Our blog

  • World IA Day 2020, New Delhi

    Souvik Das Gupta

    The World Information Architecture Day (WIAD) is an annual celebration to evangelise the practice of information architecture. It is held in dozens of locations across the world, including our home city of New Delhi. The global theme for World IA Day 2020 was The IA Element” — highlighting how IA is integral to achieving the best results.

    WIAD Banner

    We celebrated World IA Day 2020 on the 22nd February at The Circle, Huda City Centre. The event featured talks by four speakers touching upon various aspects of information architecture across history and culture, interface design, data journalism and visualisations. Here’s a short round up of each of the talks (with links to the slides) —

    Let’s Define IA


    The event was kickstarted by Manish Saini, an Information Experience Designer who’s currently working at Cvent. Manish laid the ground work for the event describing how one can relate to information architecture in their work, and how to define the practice of IA. (See Manish’s slides)

    Decoding Crafts: Mapping Asia InCH Encyclopedia


    The following talk was by Richa Tiwari from Craft Revival Trust. She started off with a brief history about how various craft forms were affected by rapid industrialisation in the 1900s. She further went on to share how her organisation has been mapping the intangible cultural heritage of South Asia into an encyclopedia. (See Richa’s slides)

    Humanising Digital Interactions


    The third talk was by Vikramaditya Sharma – the founder of Now Form. Vikramaditya made us take a look at the various forms of digital interactions we experience in our life and how these are slowly turning into more natural human interactions, one step at a time. (See Vikramaditya’s slides)

    Making Sense of Data in an Indian Newsroom


    The last speaker Sriharsha Devulapalli works at Mint. Sriharsha shared several stories and experiences of being a data journalist in India. He went on to explain the process of producing good data stories — right from data collection and cleaning to visualisations. (See Sriharsha’s slides)

    After 2018 and 2019, this was the third year of Miranj supporting World IA Day in New Delhi. Thanks to Abhishek and Manish for volunteering and to Archit for onsite logistics. (See full photo album)

    IMG 0172 IMG 0228 IMG 20200222 135419 IMG 0322

    We look forward to another year of sharpening our Information Architecture skills.

  • World IA Day 2019, New Delhi

    Souvik Das Gupta

    On the 23rd of February, we celebrated World Information Architecture Day (WIAD) 2019 — a one-day annual celebration that seeks to evangelise the practice of Information Architecture around the globe. This year’s global theme was Design for Difference” — an important consideration in every aspect of our work (and beyond).

    Wiad19 Designfordifference

    This year we had a series of talks by different speakers sharing various perspectives on IA and diversity. Here’s a short overview of the 4 talks (with links to their slides).

    Intro to Information Architecture


    First up was Namita Mohandas who works as an independent Information Designer. She started off by explaining the difference between complex, complicated and confounding decisions and went onto introducing everyone to the world of Information Architecture. (See Namita’s slides)

    Walk in the Park


    Nishita Gill, the founder of Treemouse, delivered the second talk of the afternoon. Nishita shared how her team conducted research in rural Punjab to understand the reason behind the low adoption of Hepatitis C drugs. (See Nishita’s slides)

    Encouraging Civic Engagement Through Design


    The third speaker Adrija Jayanthy works with Nyaaya. Her talk brought out the diversity in Indians laws and how Nyaaya is trying to make them more accessible to the common person. (See Adrija’s slides)

    The City Around You


    The final speaker Rajesh Advani is the founder of ArchitectureLive!. Through various anecdotes and videos, Rajesh explained how architecture (and city-planning) can be made more inclusive. (See Rajesh’s slides)

    This was the second year of Miranj supporting World IA Day in New Delhi. A special shout out to Abhishek and Namita for volunteering and to Prateek for all the photos. (See full photo album)

    Dsc05872 Dsc05899 Dsc05918 Dsc05999

    We look forward to more conversations on Information Architecture in the coming years.

  • World IA Day 2018, New Delhi

    Souvik Das Gupta

    World IA Day (WIAD) is a one-day annual celebration that inspires the growth of information architecture as a community of practice across the globe. It started off back in 2012, however, for the first six years, New Delhi was missing from the map of global locations celebrating WIAD.

    Information Architecture has always been a core part of our work and features in pretty much every web project we tackle. So last year we decided to bring this initiative to our city. I reached out to the WIAD Global Team and signed up to be the location organiser for New Delhi. Abhishek Rai, a fellow co-worker at Base Station, volunteered to help us put the event together.

    This year’s global theme was IA for Good”. We decided to focus on conversations that would involve representatives from non-profits and journalism. We believe through awareness about information architecture such professionals can catalyse a positive change in our society.

