Diversity & Inclusion

7th Academics and Practitioners Roundtable
At the 2019 Information Architecture Conference, Orlando, Florida, USA
March 13 – Roundtable
March 14 – Make-a-thon
March 16 – Session Shareouts

Summary of the 2019 IA Roundtable on Diversity and Inclusion.

Roundtable Theme

People use information to make sense of complex situations. We create formal and informal categories, using words to label them, and refine them through comparison over time. These activities, categorizing, labeling, and comparing, insert value judgements and impact others around them.

Professional information workers, too, insert value judgements into their work, both knowingly and unconsciously, which can have far-reaching social implications. Working and living in a post-digital age means that many of these structures for sensemaking are imbedded into digital software, apps and shared platforms. These structures are therefore invisible. Examples include Facebook’s content guidelines, Google’s search algorithms, and Twitter’s rules governing user behavior. Additionally, new generations that have known no reality without computers approach categories and labeling fundamentally differently.

More and more, it is important that the tools we build to make sense of the world around us and the information we must navigate are planned, architected, and designed by people with diverse and inclusive mindsets. It does not serve society well to allow a few homogeneous groups to craft experiences that are used around the world by diverse populations. Differences in age, culture, gender, politics, ability, beliefs, etc. require that we use tools proven to include a wide array of mindsets and experiences when building for others.


Sarah Rice
Consultant, Adjunct Faculty, California College of the Arts

Andrea Resmini
Jönköping University

Bernadette Irizarry
Velvet Hammer Design

Stacy Surla
MetaMetrics Inc.

Keith Instone

Roundtable summary

Inspire new ideas, discussion and lively debate around Diversity and Inclusion.

  • Lightning Talks
  • Scenarios
  • Make-a-Thon
  • Mentor Review
  • Poster Night

What we did: Day 1

Lightning Talks

Racial Identity Development Theory; What's Our Role in Supporting Diversity

Veronica Erb

Architecting IA Industry Events for Diversity & Inclusion

Jeff Pass

Diversity of Thought; How We Can Foster Responsibility to Mindfully Shift Culture

Amy Espinosa

Trust and Inclusion in Vulnerable Populations

Noreen Whysel

Just Being Your/Self

Evgeni Minchev

Do's and Don'ts for Diversity: Yes, They DO Exist!

Ylce Irizarry


Photos: day 1 & 2

What we did: Day 3


Roundtable participants from both Day 1 and Day 2 get to show off what they made. We hope to see you tonight.

Interested in hearing more - be sure to join us Sunday at 2:15pm in Peninsula 2-3 for our sharing session @IA Conference.