My guest today is my friend Abby Covert, also known as Abby the IA. Abby is a Senior Information Architect at Etsy. She wrote the book How to Make Sense of Any Mess, a wonderful primer on information architecture, and co-founded World IA Day. She’s also taught graduate design students and curated global conferences about design. She’s done many of these things remotely over the last decade, which makes her a great guide for how to collaborate in our new reality.
Listen to the full conversation
- Abby the IA (Abby Covert’s website)
- How To Make Sense of Any Mess, by Abby Covert
- World Information Architecture Day
- Fax machines
- Melbourne, Florida
- Rosenfeld Media
- Advancing Research Conference
- School of Visual Arts
- Photo of Abby’s home setup
- DesignOps Summit
- The Museum of the Moving Image
- Louis Rosenfeld
- Zoom Webinar
- Cheryl Platz
- Steinberg UR12
- Herman Miller chairs
- Opening sequence of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
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Read the full transcript
Jorge: Abby, welcome to the show.
Abby: Thank you so much for having me.
Jorge: For folks who might not know you, would you please introduce yourself.
Abby: Sure. So, my name is Abby Covert. I am the senior staff information architect at Etsy. I also am the author of a book came out about five years ago called How To Make Sense Of Any Mess, which is a beginner’s guide to information architecture. You might also have, heard of my work in terms of World Information Architecture Day.
It’s an event that I hold very close to my heart and it takes place in 60 plus locations every year in February, celebrating information architecture and bringing information architecture thinking to new communities and people who are interested in that.
Jorge: For folks who might not have seen your book, it is a really wonderful guide to this domain. And I’m wondering if you could recap for the listeners of the show, how you introduce information architecture.
Abby: Sure. Yeah. So, information architecture, I think at its core is the way that we arrange the pieces of something to make sense as a whole. And one of the things I think is really interesting about that framing is that it basically means that it applies to everything. It means that you are probably practicing information architecture today in your own daily life.
It means that many people who do not know the term information architecture are making information architecture decisions all day long for other people. And I think like through that framing, it really brings it to the right level of focus that I would like to see more people have in terms of understanding what the impact is of those choices on other people, and on our ability to get anything done.
Jorge: One of the things I like about the book is that it frames it as a solution to making sense of messes, like it says in the cover. And we are recording this at a time when things feel a little messy, right?
Abby: Just a little bit!
Jorge: We’re in the process of kind of… settling into “no new normal,” is the way that I’ve been describing it. And one of the reasons that I thought now would be a good time for us to talk on the show, is that many of us are now being asked to work remotely.
And before I say anything else, I’ll say that I consider the ability to work remotely as a privilege in these times, in that we can continue adding value in our homes from our computers. There are many, many people in our society who are not able to do that because they either work in a service industry that requires in-person presence, like folks in restaurants and stuff like that. So, I’ll just to get it right out of the way, I consider what we’re doing right now something that is really privileged.
And you are also one of the people I know who has been doing it the longest — collaborating remotely — and I was wondering if you could tell us a bit about your experience doing that.
Abby: Sure. Yeah. I mean, we could go back about 10 years when I decided that I was no longer going to a physical office anymore, or we could go back even further and talk about that I was actually homeschooled through all of my high school education. And by homeschooled, I mean I was in school at home. My parents both worked full time, so I wasn’t taught by my parents. I was actually in a self-directed education program from ninth grade through my graduation. So, the basis of kind of my remote working experience started with a fax machine, which is sort of bizarre to dwell on at this point.
But yeah, back then, I had textbooks that were mailed to me on subjects that you would see in a regular high school curriculum… chemistry, history, you know, sociology, all those things. But my assignments were delivered to me via fax. I would deliver them back to my instructors via fax. I remember every time the fax machine used to ring back then, I was excited because I would be getting my grades or getting some sort of feedback.
So yeah my attachment to remote life I guess started really early and then fast forward to just 10 years back, I was a few years into my agency career, I had decided that I was not really liking the current location that I was in — I was in Chicago at the time — I wanted to move to New York, and I was about to go independent and it just made sense that I wouldn’t get an office. I never really thought that it would lead me to the place I’m in now where three years ago I took on a full-time remote employee position with a company that is not entirely remote.
