Personally, the first time I came across IA was back in 2000, when I joined OglivyInteractive Romania as an online copywriter. It sounded a little bit scary, yet it was so inviting that I started paying attention and explore the unknown territory of Information Architecture.
This particular interest stayed with me across the years and I did my best given the organizational context to put in practice its key findings or simply spread the word about information architecture (aka IA). Although I now have fewer opportunities to practice IA in digital projects, I still find it fascinating and extremely useful in various areas of our daily lives.
The Romanian local context
Although known and practiced for years, back in 2012 Information Architecture (IA) in Romania was not either one of those cool topics that often appeared on the agenda of local digital events and neither had its stories printed in magazines or published online, yet, the need was there… clients did not really understood neither information architecture or content; digital agencies were lacking dedicated specialists and had difficulties selling their clients such niche disciplines…. And what better way was out there that could contribute to the digital education of local community if not bringing World IA Day in Bucharest? So, Marius Ursache, Grapefruit team and I gave it a try.
The first event dedicated to IA in Romania
On February 11, 2012, Bucharest was one of those 14 cities across all corners of the globe came together and launched the first edition of World IA Day. All our efforts were focused on bringing the Information Architecture community together. The first ever World IA Day main theme was Designing Structures for Understanding.
Thanks to few passionate specialists and friends, WIAD Bucharest 2012 participants witnessed for the first time ever a locally organized event that tackled topics such as information structures and organization, the importance of information architecture, user persona, user research, content generation and management etc.
And it all happened thanks to few the local digital industry most respected leaders, passionate about digital and willing to share their knowledge and real life stories:
- Bogdana Butnar (Industry Manager, Google Romania)
- Alin Popescu (Owner, AvocatNet)
- Violeta Bahaciu (GFK Romania)
- Daniel Nicolescu (PayU)
- Marius Ursache, (Founder & Chief Design Officer, Grapefruit).
The undersigned provided attendants working on client side few tricks and tips on how to sell IA and content within organization. I had few interesting experiences to share with all those present at the event.
The event Bucharest would not have been possible without the support and encouragements of some people Mihaela Bogiu (AvocatNet), Romanita Oprea (MakeSense), Raluca Bailescu (MakeSense) and Stefan Liute (Founder, Grapefruit)
A brief conclusion
At the exquisite Epoque Hotel, WIAD 2012 Bucharest brought together 60 participants interested in information architecture. They enjoyed six great presentations and had the chance to engage with the speakers for one entire our of Q&A session. The excitement and joy people attending WIAD 2012 Bucharest encouraged us to organize WIAD 2013 … and so we did.