Complex or Complicated: The Importance of Developing Common Language

“While shared understanding may always be an asymptote, striving for it is the mark of designer as facilitator.” – Erik Dahl (@eadahl) “Precise language is lost if all don’t share the subtleties of meaning…” – Will Sansbury (@willsansbury) The Need for Common Language Common language has to be developed for almost any collaborative project to work. As soon as you have a team, instead of a person, communication becomes the cornerstone of everything you do. Pairing works much better once a common language is developed; without it, two people will sit together, but work independently. Once they develop a common language, a shared understanding, they…

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Information Architecture & Communication

There’s no formal, respected education track to becoming an information architect.  The most widely-held is Human Computer Interaction, but the role of an information architect tends to be filled by people from a variety of backgrounds who have seamed together along a few common threads.  Most prevalent among those threads is a conscious or sub-conscious need to create organization out of chaos.  That chaos most often is in the form of the client.  Or, more specifically, the personalities composing the client’s team. Executive management committees, secretary turned art director for a day, programmers, brand managers, and the list goes on.…

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Effective Interpersonal Communication

From the time I began working at fifteen years old until the onset of my career at the age of twenty-five, I held a multitude of “jobs.”  During these experiences, the most critical skills I took away were all centered in effective communication.  In order for communication to be effective, there are three abilities one must be willing to embrace: to modify your communication to your audience, to retain your composure regardless of the situation, and to exercise comprehension by reiterating what has been told to you. In the early years, while working in music retail, I learned quickly that…

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