All experience design fields will be part of the larger business ecosystem. Like it or not.
"Information architecture doesn't drive business strategy, per se. It won't tell you what sort of business you should be in, or if you should outsource part of your manufacturing, or if you should change to a matrix-based management structure. But increasingly, IA needs to be considered as an input to those decisions, because all of them require thinking through how the digital places where you do business have to change, structurally. The difference between success and failure — or if a new business approach is even possible - can depend on the shape, clarity, and resilience of those information environments."
Creativity is connecting two existing things in a new way. I would connect it to Glushko's TAO.
"We see this Linnean mentality often deployed all over our information spaces, and its consequences still produce scaffoldings that simply expose internal structures, be those the enterprise's, the organization's, or the university's, with no concern for actual usefulness. The move towards cross-channel experiences is turning this into an even more complex scenario, where the different nature of the channels themselves (staff at a store, a mobile phone, a kiosk, signage) introduces one additional dimension to an already layered problem space."
Cards, tags and organizing, the Google way.
"The idea is that each card is a single atomic contextual piece of information; essentially, a suggestion, a prompt, a call to action."
(Graham Hunter a.k.a. @MarketerGraham)
Just a matter of browse versus search.
"Information can be organized in either flat or deep hierarchies; both have their advantages and pitfalls."
It's like the information architect persona project.
"The employment outlook for IA is healthy overall. Knowing this is encouraging - so now what? To help craft your personal career storyline, join this web conference to engage in some creative, divergent thinking about what's possible. This presentation reviews the employment and career landscape for IA."
I couldn't agree more with the urge to extend our scope and need for foundational theories.
"Can a craft-like profession of information architecture that lacks internal theory keep up with the growing complexities of ubiquitous ecosystems that comprise both digital and physical objects? I don't think so. To position the practice of information architecture for future success, we must not wait for the future to arrive, but try to anticipate it - and, in some cases, even help to create it. To offer theories of information architecture that transcend Web sites, applications, and screens, we need to pursue original theories of information architecture that address Web sites, applications, and screens, period. If we fail to do this, Toon and the rest of the IA community will have to be satisfied with stolen insights from other fields."
The discipline of organizing (.pdf)
Organization and creating structures make life a whole lot easier.
"It is normal to organize ourworld, but doing so systematically is key and the subject of the book The Discipline of Organizing (TDO).The driving concept is that,while organization of resources is fundamental to library and information science, it is a central issue for many professional fields employing different organizational strategies and descriptive vernacular. To bring the diverse perspectives together, a broadly applicable, abstract framework can be used, based on an assessment ofwhat is being organized,why, how much,when and by what means.These points of analysis of the resources to be organized inform organizational design decisions, considerations of stakeholders and costs and strategic planning for tools and methods. Principles underlying an organization system's design may drawon frequency of resource use or coordination of items, alphabetic or chronological ordering or unique approaches to manage hybrid and novel resources.The TDO philosophy reflects an information management approach that spans disciplinary silos and avoids field-limited terminology, while building the critical skills of resource organization and management."
(Robert J. Glushko ~ ASIS&T Bulletin Oct/Nov 2013)
When you hear sound a.k.a. music in a public space, just contact DeLuca.
"In public spaces like coffee bars, elevators or airport lounges there is big chance you'll hear music. Among many other factors, music can contribute in these places to a positive user experience. Question is, what is the right music on a given time and place? Is there such a thing as the perfect track for a crowd? And how do you know?"
Sounds like attractive navigation only. Anyone can do it.
"The good news is there's no magic involved. Anyone who can focus on both the big picture and detailed elements simultaneously has the potential to be good at IA. (...) In other words, it's now easier than ever to do it yourself when it comes to creating or updating your site's IA."
Introduction to controlled vocabularies: Terminology for art, architecture, and other cultural works
CV, the first step to organize with cats, tabs, and tags.
"An online publication that defines the characteristics, scope, and uses of controlled vocabularies for art and cultural materials, and explains how vocabularies should be integrated in cataloging systems and utilized for indexing and retrieval."
"Information architecture is the only field I'm aware of that is concerned with the structural integrity of meaning across contexts."
Librarians and their iconography. A perfect match.