So, Etsy has about 20% of us that are remote, and the majority of those folks are working out of their home offices, although some of them have co-working facilities and stuff like that. But yeah, I’ve really grown very attached to remoting. And I would say that the interesting reflection that I have in the current moment is that, somehow, I still show up at my desk in my home every day, and it’s exactly the same as before all of this started, but it feels really, really different. And I think that that’s really interesting that like my location has not changed, but somehow, I feel just as quarantined as all the rest of you. And I don’t actually leave my house all that often, but it’s more than your location, I guess, is the thing that I’m taking away from it at this point.
Jorge: In what way has the feeling changed?
Abby: Well, there’s obviously the sneaking suspicion that dread is creeping in. There’s that constant kind of flow. There’s also just like, I think my empathy for my coworkers and my friends who are trying to go remote for the very first time under duress. You know, I’m kind of a… I’ve become sort of like everybody’s remote mom.
I’m telling people to get ergonomic chairs, I’m shaming them on video calls where I can see their spouse in the background and being like, look, you need to spend $500 on a chair. I’m telling you this is important for like, five years from now, you’re going to thank me! When you don’t have to pay a trainer to fix your back!
So, there’s this, all these little things that like, I guess emotionally watching the world go remote has been really a lot for me. And so even though I’m showing up and I’m in the same place all day, I’m doing very different things. I feel like I’m kind of everybody’s emotional support friend right now about what it’s like to be remote. But yeah, it’s a lot.
Jorge: Well, if I might read into it, it sounds to me like one of the changes that the current situation has triggered is that you’re perhaps having to be a little more meta about it, like thinking more explicitly?
Abby: Yeah. I mean, the only people that I ever had to give advice on going remote were people who were going remote because they were choosing to. So, there was a lot of like built-in excitement about this possibility, and in most cases when people have reached out to me for advice on that is because something really exciting is happening for them.
You know, their spouse needs to move to another country, and they’re able to keep their job, but they got to figure out this thing called remote work, or, you know, they’ve decided to start their own company, but they’ve always worked in an office job. So now we have to talk about what it’s like to be self-directed in a remote environment.
Like those are all happy moments. This is not a happy moment. Like, this is not a moment that anybody chose. This is not a moment that many people were excited about going remote for, so it’s more like, I guess, yeah, remote under duress is not the greatest first experience.
I would also just say like, I don’t want to be like the poster child for remote work, but like this is not normal. This is not what remote feels like. Please do not take the next couple of months of experience that you have working from your homes with bad chairs and children running around screaming and all of your coworkers in a bad mood, like, that is not normal remote work. So please know that. I’m happy to give my experience and tips and tricks, but I just don’t want anybody to walk away from this experience thinking like, this is what it’s like all the time and that we would all choose this! It just doesn’t make any sense.
Jorge: One of the things that I’ve become aware of is that this situation, while it feels temporary, I expect is going to change us, in much the same way that something like 9/11 changed us, right? Part of the reason that I am wanting to talk to you about what you’re doing to be more effective when working remote, is that the very fact that this has forced us down that path, hopefully is going to make us more effective at working remote. And it might be that some people don’t go back to other ways of working, not out of necessity, but out of choice. Like they may discover that, hey, now I don’t have to sit in a car for an hour and a half each way to get to my job, I can perfectly do this. Or maybe I’m actually even more efficient.
Abby: I have a lot of coworkers, I have a lot of friends that have approached their organizations with the request to go remote. You know, there’s, there’s a lot of things about the cost of living in large cities that I think technology companies specifically should be really aware of in terms of the inequity that that creates and the types of people that they’re able to attract in terms of talent.
There’s a certain kind of pattern to people’s existence that in some cases includes going to a place where you can have a little bit of space to bring other humans in. You know, I know for me and James, that was our decision to leave New York city had everything to do with like, we want him to start a family and yes, you can have a family in Manhattan, I’m aware, but to be honest, I didn’t want to work that hard. I wanted to do it the way that felt like it was achievable, that we could have a really sweet life and that required us to unplug from that whole system. And I think in a lot of cases, people have been told that if their job is not heads-down coding, then it is not a remote-appropriate job.
You know, I was told by many people that they don’t understand how I can do a collaborative function remotely. And even when I first started at Etsy, I was there almost every month. Because I needed to build that trust with my coworkers so that I could be away. And, and now, you know, I haven’t been to the office since mid-December?
I don’t know when I’ll go back again. I mean my coworkers aren’t even there, so who knows when the next time I will be there, but my job has not changed. So, I think that there will be a revisiting of a lot of people’s perceptions about remote work and what jobs are appropriate for work remote and which aren’t.
I hope that the consideration is not just from the practitioner side, I guess is my point. I hope that companies are also kind of changing their perspective and the choices that they make about the ability to offer that, because it’s, it’s really a benefit in some cases. For a lot of my coworkers at Etsy, the reason that they’re remote is because they want to live near their families who don’t live in major cities.
They want to live in a place that has really great school systems. They want to live in a place where they can afford to buy a home. And those things are achievable in the remote life. And to only say that people who have coding as jobs or like deeply technical alone jobs as being remote appropriate, I think it’s overly prescriptive. So, I hope it all changes.
Jorge: And for the sake of listeners, you said you left New York, you’re now in Florida, right?
Abby: Yup! Sunny Melbourne, Florida.
Jorge: You’ve not only worked remotely with organizations like Etsy, now. You’ve al so taught remotely and recently, you’ve also helped with Rosenfeld Media’s Advancing Research Conference. And I’m wondering if you could be “remote mom” for all of us and share with us some of the things that you’ve learned to make all of those more effective.
Abby: Sure. So, a little bit of background. The reason that I ended up teaching remotely — aside from, you know, like webinars and things like that — is, I was teaching in a graduate program for the School of Visual Arts when I lived in New York City and in my third year teaching, I told the chair of the program that I was going to move to Florida, that James and I really wanted to start a family, we were going to relocate, buy a house, do the whole thing. And I was effectively resigning at that point. He did not take the resignation, which I really, really appreciate looking back on it. He was like, “Nope, we’re going to make this work. I want to keep you, I want you to do your job just like you did it before and, and we’re just going to go remote.” So, I was really appreciative of the opportunity to do that.
I did that for two years. My job was thesis coordinator-advisor slash information architecture, den mom, to the graduate program there. And so, I had a weekly studio class, a four-hour studio class once a week, and we moved it remotely. So, the way that we did that was a little bit different than what we would do if we were, you know, working under the circumstances that you all are. My students continue to meet in person. I was just remote.
So, you know, I had a TA that would set me up on the big screen in a video conferencing situation, and I would give my lecture and I would have discussion with the students through that. And it was, it was a really interesting pivot for me. The things that I really learned were, in a four-hour studio class, I really needed to think about how much of that time was me talking at them. And it’s interesting because that was not something I ever considered thinking about when I was with them in person.
I just assumed that in that four hours, I should be talking a lot, I suppose, or whatever amount I needed to, to deliver the content and the value that I thought I was giving. But what I realized when I went remote was that I really needed to focus on giving them as much as I could of the value and the content I wanted to bring to them, but without boring them to tears, which I probably was doing before, but I didn’t know it until I was like forced to watch it happen on a web connection. So, I reduced my lecturing down dramatically. I went to the 20-minute sermon format. So, at the beginning of every class we had a 20-minute sermon and it was like a tight 20 minutes.
It was, I’m going to talk to you for 20 minutes, then we’re going to have a discussion. The discussion is going to be based on what I asked you to come prepared for from last class, and then the rest of the studio time, I would set up an activity for them, and they would do the activity. And this was the hardest part for me as a remote teacher, because when I was in person, I felt the need to hover over all of the groups doing the work.
But one thing that I always prided myself on, and also ticked off all my students with, was that I refused to enter into those discussions as another participant. So, in this class, they’re doing all of these workshop activities and their thesis subjects — their individual thesis subjects — are the content that they’re working through, and each one of them has their own subject that are not related to each other.
So, the way that the exercises were formatted was that basically as one person’s project was in focus, all of the other people were IA consultants on that person’s project. Well, I am just another IA consultant, so if I’m walking into that interaction with less context than the rest of that group, I’m basically just dive bombing and I’m coming in as like, you know, another smart person, which I think is sometimes the worst thing you can possibly be in a situation like that.
So remote made it way easier; I was just not there. And the way that we kind of manage the, “are they still going to do what I’m asking them to do,” is I just stayed on my computer. I was open in a window working on Etsy stuff while they were in the studio with a camera pointed at them. With the sound on, which sounded crazy, because it’s just like the sound of lots of muffled talking.
But if ever there was a point where they were like, I have a question or my group is stuck or something weird is happening with this activity, they could just walk up to the laptop and address me, just like they could walk up to me sitting next to my podium in the real person environment. So yeah, it was, it was a really interesting transition, I think it worked fairly well. I wish that I could continue that position, but you know, other things happened. I got pregnant, I had a beautiful baby boy and took some time off for that. Now I’m figuring out how to stitch my life back together, coming out of that. So, so yeah, no more teaching remotely for me for now, but it was a really good experience.
Jorge: It sounds like the studio-based experience was very synchronous, right? Like the students were meeting in a single room, as you said, and you were there kind of live but remote. Were you also using any asynchronous channels?
Abby: Yeah. So, the main asynchronous channel for us was email. I’m pretty old school about that. At least at that point, I was not on Slack or any of those things, and nor was my program. They might’ve moved to something like that by now. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out.
But one thing that I did that I found to be a really good asynchronous activity was I had a weekly survey that I had them tell me about how they were feeling. I had them kind of give me, their emotions around their thesis topic that week, I had them tell me the things that they were hoping to accomplish that week, I had them tell me if they accomplished the things that they had said they were going to accomplish the week before.
So, we moved sort of like the status check-in that you would maybe have in more of like a round table, office hours kind of environment. We moved that to a survey and so that that made it so I could passively kind of keep an eye on their emotional health and kind of like where they were in their thought process with each of their projects.
And that gave me a really good insight into when I might need to intervene into somebody’s life. So like if I saw something come through in those surveys that made me feel, like, “Oh, okay, this person needs extra time,” I would then reach out to them on email and see if I could get time with them or if we could work something out over email. So that sort of added that part.
Jorge: Can you share with us some insights into the work you just completed with The Advancing Research Conference? You shared a photograph of your setup, a nd I’ll describe it for listeners, there were two laptops there. But what was your role in the conference, and can you share with us your setup?
Abby: Yeah, sure. So, the conference is The Advancing Research Conference run by Rosenfeld Media. and Rosenfeld runs a series of conferences. I’m actually involved with another one called The Design Operations Summit, that happens every fall. We — about a year and a half ago — started talking about starting a new conference about research, specifically the idea of, can a conference or a community advance the topic and function and professional research?
And we were really seeing a lot of opportunity to do that kind of work, to bring those sorts of people together around content in a conference environment. So, we went through the whole planning process, assuming that we were going to have a two-day, in-person conference at this beautiful venue, The Museum of Moving Images, in Astoria, in New York, right outside of New York City, and it was just going to be so great. It was so exciting, just the content and the curation approach. My role on the team is I’m one of four curators, so I was responsible for a team of speakers. They made up a quarter of the content of the conference.
So, it was just like a really inspiring group of people, and the whole time we’re thinking this is going to be in person, this is going to be great. And then, everything went wrong. So, about a month ago, it started to feel really uncomfortable that we were proceeding with an in-person event. We started to get some conversation on speakers and attendees about whether or not we were going to cancel, whether or not we were going to postpone.
And Lou and team really rallied and made all of the assessments that needed to be made, and we finally made the call about two weeks prior to show-time that we were going to go all remote for the two-day conference. We did end up postponing our workshops — that was not something that we could accomplish getting online that quickly — but for the conference content, you’re like, single track conference, 20 sessions, 300-something attendees, let’s do this.
And honestly, it was beautiful. It was beautiful to watch. It was beautiful to watch the team rally around a real challenge. It was beautiful to see our speakers just commit and dig in and say, we’re in this with you. And ultimately, it turned into something that was better than I could’ve even imagined. You know this literally just ended yesterday as we’re talking, and I am starting to think, would it have been as good if it was in person? And that is something that, if you had told me a month ago that the day after the conference, I would be thinking that about the all-digital version? I just couldn’t even imagine. So, yeah, it was a real moment.
Jorge: Well, that makes me very excited to learn more about how you did it.
Abby: Okay. So, the conference was run on Zoom and all the credit for the operations of this goes to Rosenfeld Media. Obviously, my remote experience, I consulted with them on how to put it all together, but ultimately, like that team, this is on their backs. They did an amazing, amazing job putting us together.
So, all of the conference sessions were in Zoom. They were all run live. We talked about maybe doing prerecorded, but ultimately, we decided that for the benefit of the speaker being part of the moment, we really wanted to maintain the live. That did mean that we had speakers that were presenting in the middle of the night in their local time.
We had somebody from Tasmania, a person dialing in from Sydney. And so, they were giving talks and the literal middle of the night when their kids are sleeping in the next room, which was also like its own really special, beautiful commitment to this whole thing. So we had all of the speakers dial into a Zoom with our MC and our theme leader of that theme, and then the audience was experiencing a live streamed webcast version of that Zoom, that was locked behind the paywall of the Rosenfeld Media site, so they would go to the live stream page, they would see what we were broadcasting.
