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Peter Harvey

Peter Harvey

Product Owner
Optimal Workshop
Te-Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

6+ years working in Product in software development. In first few years of working in product I discovered the power of being a part of good user research combined with data analytics. I am now exploring the benefits of improving a product or service's Information Architecture to create even better experiences for our customers and better results for the organisations I work for.

Upcoming Talks and Workshops

How can we embed the IA discipline as part of normal product development? A Product Manager's perspective.


Often product people don’t understand IA and the problem it solves, and we think UX research will be enough.

As the web and development has evolved it appears that the UX discipline has become the predominant means of understanding our customers/users. My initial introduction into IA, as a product owner, was confusing. I couldn’t see the user problem that IA solves. There were so many concepts and methods framed with language that I didn’t understand (ironically!).

For IA to become embedded in the product development process, we must also use the language of product: What user problems does IA solve and what are the commercial/organizational benefits of IA? The methods of IA can be explained later.

In this talk I will share ideas and approaches:

  • A better way to explain IA to product people /stakeholders
  • Show the impact of IA through identifying the targeted metrics
  • Final stage of embedding IA in product: Building understanding and empathy for IA through delegating IA user interviews, testing to product folk

Past Talks and Workshops

How can we embed the IA discipline as part of normal product development? A Product Manager's perspective.

Information Architecture

Information professionals are people who work with the stuff of information in their everyday work. We search for and elicit information, we spend time analyzing and synthesizing it, we carefully create and structure it. But understanding exactly what the information is, and where it is in our work can be tricky. Information theory can be a dense and jargon filled, and definitions in academic texts can feel divorced from the practice of actually working with information. In this talk I’ll use simple examples (sorting a set of objects, playing a guessing game, etc) to teach the audience to “see” the information, and then understand information theory concepts. I'll give a basic definition for information, show how the structure of a system determines what is information within it, how humans actually interact with information, and the difference between information and other meaningful content. In the past I've given talks about this subject that taught the theory by citing the work of academics who study information, but it in this talk I'll teach with examples too keep it accessible.