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Kicking off WIAD23 — Event Planning and Call for Locations and Volunteers!

The global theme for the 2023 World Information Architecture Day is “Orientation & Wayfinding.”

Published onAug 17, 2022
Kicking off WIAD23 — Event Planning and Call for Locations and Volunteers!

In this post, we’ll talk about the:

  • global theme for World Information Architecture Day 2023,

  • preparations for local event planning, and

  • ways that you can get involved.

World IA Day takes place on March 4, 2023

Announcing the global theme of WIAD23

The global theme for the 2023 World Information Architecture Day is “Orientation & Wayfinding.” These are fundamental concepts in Information Architecture for both digital and physical spaces.

The true gift of the wayfinder’s journey is not arrival at a destination; it is who we become along the way as we fulfill our potential.” — Anonymous

People through the ages, from ancient times until now, have used an instrument called a compass for orientation and navigation. It is an essential device for explorers, discoverers, and travelers. For pilots, it can mean survival for all on board. In everyday life, we want good directions because we are often making moves or making decisions, small and big ones. We are continually learning, finding answers, and making improvements.

Wayfinding is a fundamental human activity and an integral outcome of good information architecture. It helps us to know where we are and to recognize where we could go. Having many choices can be an opportunity, but it can also cause anxiety. Therefore, we are in need of wayfinding systems that support us on our journey.

In today’s information-flooded world, well thought-out information architectures can help facilitate our search, give us ways to understand, filter out the noise, and focus on the important parts to help us get our bearings. They may create environments that are accessible, sustainable, and extensible. All in all, information architecture may empower us to find our own way in our own time by considering our experiences, expectations, and situations.

This year, we’ll get to explore this topic in-depth across disciplines, industries, and cultures. We welcome everyone to contribute by hosting activities on Saturday, 4 March 2023 with their local communities around our 2023 theme: Orientation and Wayfinding.

Plan a local event

Sharing how the global theme was selected this year

Our process for choosing a new global theme changes slightly year over year, but the constant factor is our focus on reflection and transparency. This year, we went back to the suggested global themes from the past 2 years, gave time for the board to suggest new themes, and reflected on the current trends and community response to our past World IA Day events.

Asked to share their thoughts on the selected theme this year, board members responded:

  • Orientation and wayfinding are “core, at the heart, relevant, and not emphasized enough” in information architecture vs. too narrow

  • Wayfinding “[h]as popular and technical connotations”

  • Orientation “[could] be read as ‘what can I do as a professional to move forward, jump, or change ways in my career?’”

  • “A lot of us feel a lack of orientation or sense of place” — feeling that the selected theme is timely and likely to also resonate in various ways for the community.

Addressing our own orientation and wayfinding for WIAD23

Considering the focus on orientation and wayfinding, the organizing committee is reflecting on past year’s event planning and communication. Through the global board’s WIAD22 event retrospective, we realized that we need to stop the following:

  • Lack of organized portal for WIAA which includes WIAD website.

  • Having many platforms: One for ticketing, one for attending, and one for live streaming.

  • Too many Discord channels to keep track of [announcements and updates]

So, here’s a preview of the things we’re doing to change our approach to global event planning:

  • Auditing the World IA Day Discord server and streamlining communication channels

  • Creating a global event planning portal for WIAD local organizers for check on assets and announcements

Want to see exactly how we’re using information architecture methods to evaluate and improve our communication, orientation, and wayfinding? The best way is to get involved as a volunteer or as a local organizer!

Volunteer roles we are actively looking to fill are:

  • Global volunteer coordinator

  • Global executive producer

Join the conversation on orientation and wayfinding:

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