The speakers were seeing kind of the backstage view. So, they were dialed into a Zoom call much like the one we’re in right now, but we had someone on the Rosenfeld side that was controlling whose camera and audio and whose slides are presented to the audience through that webinar. So, Zoom webinar is a product out there; it’s something you can do, and it just gives you a little bit more lockdown control of what the audience is actually experiencing So that was the content part.
Then we had the question of what about the networking? Like people go to conferences because of the content, but they’re also in a lot of cases there for the networking; to meet other people, to feel that camaraderie, to meet their new work bestie. And we didn’t want to lose that. We were really like worried that this would just turn into a set of videos that people would like watch over the coming weeks or months, and that’s not a conference. That’s a library of videos.
So, we turned to Slack. They’re like Slack can maybe do this. And our fearless MC, Cheryl Platz, who is absolutely amazing through this entire process, she really took on the like, “how do we make the social stuff happen?” and Slack was like the main hub. We were referring to Slack of sort of like “the atrium.” It was like, if you’re at a conference, the atrium is sort of like where you enter, and like that’s where registration is, and that’s where everybody is talking before and after the sessions. So, we built Slack that way.
So, Slack had different channels for all of the sponsors. So, in a real conference, in real person-land, you would go walk up to a sponsor’s table. In an online conference, you go to their Slack channel, and you have a little chat with them. But then on top of that, we also did alternative sessions, in between the official sessions, in different Zoom rooms. So those were not the livecast version. This was like, people could come into the Zoom rooms, they could be on their video, they can be speaking out loud to the person who’s moderating it, and that was all around like collaboration and also like a little bit of networking and fun. So, we had a bunch of activities that were run through those Zoom rooms. We just had like a virtual cocktail party the first night which people just showed up and chatted and we had a moderator and it was great.
And then MURAL also became a really interesting plugin for us for this experience. So, our MC Cheryl put together a bunch of activities that were all coordinated through MURAL boards. So, we had a pet pageant where everybody put pictures of their pets. And we actually had a winner! And a runner up! And an honorable mention, which was a fish! Somebody’s son’s fish made honorable mention. But like they set up a MURAL board which was like put your pet in a category and we’re going to vote, and there’s judges. And so that was great.
And then we had a COVID chat board on MURAL which was: worked well, needs to change, unanswered questions, new things to try. So, it was sort of like, taking the moment that we’re all in and admitting the elephant in the room that like… We’re all at this remote conference because of this thing, so let’s talk about this thing. And, you know, with an audience of researchers, you would expect that they’re constantly going to be researching each other. So that was really interesting to watch as well.
So yeah. It was just like a combination of all the tools we already have, you know, which blew my mind. And I’ve been using these tools for years but to put them all together and get everybody online at the same time across time zones and all those challenges it was just… Yeah it was it was beautiful.
Jorge: The photo that you shared showed two laptops. What was that about?
Abby: People always react really funny to the two-laptop thing. The reason I have two laptops is because one of the laptops belongs to Etsy and the other belongs to Abby the IA. And I still work as Abby the IA, and I don’t use my Etsy machine to do that. So, the lines do get blurry when I’m doing things like running a 300-person conference remotely for the first time, I did borrow on my Etsy machine a little bit.
But my general setup is, I have two laptops. They are on a laptop riser. My husband built me a double laptop riser because they don’t exist, from what I can tell in buying them. And then I have a big monitor, I have a 24-inch monitor, for each of them. The one on Abby the IA’s side is turned to landscape because I work mostly on decks when I’m doing work as Abby the IA. So, it’s, it’s all like presentation decks. I do a lot of writing, which doesn’t even require the secondary monitor. So that one is set that way.
And then I have a portrait-aligned monitor for my Etsy machine, because at Etsy I deal with a lot of very, very, very, very, very, very, very long spreadsheets. So, I find that the portrait mode works well.
And then, in terms of my accessory setup, which is also I think maybe unique, I have a full sized keyboard with a numpad, which a lot of people I guess don’t have these days, but I find it is required for me to feel comfortable and ergonomically sound, which is very important. And so, I have that plugged into a USB switch selector that splits that keyboard out to both laptops. So, I choose which laptop to be typing on.
And then I have two mice, they look exactly the same. So, one of them has a sticker on it that says Etsy, so that I know which one is which. And then I have some speakers. I’ve got a Steinberg UR-12 audio interface here. I’ve got a microphone that I don’t use very often. Yeah, that’s my tech setup.
Jorge: You also talked about the importance of the chair; you mentioned it a couple of times.
