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Ruth Hendry

Ruth Hendry

Te-Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

Ruth has a broad experience in content, UX, and customer-led design. A data nerd at heart, she uses analytics, research and testing to drive decision-making, resulting in digital experiences that put the customer at the forefront.

Ruth is now a consultant, but used to be the Head of Strategic Growth at Springload. During her time Ruth worked on large-scale content and information architecture projects for organisations including Massey University, Vodafone and Air New Zealand. She got into the world of websites in her native UK, working on Wildscreen's ARKive project. After she arrived in Aotearoa, she spent four years looking after Te Papa's digital content, including the live broadcast of the colossal squid dissection. She's Springload's resident cephalopod expert.

She finds joy in a beautiful information architecture, but her desk is as messy as her websites are tidy.

Upcoming Talks and Workshops

Food recalls, fishing rules, and forestry: creating an IA strategy for diverse audience needs


The Ministry for Primary Industry’s (MPI) customers have some of the most varied information needs we’ve seen — possibly the most varied in Aotearoa. How to follow fishing rules when catching snapper on the weekend? What requirements to meet to sell dairy products at a market? How to go about exporting honey to Asia? What funding is available to reforest a lifestyle block? has all the information.

But the previous website was dense and complicated, and MPI’s customers were struggling to find the information they needed, often calling the contact centre instead — one of several indicators that people were lost and confused on the website.

We were asked to create a new information architecture to help customers find the information they want when they want it. We’ll take you through the tips and techniques we used to create an IA that met a wide variety of user needs. We’ll cover the challenges we faced, what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what we’d do differently next time, including:

  • how to prioritise very, very diverse audience needs and research these needs using top tasks, card sorts and tree testing
  • once you understand the audiences’ needs, how do you balance business needs and desires against these?
  • getting buy-in for proposed changes that go against what business units want — selling an IA story through stakeholder engagement at every level
  • how design and technical understanding are fundamental to implementing an IA strategy
  • the role of content design and structured content in supporting IA
  • what we’d do differently next time, especially when it comes to making more change through content workflow and governance.

Past Talks and Workshops

Food recalls, fishing rules, and forestry: creating an IA strategy for diverse audience needs

Information Architecture

TASKS. They are the fuel which powers our individual and team productivity. They are the lens through which we design experiences for users (their “jobs to be done”). Organisations obsess over cataloging and tracking them.But: We’re TERRIBLE at tasks. Apparently over 40% of tasks committed to a list never get done. Why?Well, tasks require a system. A strategy. Does your team have one? That works?Come hear about how information architecture can help teams and individuals grapple with tasks more effectively. And how we might apply similar principles to assist those using the experiences we build.

In this talk: