post garnered interest from a number of former board members. Samantha Bailey started the second most popular discussion in March on the "dearth of IA coverage in UX books," which also had a significant response from founders and past board members. Some other popular list topics in 2013 included Christina Wodtke’s November post, "Steal these Powerpoints," encouraging members to use her slide deck on teaching IA to reach out to more people, Chris Baum’s May post on "A Plan for the Information Architecture Institute," Hallie Wilfert’s April post "best practice - icon for links to external site," and Donna Spencer’s "Examples of navigation for big sites on small screens," posted in February.

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 2013 with 7,218, members, up from 5,967 in 2012. 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 the following popular discussions during 2013:

  • User Experience Debt: what is it and why should we care?
  • How to keep up to date on UX Design
  • What is in Your Portfolio? Part 1 on Vimeo
  • Observing faceted classification links in expanded footers (Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, etc)
  • Why every "UX Designer" says they do IA, and employers want IAs to be "UX Designers."
  • Best plan of attack for New Faceted Taxonomy...?
  • …any good advice or examples how I can educate some clients on tagged based architecture? It seems to be a...
  • I hesitate to bring this up, because the topic is so political. But as an IA, I would love to dive into and tackle its...
  • UX Managers discuss high performing UX teams.
  • Responsive Usability Design
  • Please participate in my final MSc research study (on crowdsourcing for non-profit and common good)

We are pleased with the conversation and networking that is facilitated via this resource.

The Institute maintains three Twitter accounts: @iainstitute, @WorldIADay and @IAisIN. To date, @iainstitute has seen an impressive response, with a steady growth of active followers with 9,502 followers by year-end 2013, nearly a third increase since year-end 2012. The @IAisIN account had 271 followers and the @WorldIADay account had 1,302 followers.

The Information Architecture Institute Facebook Page reached over 300 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 445 members at year-end 2013. 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.

Information Architecture at
The Information Architecture Meetup group at can be used by any local IA group to announce meetings. Currently active in New York City, meetups have also taken place in Cincinnati, Ohio. We welcome any IA Institute member to contact the group organizers to set up meetings in your area.

Information Architecture Community Group at the W3C
In February 2013, The IA Institute created an approved Information Architecture group at This group is intended to broaden the discussion of information architecture requirements as it pertains to the development of web-based standards. Group members have participate in commenting on the Web Redesign Survey for the Web Redesign Task Force, on which a number of IA Institute members sit. Join this group at


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
The second annual World IA Day event took place on February 9, 2013 at 21 sites worldwide, including 15 official events. 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 2013 event, along with a team website producers and many local coordinators. World IA Day 2013 focused on exploring the "Architecture part of Information Architecture.". 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.

  • Ann Arbor, United States | Coordinator: SOCHI
  • Bogotá, Colombia | Coordinator: Fundación Universitaria Sanitas
  • Bucharest, Romania | Coordinator: Ana-Maria Bogdan, Marius Ursache
  • Budapest, Hungary | Coordinator: Judit Pónya, Krisztián Dutka
  • Bristol, United Kingdom | Coordinator: Nomensa
  • Canberra, Australia | Coordinator: Donna Spencer
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Coordinator: Katral-Nada Hassan
  • Johannesburg, South Africa | Coordinator: Jason Hobbs
  • Los Angeles, United States | Coordinator: Alberta Soranzo, UXPA
  • Milan, Italy | Coordinator: Wellnet S.r.l.
  • Nashville, United States | Coordinator: Laura Creekmore, Laurie Kalmanson, Steve Downey
  • New York, United States | Coordinator: Abby Covert, Noreen Whysel
  • Paris, France | Coordinator: Sylvie Daumal, Grandin Donovan
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil | Coordinator: Carol Leslie, Ana Coli, Alessandra Nahra
  • Tokyo, Japan | Coordinator: Kazumichi Mario Sakata, Rakuten, Inc.