    WIAD New Delhi

    On February 24th, Abhishek kicked off the first edition of World IA Day in New Delhi. He oriented our attendees towards the purpose and theme of World IA Day, followed by the agenda of the day — 5 talks curated to help attendees understand the significance, process and impact of IA through examples relevant to the development sector.

    Here’s a summary of each of the talks (with links to the slides and sketchnotes by @rasagy).

    Information Architecture for Everyone

    I delivered the first talk of the day introducing information architecture to the audience. The objective of the talk was to make the community aware of IA without bombarding them with technical jargons. Instead, I relied on everyday examples of IAs such as in books, house-numbering, pharmacy stores, exhibition spaces, or simply a buffet spread. My talk concluded with highlighting how IA lies at the intersection of information, user and context — which nicely set the stage for the remaining talks of the day.

    IA For Everyone By Souvik Sketchnote @rasagy

    Slides: Information Architecture for Everyone

    User Research 101

    Next up was Rasagy Sharma who is a designer at Mapbox. Rasagy’s talk focussed on the subject of user research and attempted to describe the whys and hows on the topic. In addition to covering some of the simple, easy-to-adopt techniques, Rasagy answered a bunch of queries pertaining to the more involving techniques. This was Rasagy’s first attempt at using hand sketched slides for a talk and everyone loved those!

    User Reasearch 101 By Rasagy Sketchnote @rasagy

    Slides: User Research 101

    IA and Research Synthesis

    The pre-lunch talk was presented by Namita Mohandas, an independent information designer. Many a time despite investing a lot in research we’re unable to make good use of the research output, especially in understanding the problem space or connecting them with ideas or solutions. Through an example of her past work with Akanksha, Namita addressed this issue and emphasised the importance of research synthesis.

    IA And Research Synthesis By Namita Sketchnote @rasagy

    Slides: IA & Research Synthesis

    Considering the Context of the Last User

    Right after lunch Roshan Nair, the Country Manager at viamo​.io, introduced a new perspective to our ongoing conversations. Roshan presented 3 different examples from their work in IVRs where IA gaps emerged when the system was rolled out to last users. Roshan defined last users as the group of users present at the absolute periphery of service delivery whose needs (and context) are often overlooked by designers and information architects. IVR examples also helped our audience break away from associating IA to visual outputs.

    Conidering The Context Of The Last User By Roshan Sketchnote @rasagy

    Slides: Considering the Context of the Last User

    Communicating Social Impact Better

    The final talk of the day was by Sheel Damani, an Independent design and communications consultant. Sheel started of with establishing the purpose of organised information which is to make itself findable, easy to share and align people across a value chain or system. She went on to critically review the annual reports of a number of non-profits and presented her analysis of the information and its organisation. Sheel also deserves the coolest analogy of the day award for pulling out an analogy from the 90’s Bollywood cult comedy Andaz Apna Apna.

    Communicating Social Impact Better By Sheel Sketchnote @rasagy

    Slides: Communicating Social Impact Better

    It’s immensely fulfilling to see happy attendees at the end of an event. Here are a few moments captured at the event.

    Rasagy at WIAD New Delhi Refreshments at WIAD New Delhi Roshan at WIAD New Delhi QnA at WIAD New Delhi

    There’s an entire album if you’d like to see more.

    We look forward to bigger and better editions in the coming years.

  • What is Information Architecture?

    Souvik Das Gupta

    It’s often hard to define abstract, rudimentary and ubiquitous practices. Design is one such example which I’d touched upon earlier.

    Information Architecture (IA) belongs to a similar territory.

    Information architecture is the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable.

    IA Institute

    Information architecture models are everywhere — printed material, digital documents, websites and even physical spaces (not typically thought of as information). It wouldn’t naturally occur that someone might have worked hard to make sense of mess to enable understanding and use.

    When it comes to defining information architecture, IAIs take is a good start. It attempts to describe IA through a specific activity. Several online references take a similar approach i.e. describing IA as an activity that involves drawing boxes”, arranging parts or organising, structuring, and labelling. This approach makes the definition a bit narrow and incomplete.

    Instead, taking a broader approach here’s an attempt to define Information Architecture—

    Information Architecture is the thoughtful, deliberate practice of achieving a shared mental model, and further applying it to make something understandable. Thoughtful, because it involves shedding biases and unseeing things as they appear (or are presented).

    Deliberate, because it involves making carefully considered and well-reasoned decisions.

    Practice, because it involves application of principles, theories, tools and processes towards a purpose.

    Shared, because it involves reaching parity in understanding of ideas and thoughts.

    Mental Model, because it involves representing assumptions, structures and arrangements people carry in their minds.

    Hope this adds to how we all understand IA.