Creating a content model for the World IA Day archive

What if... there was a running history of all the World IA Day events, talks, speakers, and people behind-the-scenes year-after-year?

What if...

there was a running history of all the World IA Day events, talks, speakers, and people behind-the-scenes year-after-year?

Due to the one-off structure of global event, World IA Day had accumulated 8 years of one-off websites for each year of the global event as it expanded from 8 original cities to over 50 cities. The IA Institute didn't have a centralized content management system for World IA Day and needed to have an efficient way to manage the global event.

After organizing the World IA Day event in Los Angeles as organizers and volunteers and recognizing the limitations of the global website, Grace, Alexis, and Geno collaborated with The Understanding Group and Agile Collective and proposed a content model that would allow more flexibility for local organizers and participants to access event content and presentations. The website was originally on 4 WordPress sites and 3 Drupal sites.

Framing the problem

World Information Architecture Day is a one-day global event hosted by the Information Architecture Institute to increase awareness about information architecture. It is organized by local volunteers across the globe.

Every year, a new website is created and content is scattered across Medium, SlideShare, YouTube, Vimeo, and local micro-sites. Event content is dispersed and unstructured -- there’s no way to connect the experience year round and archival content year-to-year.‍

Project goals

  • Research and assess the existing WIAD website experience
  • Understand how local organizers and attendees share and consume information
  • Transform the content management system to be reusable, clear, and easy to use.

Design process


Over the span of 2 months, we reached out to local event organizers (past and new), past and prospective attendees, and the original founders to understand the greater domain of World IA Day

We created user profiles, a journey map from various points of view.

Strategy & Structure

We mapped how concepts within WIAD exist and related to each other. This evolved into a content model that focused on the structure and content on the website.


  • Content models
  • Sitemap
  • Taxonomy design
  • Content audit
Proposed content model for the new site starting for WIAD 2019


We ran design sprints to figure out content priority based on our understanding of the target audience‍


  • Sketching
  • Userflow
  • Wireframes
  • Interaction model
  • Usability testing‍


We conducted usability testing and collected ongoing feedback with actual users while


  • Prototype in Adobe XD
  • Remote moderated testing
  • Five-second test
  • Tree testing


Initial reviews to wireframes have been excellent. Stakeholder and subject matter experts have responded favorably to the structured content model. Iterations to the prototype have refined the content model and structure even more.

We’re working with a tech partner to build out the content types and test the relationships we’ve modeled. We’re also working on a migration plan for the archival content before the soft launch in May 2018 and ready for WIAD 2019.