"But librarians are a naturally curious and skeptical people and one round of qualitative research would not satisfy them."
Language generates structure, said RSW.
"Information architecture has been characterized as both an art and a science. Because there's more evidence of the former than the latter, the academic and research community is justified in hesitating to give the practice of information architecture more attention."
Standing on the shoulders of giants gives a perfect view of the future.
"Initially I went back to 1976. That's a fairly well-known time when Wurman introduced the idea of the architecture of information at this conference that he was the chairman of in Philadelphia but then going further back from there the artifacts become increasingly more difficult to get your hands on and yet the payload for how it could influence how we do our work today gets richer and richer."
Designing the in-betweenies for meaningful IA.
"Successful cross-channel user experiences rely upon a strong informational layer that creates understanding amongst users of a service. This pervasive information layer helps users form conceptual models about how the overall experience works (irrespective of the channel in which they reside). This paper explores the early development of a practical framework for the creation of meaningful cross-channel information architectures or 'architectures of meaning'. We explore the strategic roles that individual channels can play as well as the different factors that can degrade a user' s understanding within a cross-channel user experience."
(Jon Fisher, Simon Norris, and Elizabeth Buie ~ Journal of Information Architecture Fall 2012)
Depicting the growth of a discipline as the growth of human is based upon biological and social laws. Mmmm... let me think.
"Imagine if you will information architecture as a pimply-faced, malcontent teenager. IA is eager to express and redefine itself. It wants to be an individual yet accepted by its peers. It is simultaneously aggravated and apathetic about its parents, mentors, and role-models. It is a bit of a mess, but a wonderful, beautiful mess with endless opportunity and potential."
Love the title of 'User Experience Librarian'. Information architecture meet UX for real.
"UX in libraries needs to be a completely immersive experience. We make sure our shelves are full of items patrons want and need. The surroundings are designed to be home-like with fireplaces, couches, power outlets, lamps, and meeting rooms. Across the country, libraries are thus transforming themselves from book warehouses to places where people want to come and hang out."
It always gets more interesting when meaning is involved.
"We inhabit many different semantic environments as we go about our lives. For example, religion is one such semantic environment: we use a particular set of words, in particular ways, when we are in church. Semantic environments are also composed of many subenvironments."
Great infographics for better understanding the history of IA.
"The research captured unique IA practice definitions and related concepts that have given shape to the industry. Works are cited because they have persisted and are actively endorsed, practiced or developed as an area of research and theoretical inquiry."
Time/space dimensions don't apply to the online world. At most, they are just metaphors or analogies.
"Browsing the Web. Surfing the Net. Navigating a Web site. Traversing a hierarchy. Going back. Scrolling up and down. Returning home. We've seen such metaphors throughout our history of using computers to interact with information. Haphazard though they may seem be, these metaphors highlight a universal reality of human psychology: we perceive the world - both physical and digital- - in spatial terms."
That's why the concept of the ebook is flawed. It's 'The Link' that makes the difference.
"One of the most difficult aspects of moving content to the Web is that webs are not organized like other things — books in particular. And the difference is not small. It is not that web organization is somewhat different from book organization. It is so different that you can’t even look at web organization the way you look at book organization."
Have I been waiting for this one.
"Brussels, Belgium, Europe, 1895: two men shared a dream of 'indexing and classifying the world's information'. Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine's work foreshadowed the network of knowledge that a century later became the Internet with its search engines! Otlet and La Fontaine aimed to preserve peace by assembling knowledge and making it accessible to the entire world. They built an international documentation center called Mundaneum. They invented the modern library Universal Decimal Classification system. La Fontaine won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1913. By 1935, their Mundaneum grew to a staggering 16 million cards covering subjects ranging from the history of hunting dogs to finance! World War II and the death of both founders slowed down the project. Although many Mundaneum archives were stored away, some even in the Brussels subway, volunteers kept the dream alive. The French community government of Belgium brought most of the archives to a beautiful Art Deco building in the heart of Mons near Brussels."
Karens star is rising and rising.
Interview with Karen McGrane. ~ "For us this is a generational issue, and it's our life's work to help contribute to organizations’ learning how digital design (and information architecture) should fit into their organization. If we are going to be successful, we may not fix it for ourselves, but for the next generation of digital designers, I want to leave those organizations better off. There will also be some social darwinism, where the organizations that successfully navigate this transition are the ones that are going to survive."
