It’s not new news, but I somewhat recently (after some months freelancing for them) hopped on board with an interesting company as Information Architect. I’ll still be freelancing (and designing) in addition to this, but the 9-5 will be in-house. My focus on IA has grown significantly over the past few years, so it feels like a natural shift. Usability (UX) is of course a significant part of the job – no user experience role could function without it, and it feels good to be in a place where solid information architecture and a well thought out user experience form the groundwork for each and every project. (It’s shocking how many companies treat usability and IA as an after-thought – like it’s something that can be painted on near the end to make things look more user-centered than they actually are). They’re a strong team here – definitely in terms of strategy and concept development – which will be interesting to be a part of. I’m also getting a bit keen again on SEO optimized IA, and I think there’s some real potential to bring that to the table.
These days I’m up to my eyeballs working on an iPhone app (specs, flows and wireframes) and it’s a fantastic challenge – plenty of tweaks, rethinks and flow optimizing. When you’ve worked your way to ‘the simplest possible path’ (and the user has all the information they need to make a decision that fills some need, purpose or desire) it all seems to unfold in this great big ‘of course!’ moment that makes working with IA so fantastic.
I am a bit spent to see how choosing to take this path will unfold – stepping away from freelance a little (when it is by far my favourite way to work – no secrets there) – but similar steps in the past have lead to some very valuable work (and life) experiences – so it’s definitely worth a go. Just a matter of giving it some time really, and re-evaluating again in some months. I’m still designing (and running ux reviews) on a freelance basis – which is as much for the sheer love of it as it is for wanting to keep a finger on my own thing and maintaining the positive working relationship I have with some lovely long term clients. Interesting times.
I also came back from holiday to the new office (they’d moved the week before) – we were in cozy Christianshavn before – and while the location is a bit far out (outer Østerbro), the space itself (and there’s a lot of it) is very bright and airy. Plenty of meeting space – which I think was the reason for the move. It previously belonged to an architecture firm (who did an amazing job structuring the space to get the most out of the excessive natural light available), and prior to that it was a badmonton arena (which it still resembles). Way back during the war it was an automobile factory and storage. I love long histories like that.
What I don’t love is the 2 train commute, but come summer and/or warmer weather – I’m getting up at 5am if I have to, to make it in on time by bike. Seriously – the bike ride to work is the best way to gear up for the day, and the bike ride home clears your head – it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted. But until the snow melts, or my bike suddenly has super-grip cleat tires, it’ll be the old train commute with the masses.