Clear communication.
Smart structure.
Rad results.


Let’s work on the web together.

I’m Lisa Maria Martin, an independent consultant in information architecture and structural content strategy.

And I do my best work when I can collaborate with thoughtful designers, developers, and other UX folks—right from the get-go. Planning and building websites together, at every phase, means better strategy, better process, and a better final product.

My role is to craft collaborative strategies, understand and organize content, and structure digital pathways through that content. My expertise includes:

  • Overarching strategy and communication goals
  • Content audits and analyses
  • Sitemaps, navigation, and user flows
  • Taxonomies and content models
  • Workshops and training

If you’re looking for a content-driven IA partner on your next project, redesign, or workshop, we should talk.


My approach

I approach my work on the web with several guiding principles in mind:

  • Respect and empower users.
    People deserve quick, clear, and accessible ways to find what they need. My work prioritizes the needs of all users—especially stress cases and blind spots.
  • Nail the basics.
    Unpacking problems, doing research, and taking the time to gain consensus may not sound glamorous, but they lay a practical, and flexible, foundation for the future.
  • Love the weeds.
    Few people like to tangle with the details—and then there’s me. Exploring and understanding the little things provides context and connection for the bigger picture.
  • Reflect the client’s reality.
    The best solutions help clients flourish within their constraints. I give them the tools and training to maintain their sites after launch, no matter what limitations they may face.

If this approach dovetails with yours, I’d love to hear from you!


My clients and partners

I’ve been fortunate to partner with many excellent UX teams and agencies, including Seven Heads Design, Brain Traffic, and Happy Cog.

My clients have included universities like Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, Harvard, and Seton Hill, organizations like the Associated Press and ASAE, and companies like Autodesk and Uber.


My background

Career

I earned an undergraduate degree in communication design and a graduate degree in English, after which I stayed in academia to teach argument, composition, and literature. In search of a career that would bridge my visual and verbal skillsets, I left teaching for new roles in design, journalism, and copywriting—experiences which (rightly, happily) steered me into web strategy. I worked both in-house and in agencies before launching my own consultancy in February 2014.

Speaking

I have spoken about information architecture and content strategy at events like Confab Higher Ed, Web Design Day, BlendConf, and the Content Strategy Summit. You can see some of my presentations on SlideShare.

Editing

In addition to my consulting work, I’m an editor with A Book Apart, and have worked on titles like Responsive Design: Patterns and Principles, Going Responsive, HTML5 for Web Designers (Second Edition), and Pricing Design. I was also the issues editor at A List Apart for two years.

Writing

I write fairly infrequently on my own blog, and have published articles with 24 ways and Meet Content. More frequently, I maintain blogs at Holodex Machina (where I write feminist critiques of Star Trek episodes) and Lorem Oopsum (showcasing instances of dummy text that have gone live). I’ve also had poetry published in the Indiana Review, Pleiades, Puerto del Sol, Fringe, and other literary journals.

Personal life

I live in Boston with a shiba inu, a Portuguese podengo, and a front-end developer. We’re pretty sure the shiba, at least, is domesticated. When I’m not working with clients or editing books, you can find me writing poetry, cooking, boxing, knitting, gaming, and dismantling the patriarchy.

And if you’re wondering whether to call me Lisa or Lisa Maria, my unhelpful answer is: either. Or you can skip ’em and go with LMM—all three will work!


Errata

I admit this website has an odd little name, so here’s the backstory. Many years ago, when I was teaching Comp 101, a student turned in a paper with the following sentence:

The future is like pie it just keeps getting better and better

What.

What.

I’ve been obsessed with the phrase ever since. I named this website for it because, well, it’s hilarious. And it reminds me not to be so precious about language. Also, pie is rad.