Oz-IA 2010, Sydney Australia

Date & time

Oz-IA 2010
8:00am - 5:30pm
Fri 8th & Sat 9th
October 2010 at the Menzies Hotel, Sydney NSW 2000


Menzies Hotel
14 Carrington Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia

Keep up-to-date!

Keep up to date with the latest from Oz-IA 2010:
Follow @OzIA_Sydney on Twitter, or get email announcements.

Our sponsors

Symplicit logo

Happener logo

Rosenfeld Media logo

Ironclad Networks logo


Conference is $880, group rates are $660.

Our workshops are a steal at $350.

Register now!


Got something to show or to say? Want to win some great UX books?

Submit a poster …


Nifty bling in your bag, erudite prizes, and drinks on Friday.

Symplicit, Rosenfeld Media, Happener

Workshop: User Research Methods for Information Architecture

Wednesday 6th October, 9am–5pm

Lots of sticky notes in a workshop session

Successful Information Architecture, and web design in general, requires an understanding of users and their needs, which are then designed to — balanced of course by business objectives, technical constraints and so forth. Without a solid understanding of these key inputs into the design process, IA is flying blind.

User research (also known as ‘design research’) is the process of uncovering and understanding those needs, whether it be direct user research or other means of obtaining this understanding. Yet, even some experienced practitioners don’t feel well-equipped to take on the research aspects of their projects.

In this full day workshop, Patrick Kennedy will explore the basic user research methods, as well as introduce more advanced methods that are not commonly used by IA practitioners. He will discuss practical tips and advice on how to conduct research in real world environments, sharing the benefits of his years of experience in this area.

The primary aim of the workshop is to give participants a solid ‘heads up’ on the subject of user research and point them in the right direction so they can integrate research into their own work or just better collaborate with researchers.

Learning objectives

If you attend this workshop you will:

Contents of the workshop

This workshop is not a verbose, academic discussion of research theory. Rather it focuses on practical techniques that you can begin using immediately.

You will be given an overview of a number of research techniques, including (but not limited to):

The article A Summary of User Research Methods gives a summary of the methods that will be discussed; you will be encouraged to read this article and choose the one or two methods you’d most like to learn more about.

Hands-on activities

During the workshop, you will be involved in hands-on activities that aim to demonstrate several of these methods and give you an idea of what you would find in a real world situation.

The activities will form part of a mock project that will run the length of the workshop, simulating a realistic, end-to-end research process. This will culminate in a ‘micro site-visit’ that takes you out of the classroom and into the field.

Throughout the workshop, you will be encouraged to share real-life challenges you have faced, allowing the instructor and fellow participants to discuss possible solutions and share ideas.

Who should attend this workshop?

IA practitioners who are inexperienced in user research would find this workshop most useful, as opposed to seasoned researchers (be it user research, market research or social research fields such as sociology or anthropology).

In particular, those practitioners who typically design without having done (or having access to) user research, or those familiar with only evaluative user involvement (i.e. usability testing after design has been done).

Someone with no experience in IA, UX or web design would be challenged, but as long as they have reasonable experience in using the world wide web—as this is the basis for most examples—they should still be able to find value in the workshop.

Participants of past workshops have mostly been IA practitioners or visual designers, but groups have also included developers, project managers, web team managers, intranet managers, business analysts and content creators, all of whom found it very useful.

Above all, the key perquisite for participants is an open mind regarding reaching out to, and understanding, their audience!

Format and schedule

This is a full day workshop, allowing participants enough time to ask questions, take part in discussions and apply what they are learning through practical activities.

The contents of the workshop will be spread across four modules, scheduled as such:

9:00am–10:30am Introduction, overview, qualitative methods
11:00am–12:30pm Ethnography, quantitative methods, validation methods
1:30pm–3:00pm Analysis, documenting and communicating findings
3:30pm–5:00pm Planning and executing, summary

Note: It is of utmost importance to the participants that morning and afternoon tea breaks, as well as a substantial lunch break, are not only planned into the schedule, but honoured religiously. Eating into break time or missing them completely is a sure-fire way to annoy you but also reduce your ability to properly take part in the workshop.

About your instructor

	KennedyPatrick Kennedy is user research specialist, focussed on understanding audiences and their needs in order to inform strategy and the design of online experiences.

Patrick has over ten years experience in web design, information architecture and user experience design, and has worked with many different types of organisations in a variety of industries, both in Australia and the UK, assisting them with enhancing their websites and other information systems.

Patrick holds a nationally recognised training qualification (TAA40104 Certificate IV in Assessment and Training) and has run workshops on information architecture and design research for the general public as well as for in-house training. He speaks regularly at industry conferences, including Oz-IA, OZCHI, WebDU and UX Australia, and has published many articles on user research and related topics.

Patrick blogs at Pat’s Point of View and you can find him on twitter as @PatrickKennedy.

Feedback from previous workshop participants

The instructor has run this workshop on two previous occasions (OZ-IA 2008 and UX Australia 2009) although it has been significantly revised for 2010.

Feedback from participants who attended previous versions included: