Making the world a clearer place one sensemaker at a time.
I want to help you to make the unclear, clear.
My name is Abby Covert. I am an author, teacher and community leader in the field of information architecture. My work aims to make information architecture and sensemaking skills accessible to everyone.
I have written two books to help my students:
How to Make Sense of Any Mess demystifies information architecture (IA) into a practical skill set that anyone can apply to any context.
Stuck? Diagrams Help. is a field guide for the trek from diagram novice to diagram nerd.
“I believe information architecture has the power to make the world a clearer place.”
I am an active organizer and mentor within the design and technology community.
Starting in my early twenties I embarked on a unique journey towards community leadership in the IA field while uncovering a passion to write about and teach information architecture.
Here are some of the community leadership roles I have been proud to serve in:
- Founder of The Sensemakers Club, a not-so-secret club for sensemakers seeking community
- Inventor of World Information Architecture Day, a free global celebration of IA serving thousands in their local communities annually
- President of the Information Architecture Institute from 2014–2016
- Co-chair of the IA Summit (now IAC) in 2014
- Executive Producer of the IDEA 2009 & 2010
- Executive Producer of the IA Summit 2010 & 2012
- Founding faculty member of SVA’s Products of Design Masters Program
- Founding curator of the Design Operations Summit
- Founding curator of the Advancing Research Conference
In 2020 I chose me and resigned from my last IA position to focus full time on writing, teaching and community organizing.
In 2022 I started The Sensemakers Club to produce education for and opportunities to connect more deeply with that community.
The jewel in my calendar each year is hosting Makesensemess, an annual celebration of sensemaking on November 4th. Each year I work with a group of brave sensemakers to share stories of messes they have made sense of. I usually leave with a few hundred new friends, and it’s a blast.
To hear more of my story, check out any of a number of awesome podcasts and web shows that have invited me to share.
Latest Education Materials
- IA for Everybody, a FREE 30 minute video course introducing the concept of IA.
- How to Diagram, a 90 minute video eCourse that includes access to my Diagram Critique BINGO games
- The Practitioner’s Guide to How to Make Sense of Any Mess, a seven week written course taking you from IA curious to practicing IA confidently. This includes access to my monthly office hours where students can ask questions and meet sensemakers from all around the world.
- The Teacher’s Guide to How to Make Sense of Any Mess, a set of seven independent modules designed to help teachers integrate IA principles and lessons in their course work. Includes access to a monthly teachers meeting I host.
In 2023 I am writing about IA for a wider variety of audiences and contexts, with a goal to write for a new audience each month.
So far this year I have published:
- IA for Authors
- How to Care for Any Sensemaker
- What is the return on investing in IA?
- Structural Arguments for IA
- Early Childhood IA
- IA for Navigation
- IA for Teachers
- Marketing Campaigns Fail When IA is Ignored
If you want to keep up with my work, the best way is to join my email list where I write a monthly update on what I am working on or thinking about.