Another DTDT on IA for the web shows it's still a vibrant practice.
"Many practitioners of information architecture have come to understand the fundamentals of creating an information architecture through direct training, text books about practical methods, or real-world experience. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find documentation on the formal theory of information architecture."
Always pleasantly surprised when digital connects previously disparate disciplines and practices. Now, it's television et al. and the search, find, and use trinity.
"As a digital analyst, it's my job to study how technology disrupts business markets and models. As an aspiring social scientist, I also study technology's impact on culture and behavior. These two worlds are colliding with increasing velocity as each day passes. One of the trends I've been following over the last several years is the relationship between TV, smartphones, tablets and PCs."
Great topic. Always wondered how people organize their stuff, activities, and their lives.
"We organize things, we organize information, we organize information about things, and we organize information about information. But even though “organizing” is a fundamental and ubiquitous challenge, when we compare these activities their contrasts are more apparent than their commonalities. We propose to unify many perspectives about organizing with the concept of an Organizing System, defined as an intentionally arranged collection of resources and the interactions they support. Every Organizing System involves a collection of resources, a choice of properties or principles used to describe and arrange resources, and ways of supporting interactions with resources. By comparing and contrasting how these activities take place in different contexts and domains, we can identify patterns of organizing. We can create a discipline of organizing in a disciplined way."
Learning, understanding and cognition. Architecture, structure and node relationships.
"Technology won't save the day, and teachers can't cross the chasm alone. Designers, developers, publishers, and librarians are just a few of the folks needed to build these cross-platform services and structures for learners. And those of us outside the schools can't wait to be invited. We must crash the party. So, in the spirit of transgression, let's now explore the perilous intersection of technology, pedagogy, and the future of education."
Building User Experiences: Synchronizing User Experience Design and the Supporting Metadata and Taxonomy Infrastructure
Taxonomists focus on content organization. UX designers on content experience.
"Despite their best intentions, user experience designers and taxonomy and metadata developers have often found that their work is not well connected, even though both are highly interrelated. For example, a design might be proposed that needs segmentation of content by user role, but there may not be metadata associated with content that captures the role, resulting in the need for detailed review of content and hand coding to create the experience. Taxonomists might build a taxonomy for roles without knowing which roles the design uses, leading to over- or under-specification of the taxonomy."
(Carol A. Hert, Gary Carlson, and Bram Wessel ~ ASIS&T Bulletin, December 2012/January 2013)
Homepage is a hierarchical concept, which doesn't apply to a network. Every page is 'home'.
"Let's explore some helpful approaches to creating a meaningful, successful homepage."
Is it what you are or what you do? Both."
"My work involves helping people to understand how to best plan circumstances in which users are engaged and satisfied with their experience. Yet, I do not call myself a user experience designer."
I thought there were three: the Polar Bears, the Enterprise IAs and the Wurmians.
"Most of or clients and colleagues perceive information architecture in a way that resembles either a classic or a contemporary view."
From top-down to bottom-up.
"Qualitative journal evaluation cumulates content descriptions of single articles. Articles are either represented by author–generated keywords, professionally indexed subject headings, automatically extracted terms or, as recently introduced, by reader–generated tags as used in social bookmarking systems. The study presented here shows that different types of keywords each reflect a different perspective on documents and that tags can be used in journal evaluation to represent a reader–specific view. After providing a broad theoretical background and literature review, methods for extensive automatic term cleaning and calculation of term overlaps are introduced. The efficiency of tags and other metadata for journal content description is illustrated for one particular journal."
Congrats Karen with this major achievement!
"It is your mission to get your content out, on whichever platform, in whichever format your audience wants to consume it. Your users get to decide how, when, and where they want to read your content. It is your challenge and your responsibility to deliver a good experience to them."
The discipline is alive and kicking.
"If modeling is the act of establishing congruence between the elements and entailment structures of two systems, the object and its model, complexity is simply what belies modeling. Behavior in a simple model (and hence in a simple system) can always be correctly predicted: not so in complex systems."
