How to Make Sense of Any Mess

If I would have known that this was a short ebook I would have read it years ago. It’s less than a 2 hour read.  My biggest takeaway was getting a concise list of terminology for diagram types. I know that sounds dumb but over the years I’ve created my own design artifacts that pull from many different types of diagrams and have various levels of fidelity. It works for me, but it’s tough to communicate it to someone else.

A few quotes from How to Make Sense of Any Mess from Abby Covert.

We can be insecure or secure about the language we’re expected to use. We all prefer security. Linguistic insecurity is the all too common fear that our language won’t conform to the standard or style of our context.

You can turn a space into a place by arranging it so people know what to do there. This act is called placemaking.

The jars, the jam, the price tags, and the shelf are the content. The detailed observations each person makes about these things are data. What each person encountering that shelf believes to be true about the empty spot is the information.

Meaning can get lost in subtle ways. It’s wrapped up in perception, so it’s also subjective. Most misunderstandings stem from mixed up meanings and miscommunication of messages.

The next information architecture book I’d like to read is Pervasive Information Architecture by Resmini and Rosati. Andrea spoke at EuroIA when I presented in Edinburgh. The other book on my list is The Poetics of Space… which I started and abandoned. It was dense and I wasn’t ready at the time – but I’ll be back for that one.