Major sponsorship funding for World IA Day and giveaway items were contributed by Balsamiq, e3webcasting, Optimal Workship, Populr, Rosenfeld Media, The Understanding Group and UXPin.

The IA Summit
The 2013 IA Summit, was again organized jointly by the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) and the IA Institute, and held in Baltimore, MD, USA on April 3-7, 2013. 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. In addition, along with the Journal of Information Architecture, we introduced an Academics and Practitioners Round Table event during the pre-conference sessions with a workshop called "Reframing Information Architecture." Proceedings will be published in the Journal of Information Architecture.

Regional Events
During 2013, the Institute sponsored or partnered with a variety of regional IA-related events including:

  • Academics and Practitioners Round Table: Reframing IA, Baltimore, MN, USA
  • IA Summit in Baltimore, MD, USA
  • World IA Day in 15 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 Webinars
The IA Institute and Kent State University launched a webinar program featuring speakers in the field of information architecture. These webinars called UXconnect@KentState, are held on Mondays at Noon, Eastern time. 2013 programs included the following presentations:

  • The Design of the Kent State UX Program with David Robins, Ph.D.
  • Information Architecture Concepts and Applications with Dan Klyn and Shari Thurow
  • Live Q&A with Lou Rosenfeld with Lou Rosenfeld
  • Changing Minds and Removing Barriers with Paul Sherman
  • World IA Day and IA Institute Overview with Bev Corwin and Shari Thurow
  • A Day in the Life of an Information Architect with Stacy Surla
  • Re-learning UX: Going Mobile From Web with Adam Polansky
  • The Impact of Findability on Student Perceptions of Online Course Quality and Experience with David Robins, Ph.D., Bethany Simunich, Ph.D., and Valerie Kelly, MS

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 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. The activities 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 2013, the event calendar posted 56 events, versus 44 in 2012 and 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.

2013 Professional Partners include:

  • Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)
  • Boxes and Arrows
  • Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
  • IAKM Program at Kent State
  • Journal of Information Architecture
  • New York Technology Council
  • Society for Experiential Graphic Design
  • University of Baltimore
  • User Experience Professionals Association
  • Web Indexing Special Interest Group of the American Society of Indexers

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. Reframe IA, our partnership with the Journal of Information Architecture and UXconnect@KentState are our newest formal partnerships in which IA Institute provides programming as well as promotional assistance. These partnership agreements are made on an ad hoc basis and include free events as well. In addition, the IA Institute began actively seeking a role for our members to speak on behalf of the Institute at many of these events. Board member Shari Thurow has been particularly active on our behalf.

The Institute provides two kinds of support to these partners:

  • Online promotional assistance
  • Financial support

Event Partners in 2013 included 21 organizations representing 56 events throughout the year:

  • American Society of Indexers (ASI Annual Conference)
  • Association for Information Science & Technology (IA Summit, Euro IA Summit, Webinars)
  • Createasphere (Digital Asset Management Conference)
  • Design Exchange Boston
  • East Carolina University (2nd Annual Symposium on Communicating Complex Information)
  • Enterprise Search Summit
  • Follow the UX Leader
  • Ideias e Imagens (UX-LX)vInternational Management Forum (TOGAF 9 and Archimate Foundation)
  • IxDA (Interaction13)
  • Journal of Information Architecture (Reframe IA workshops at IA Summit)
  • Kent State University (UXconnect@KentState)
  • Library 2.0 (Library 2.013, Connected Librarians Day, Global Education Conference)
  • Mediabistro (Semantic Technology and Business Conference)
  • New York Technology Council (UX Design Group seminars)
  • Online Information UK
  • O’Reilly Media (Velocity and Fluent Conferences)
  • Society for Experiential Graphic Design (XLab 2013)
  • Usability Professionals Association (UXPA Annual Conference, World Usability Day)
  • UX Brighton (UX Camp, Oktoberfest)
  • WebVisions (New York, Portland, Barcelona, Chicago)

