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Mike Atherton: Beyond the Polar Bear

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Michele Ide-Smith.

Cambridge UPA are very pleased to announce that our next invited speaker will be independent UX consultant, Mike Atherton. Mike has worked closely with the BBC recently, particularly in the realm of information architecture – that is, the structure and organisation of information. He presented Beyond the Polar Bear at the IA Summit in Colorado, earlier this year, which created a buzz of interest and discussion.


The event is FREE and you do not need to be a UK UPA member to attend. Please register via Eventbrite:

Talk Summary

Every time a project manager says “We need someone to do the UX on this!”, God kills a kitten. Clients, Information Architects and UX practioners need to look beyond surface gloss to find what really makes for a compelling online experience, and build it into their products from the ground up.

We will explore how the BBC has radically restructured their website to better map to user’s mental models, create a user experience based around meaningful connections between topics, and unlock a wealth of archive content to be more findable, pointable, searchable and sharable.

It’s a process that brings together designers, developers, users and content strategists as creative partners from the very beginning, ends siloed working practices, and creates scalable, semantically-structured products, stitched into the wider web.


Mike Atherton (@mikeatherton) has lately been figuring out how the BBC ’s archive of factual programming can be used to build popular products.

With 15 years in IA and product design, he is an independent UX consultant passionate about sensible data structures, adamant that user experience extends outside the boundaries of any one website. An enthusiast of evidence-based design and content strategy, Mike evangelises to clients on the need to think beyond business drivers and make stuff people actually care about. He has spoken on topics as diverse as Domain Modelling and Disneyland at conferences in the UK and the US.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Usability Group series.

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