Abby: Herman Miller chairs with the best chairs. Ergonomic chairs, man! There are two things. There’s the ergonomic nature of your chair, but there’s also the, “how are you positioning your tools on your table?” So, the laptop riser is a really good example If you are sitting at a table and you are typing on a laptop keyboard, you are not ergonomically sound. And if you are doing that all, day every day, for the rest of your career, you will be very hunchy and not very comfortable in life.
So yeah, the laptop riser is a big part of it, the external keyboard is a big part of it. I also have this really puffy-like foot riser thing. I don’t know; it’s kind of like a pillow but it’s meant to sit on the floor for your feet to be slightly elevated. I’m also a short person so I think that has something to do with it. But, yeah, ergonomics! It’s a thing. I’m not an expert, but it’s a thing.
Jorge: What I’m taking from this is that you have very mindfully configured your physical environment… Because you spend so much time dealing with these information systems, you have configured your physical environment so that your body will be comfortable and healthy while doing it, right?
Abby: Yeah, and I mean I think like another part of that… I know your audience can’t, see but the room that we’re in right now is completely 100% dedicated to work. So, I don’t come up here for any other reason than work. This room is actually a detached part of my home. So, our whole house is on the lower floor, and then above our garage is this weird room that is surrounded by bookcases, which is pretty cool, and windows.
So, I work in this tree house that only is for work. So, the point you made about like my body feeling right about being at work? It applies to that too. Like when I walk in the door of this room, I feel like I’m out at work, in that way that like if I have to run up here to get my, you know I left my glasses on Friday afternoon and on Saturday morning I go to read and I don’t have them and I have to go upstairs, it’s like if I asked you to drive into your office on a weekend because you forgot something. It’s weird! It feels wrong! I feel like, what day is it? It’s just very strange.
So, there’s like little patterns like that. And I think that the physical separation of spaces is actually a really important one. And I understand when people say how hard it is to get into the mode of work from home. I understand that point because if I try to take this laptop and go do something downstairs. It’s impossible. I can’t get anything done! I have to be, like, in my workspace. Which is… It’s weird!
Jorge: You know your comments about having a separate space to go into made me think of this image that I always remember from my childhood, of the beginning of each episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood TV show, where he goes through the door and then he changes into the cardigan and changes his shoes, and that becomes like the little ritual that starts the show.
Jorge: It’s almost like you’re getting into the mindset, where it was like I’m now leaving that world and I’m entering this world and even though it’s there a few feet away, my mindset needs to change, right?
Abby: Can I tell you a secret?
Jorge: Please do!
Abby: I’m wearing bedroom slippers right now! I tell you that because I usually do not wear bedroom slippers in my office. And actually yesterday, on the second day of The Advancing Research Conference, I made myself put on real shoes because I was just… I just wasn’t able! Do you know what I mean? Like it was, just, there’s something about the moment that we’re in right now, where I’m finding myself wearing my bedroom slippers up to my office more.
And I know that that’s saying something about like where I’m at right now. Like you all should be very worried about me because I’m wearing bedroom slippers for probably the third day in a row today. So, no good! But yesterday afternoon? I righted the wrong! I went downstairs, and I was like I have to put on real shoes. And I did, and I felt better! So, I’m reminding myself to go put on real shoes after this!
Jorge: That sounds like a great place to wrap the conversation: a reminder for everyone to put on real shoes, even as we’re having to make this weird switch to our ways of working, right?
Abby: Well at least take a damn shower! I mean, I find myself telling my coworkers to take a shower and not because they look weird or gross or anything but because like, it’s obvious that we’re not okay right now. And you know what? It’s okay to not be okay right now. This is not normal. I don’t want this to be normal. Please say this isn’t normal!
Jorge: It’s not normal, but we still have to find ways of continuing with our lives, right? Like not everything in the world has to stop. And there are things that we can do to keep ourselves going, and you’ve highlighted several of those things which I’m very grateful for, Abby. So where can folks follow up with you?
Abby: The best place to see me is probably on the internet. We’ve been talking a lot about that, that’s where I live! So, AbbyTheIA.com is where you can read things that I’ve written. I’m also on Twitter. Same name. And then I’m a big email person. So, yeah, if you have like a meaty question you want to get int o about remote working, about information architecture, about whatever is top of mind from this conversation, I’m happy to field emails on that; that’s AbbyCovert@gmail.
Jorge: Thank you Abby. It was fabulous having you on.
Abby: Thanks Jorge.