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 event sponsorship and/or product discounts in 2013 included:

  • AIIM
  • Balsamiq
  • e3webcasting
  • Optimal Workshop
  • Populr
  • Rosenfeld Media
  • The Understanding Group
  • UXPin


As of year-end 2013, 28 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 2.013, The Open Group, and Kent State University. Smaller events such as East Carolina University’s Symposium on Communicating Complex Information 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. World IA Day 2013 was hosted in affiliation with a number of educational institutions (and one trade association) at 9 of the 15 locations worldwide, including:

  • Fundación Universitaria Sanitas (Bogotá, Colombia)
  • Hult International Business School (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
  • Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy)
  • SINDPD: Union of Workers in Data Processing and Information Technology State of São Paulo (São Paulo, Brasil)
  • University of California Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
  • University of Johannesburg (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA)
  • University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN, USA)

Job Board
The Job Board continues to be an important service of the Institute; however postings for 2013 wre the lowest recorded since implementing the job board in 2006. We posted 312 in 2013, off from 618 jobs in 2012 and our peak of 775 jobs. Our previously lowest recorded total was 452 in 2009. We had 240 full time postings in 2013 versus 500 in 2012, which had six months reaching more than 50 postings each and a record 93 full time postings in March. Part-time postings were only 72 in 2013 compared to 118 in 2012, 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. It currently contains 621 records in 18 languages. 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 Information Architecture 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. Architecta (, a local group in Italy was founded in 2013 and added to our online directory. Also, an Information Architecture group at, maintained by IA Institute founder Bev Corwin, allows members to organize local group activities on that platform.

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 2014.

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. We often hear from mentoring participants that the program is life-changing and the most important factor for joining or for membership renewal. In 2013, we received 125 mentoring applications from prospective protégés and increased our mentor roster to 160, of which 16 registered in 2013. The figures indicate a continued growth of the mentoring program from previous years, but there remains a shortage of volunteer mentors overall and particularly in many local areas. We do not keep data on how active our mentors are, but we know that some 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 remained at 197 members in 2013, with no posts for the year. The UX-Management list, a discussion list for management level-IAs was stable at 626 members in 2013, and also very little utilized. 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.

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 available on the IA Institute website at (62.7kb).

Salary Survey
The 2013 IAI Salary Survey was the tenth salary survey conducted since 2003. Members of the IA Institute, IxDA and UXPA were invited to participate. A total of 147 responses were collected. As in the prior year, the salary range with the most responses was the USD$90,000-99,999 range, representing 15.0% of the total responses. The ranges between USD$80,000-89,999, USD$70,000-79,000, and USD$60,000-69,999 were second, third and fourth highest. The inferred average salary (not counting the Over $200,000 USD and Under $10,000 USD groups) was USD$97,686 down from 2012. For comparison purposes, the median midpoint was $94,999 USD, the same as 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Responses for freelance hourly rate ranged from USD$40.00 to USD$225 per hour, with an average rate of USD$109.76, up $15.18 over 2012’s average. The median rate was USD$100.00 and the modal rate was also USD$100.00, with six people indicating that rate.

The gender split continues to be nearly even with 53.7% female respondents and 46.3% male, another nearly equal swap of gender rates from 2012. The inferred average salary for females was USD$96,202, lower than males' salaries (USD$99,411) again this year. Median salary, on the other hand, was the same for males and females (USD$94,999) and the same as last year’s report. The median salary for respondents with a Master's Degree was USD$94,999, the same as last year. Those with Bachelor's Degrees fell from USD$94,999 to USD$84,0999. The average salary was $10,466 higher for those who held a Master’s degree than Bachelor’s. Even some graduate school credit is helpful. In fact those citing some graduate credits, though not a Master's, earned $18,182 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 2013, The Translations team, led by Barbara Wiel Marin, 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 use 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 continued 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 2013 full report with financial data (PDF 322KB).

This page was last modified on March 30, 2014 07:26 PM.