IA Summit 2017 - Interview
Jessica DuVerneay is Manager, Strategy at One North Interactive and a past co-chair for IA Summit 2015 (Minneapolis). She likes to help people and organizations find answers to their questions while fostering a sense of understanding and empowerment during their quest for information.
What’s on your IA/UX/Content Strategy “nightstand” reading pile?
I’m thankful for “Org Design for Design Orgs” by Mertholz & Skinner, as it’s my first time at the management rodeo and I’m looking to scale / restructure my team. Natural building and indigenous architecture continues to take up a lot of my brain space – in that vein I’m reading a book suggested to me by David Hobbs at last year’s Summit – “Buildings Without Architects – A Global Guide to Everyday Architecture” by John May.
What/ who is your creative muse?
Nature. The Universe.
How did you find IA/UX/Content Strategy? What drew you to it?
In graduate school I became disillusioned with my LIS path and was guided to IA / UX by the fortune of landing in Dan Klyn’s class (at the suggestion of a fellow classmate at a party). I was thrilled to find that I could make a life’s work out of my favorite things: asking blunt questions, connecting with people, and strategically organizing stuff and systems to increase efficiency and meaning.
Who are 5 practitioners that you follow on Twitter?
I avoid Twitter at all costs. I like connecting and learning in person with anyone from The Understanding Group (current or alum), Alberta Soranzo, Priyanka Kakar, Jorge Arango, and LAUX cabal (Lynn Boyden & Chris Chandler).
What are your favorite tools of the trade? Why?
Paper, markers, and questions. Silly answer – I’m a troglodyte. Real answer – I appreciate the warmth of those tools.
If you could become instantly smarter one one subject, what would that subject be and why?
The future. I think the time in front of us is going to catch up with us and consume us quickly. As a meticulous strategist and planner, this tsunami of the impending unknown makes me uneasy.
How/where do you “start” a project?
Depends on the project. Typically – cataloging what we are trying to do, why we are trying to do it, who we are trying to do it for, what we know, what we don’t know, and how we might span that gap in the service of making things better.
If you could choose a capstone project for your career, what would it be? Why that one?
“The Family Improvement Plan 2014-2015”. I used a strategy, IA, and UX approach to work towards solving some incredibly wicked extended family problems that were 100% out of my sphere of influence. Stakeholders were age 10 – 70. It was emotional, raw, and most gnarly. I can’t use it in my portfolio, and not all is resolved – but it’s my best work to date.
Name an educational resource (book, website, publication, etc) that you turn to regularly?
Wikipedia, Khan Academy, Rosenfeld books, O’Reilly books, Parabola Magazine
What is one of your guilty pleasures?
As a hedonist, I find little to no utility in guilt 😉