IA Design & Usability: Steven Heitman, Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Project/Product Manager,  Usability Expert


Information Architect Specialist / User Experience Designer


Relevant Components to the Concrete Process of
User Research, Information Architecture, User Experience Design, and Project/Product Management

Listed below are numerous components related to the specific subject matter of: user/design research, user-centered design, information architecture, user experience design, project/product management, and they are relevant things in the industry that describe what one might do on the job.

The university degrees, education, IA certifications, certificates, and updates, are specific for what I do as an information architect, user experience designer, and project/product manager (Figure 1).

This gives the gist about what the process looks like and different components, since the chart shows different layers specific to projects (of course, Figure 1 does not include everything), however. It gives the basic gist and easy-to-understand matrix that provides a visual/graphical description of the process.

A sample of relevant things one could do, in the context of information architecture and user experience design:

Information architecture (for Web, intranet, apps), user/design research, user behavior, design process/background, organization schemes, information structures, design process/defining the IA, labeling, metadata and taxonomies, search; purpose of navigation, layout/user experience, navigation attributes, global navigation, local navigation, faceted search/browse, breadcrumbs, navigation systems design, interaction design, user experience design, interface design, rapid prototyping, and HTML5/CSS3.

IA/UXD research design process

Figure 1: Elements of User Experience; Garrett


The Elements of User Experience.pdf

A sample of relevant things one could do, for user-centered design and usability testing:

Usability testing (foundational skills), user testing methodology, planning user tests, recruiting participants, writing tasks, choosing locations, observing and taking notes, usability toolbox, lifecycle model, heuristic evaluation, and subjective satisfaction.

A sample of other relevant related items, for applying the principles of general Web behavior and doing user research:

General Web behavior, task focused actions, serendipitous exploration, balancing business goals with the user goals, how people read or not, building loyalty, navigation mechanics, visual presentation/layout, images, establish credibility, best practices/following guidelines and standards, innovation, human-computer interaction (HCI), human factors, heat maps, F-pattern (how end users generally read Web pages online), and eye tracking.


Information Architect
User Experience Design Qualifications

Relevant University Programs:

We do a lot of things in the School of Design Graduate MAIA Program: DESIGN/USER RESEARCH, INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE, INTERACTION DESIGN, USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN, GRAPHIC DESIGN, and PROJECT/PRODUCT MANAGEMENT.

The program is an inclusive learning environment that promotes creativity and scholarship, and mirrors the wide range of cultural, artistic and scholarly interests in the San Francisco Bay Area—a highly competitive and extremely robust graduate-level program!

Additional programs are competitively and diligently specific to the information architecture, design, user experience design major—via the Graduate College of Education and other programs.

Dr. Hyun, Ph.D., Harvard University, assisted with relevant research parameters for the MAEd dissertation (additional research was used from the MAIA dissertation)—specific to and highly specialized for doing real-world projects, relevant to the IA/UXD industry, and leadership acumen appropriately implemented in professional environments.

Other contributing Professors were:

Dr. Beatty, Ph.D.,
Dr. Michaels, Ph.D.,
Dr. Hemphill, Ed.D.,
Dr. Foreman, Ph.D.,
Dr. Cheng, Ph.D.,
Dr. Gates, Ed.D., and
Dr. Dierke, Ed.D.

Five additional industry reviewers were required, to name a few: Mr. Crumlish, A.B., Director of Technology, Senior Information Architect, User Experience Designer, The Information Architecture Institute; Ms. Buda, M.D., Director of User Experience, Senior Information Architect, Managing Director, Navigation Arts, as part of the MAEd program, including editors.

Relevant topics discussed in the dissertation:

User research, information architecture, user experience design, navigation systems design (Web or apps navigation), wayfinding in cyberspace, user-centered design, card sorting, prototyping (drafting/sketching, paper, Adobe Creative Suite, HTML, Axure RP), interaction design, use case scenarios, mapping and diagramming, interface design, information design, usability testing, usability testing, usability reports, ADDIE model, human factors, human-computer interaction, NS model, and IA model. The models used are compatible for diverse projects and deliverables.

It is a complete and systematic approach for user research and projects, including professional deliverables. An approach that takes nothing to chance and flexible enough for agile environments—both models fully establish relevant design patterns—flexible and agile.

Updates: Stanford University (HCI) human-computer interaction;
City College of San Francisco (CNIT 132) HTML5/CSS3;
AcademyX for Computer/Web Programming—HTML5/CSS3—9 Certificates; NN/g Usability Week for information architecture, navigation systems design, user experience design, rapid prototyping, and usability testing.


About What I Do—
Information Architect
User Experience Designer

Introduction to the School of Design Graduate Program
San Francisco State University





A brief synopses about the School of Design Graduate and Undergraduate Programs: The programs were heavily concentrated for user-centered design, design/user research, information architecture, navigation systems design, usability testing, and project/product management; other components included projects, professional work experience, gained from internships successfully completed outside of the university (individualized academic plan of courses approved by the university).

Regarding the MAIA and BAIA programs and both majors, I specifically majored in information architecture and design, extending into user experience design, user-centered design, methods-of-design research, theory of design, universal design principles/approaches, and implementation.

The MAIA thesis dissertation was an original product and unique to information architecture and design theory: user research, information architecture, user experience design, navigation systems design, drafting and sketching, drawing, product design, interface design, interaction design, prototyping, human-computer interaction, making heuristic evaluations for Websites. This process enables one to diligently incorporate user-centered design, by doing design/user research prior to implementation, for user-centered design in digital design products and mobile apps.

School of Design Graduate Program



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Updated: June 1, 2017

Steven Heitman
IA Design & Usability
Information Architect
User Experience Designer
Project Manager