World Information Architecture Day

February 23 2019 • Location TBD • Proposals are now closed.
Speaker FormSubmit Proposal

Design for Difference

As designers, we are responsible for creating worlds of experiences, environments, services, and systems that impact millions of people – with lasting impacts. While we don’t have a Hippocratic Oath, it’s important for us to follow a similar goal to “do good” and “do not harm.” It is our responsibility as IAs to consider the consequences and impact our design decisions have on humanity and society as a whole.

Research is a foundational step in the design process. It ensures that we understand and account for diverse user needs within communities, both in our own domains and globally.

So, what differences are we are designing for?

  • Difference in ability and disability

  • Difference in access to information and technology

  • Difference in language and cultural understanding

  • Difference in age, gender, and identity

  • Difference in experience

There is no average user. There is no norm.

“Different is the new normal we should be designing for.”
Inclusive Design Strategist Elise Roy at the 2018 IA Summit in Chicago.

How do we as information architects and designers design for this difference? What is this difference that we’re designing for? How can we better understand it and become more engaged and mindful for our different and diverse users? How might we communicate this understanding to others and provide more meaning and depth?

We build worlds. Let’s do it responsibly.

Learn more about this year’s theme at

Follow and participate!  •  Instagram • Flickr •  #WIADDC19

Get Involved

Promote This Event

World IA Day is an all-volunteer organization who craft annual, global events. We have no marketing budget, instead relying on the IA/UX communities, our amazing volunteers, and you to promote the event. Help by sharing with your network! Send a tweet, post a photo on Instagram, or mention this site using the #WIADDC19 hashtag!


WIAD DC is only possible with the support of our sponsors. Select one of the sponsorship opportunities and contact us to reserve your spot.

2018 Sponsors

Visualizing Ideas

Stephanie Brown, sketchnoter

Sketchnotes by Stephanie Brown

We are excited to have Stephanie Brown join us for World IA Day 2018. She has been with the WIAD DC team since the beginning and we’re pleased to have her as our graphic facilitator for the fifth year in a row!

Steph is passionate about collaboration and using visuals as a platform to move conversation forward. Founder of the DC Graphic Facilitation Meetup, Steph leads monthly workshops that enable a multi-disciplinary community to bring visual practices into their own work.

Part of what makes Steph unique as a graphic facilitator is her passion for collaboration design that brings out the best in individuals, teams and organizations. Steph supports organizations by designing experiences that optimize the power of people in conversation together. This can range from live hand-drawn murals to document collective memories, to facilitating and hosting conversation cafés to build organizational understanding, to leading design innovation sprints that transform ideas into action. Steph has worked for 17 years in the performance improvement sector introducing graphic facilitation and collaboration design to government executives and teams from the White House to the grassroots of change.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter at @StephScribes to see her connecting great ideas visually, and contact her at