Alberta Soranzo is a self-described UX head. a bit obsessed with IA. strategic about content. crazy about the small things. She is currently Director of End-to-End Service Design at Lloyds Banking Group where she is determined to focus on the big picture as well as small things that matter a lot. She served as conference co-chair for IA Summit 2016.
What’s on your IA/UX/Content Strategy “nightstand” reading pile?
At the moment, I have what I call a “thinking” pile of reads and re-reads:
“Hippo — The Human Focused Digital Book” by Pete Trainor
“Liminal Thinking” by Dave Gray
“Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell
“The Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox
“The Fifth Discipline” by Peter Senge
“Freedom from Command and Control” by John Seddon
“Commitment” by Chris Matts, Olav Maassen and Chris Geary
“Intertwingled” by Peter Morville
“Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino
What/ who is your creative muse?
The humans around me — I never cease to be amazed, awed and inspired by the crazy amount of talent and humanity I’m surrounded by. I consider myself pretty lucky that way.
How did you find IA/UX/Content Strategy? What drew you to it?
It found me, to be honest. I taught myself how to read with mail-order catalogs and the yellow pages when I was little, and I suppose that’s when it all begun. More than organization, though, it’s the clarity that results from organization that drew me to the field.
Who are 5 practitioners that you follow on Twitter?
I follow a bunch of people and it would be hard to come up with a shortlist. More and more, though, I find myself tuning out of recursive, self-serving conversations.
People I love, because of their generosity and clarity of intent are:
Pete Trainor @petetrainor
Lauren Currie @redjotter
Dan Szuc @dszuc
Accounts I love, just because:
IA Summit @iasummit
Matthew Inman @oatmeal
What are your favorite tools of the trade? Why?
Any writing/sketching implement + any writing/sketching surface (but it’s generally a squared Moleskine notebook and Pilot G2/G3 or Sharpie pens), thinking and humans to do the thinking with.
If you could become instantly smarter one one subject, what would that subject be and why?
Systems thinking and systems theory. I’m doing a lot of work in this area and I realize there is still so much that I don’t know — the thing is, once you start appreciating the systemic nature of, well, everything, you cannot “unsee” and it completely changes your way of understanding the world.
How/where do you “start” a project?
In my head, at first. I’m known to overthink things, and I like to take long walks, which is the perfect setup for ideas to develop. So, I organize frequent walking meetings with colleagues, which are generally followed by a sketching session, either in front of a whiteboard or around a piece of paper.
If you could choose a capstone project for your career, what would it be? Why that one?
The one I’m on at the moment. But it’s super-secret and if I told you I’d have to…
Name an educational resource (book, website, publication, etc) that you turn to regularly?
Wikipedia. Which is why I regularly donate to the project and why everybody should too.
What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Single malt peaty whisky, typically Laphroaig, neat.