I thought InfoArch was declared dead. Mobile resurrection.
"Mobile devices are clearly here to stay, and along with them come a whole host of new constraints (and opportunities) for our designs. Let’s take a look at how we might update our approach."
"Information Architects work to create usable content structures out of complex sets of information. They do this using plenty of user-centered design methods: usability tests, persona research and creation, and user flow diagrams (to name only a few). That said, it still seems that UX design is in vogue. (...) UX builds on the foundation that IA provides, aiming to take that experience to the next level, both creatively and emotionally. This is the outstanding difference that defines how the apps, sites, and products of today are designed as opposed to those of yesterday."
Always a delight to have him speak.
Q&A with Richard Saul Wurman ~ "At a sprightly 77 years, Mr Wurman is the author of scores of books on technology and design, and is credited with having coined the term "information architect". During the interview, he was true to his eccentric, irascible self, which has inspried many to his causes. "We can't make use of success or failure from one place or another because we have no common language," he says metaphorically. "We also have no common language in medicine. We have very few common languages," he says. "You need common filters. In all this big data, you need filters, because often innovation comes from this filter, because you can see a pattern. And I'm interested in those patterns.""
Experiential to the max.
"The ease and fluency with which designers and clients alike can move into and around the centered set of practices and concepts of UXD brings with it a marvelous opportunity to re-define a bounded set for the remnant of cats for whom the bucket of design is interesting but not the central thing drawing one in, and for which the place of beginning isn't end users and designing their experiences."
Caring is just one thing, paying attention is another.
"(...) the notion that customers don't care about the quality of content is bunk. People do care and content quality does reflect on the overall perception of the product and its creator."
Designing the white spaces, loud silences and waiting moments.
"The intention of this article has been to highlight some of our thoughts on creating pervasive information architectures. Our goal has always been to try to develop a practical framework that can be used early on in a design process to help us visualise the information space that we are so commonly being asked to design for nowadays."
Structure being narrowed down to traveling through the infosphere as in Apple's HotSauce.
"Regardless of how you organize the content, the larger point is this: giving users a table of contents does much more than simply provide users with a means of navigating the content. The table of contents expresses the hierarchical relationships of your content, and by so doing gives users a sense of your content's overall story and structure. Even if users can't find the answer to their question by navigating the table of contents, they can find other meaning in browsing and perusing the structure of your content."
All the meta nodes in the conceptual layer explained.
Notes from Seth Earley's Confab Workshop ~ "(...) your table of contents, which somewhat expresses the hierarchy, order, and relationships within your information, helps the reader understand at a glance the whole of the information. Even if the user doesn't navigate his or her way through this sometimes maze-like TOC structure, not having the table of contents at all makes users uneasy. If you replace that table of contents with another sort of organization, something that doesn't express the semantic relationships of the information components, your users may feel lost."
Abstracting the content universals from their particulars.
"We're in the middle of a paradigm shift from unstructured content to structured content. It is unsustainable to continually unpick unstructured content, at the last mile, across our broadcast, print and digital channels. This shift is making us revisit the way we capture, structure and store content in fundamental ways. Content modeling is one of those. These pages outline the role of content modeling as a effective communication tool for structuring content."
Next up, design models for content experiences.
"Information architecture relates to science as its models draw on insights and theories of cognition. And its models relate to art as they aim to create a meaningful experience. Both aspects are important. Only if IA models manage to blend science and art can they touch the head and the heart."
Conventional might be a better adjective than classical.
"(...) the practice of information architecture has confronted the need to solve the effects of information overload from its very beginning. It did not begin as a struggle for better user experiences, site planning, usability, or budgets. Information architecture arrived as a practice specifically to address the challenges that information abundance brought on within the context of the Internet. This is the seemingly narrow scope of information architecture through which the classic IA perspective survives."
Reads like blowing the last post on UX design. Or is it IA?
"It's been seven years since I took that first step into IA, and, sadly, it seems that the practice of understanding and prioritizing information before designing the interface has been abandoned. And because of that, we are facing a huge problem in the world of UX, which is, simply put, that we are devolving."
The spacial metaphor of information environments (a.k.a. architecture) is strong. Even within mobile apps.
"This article is about the tiniest of details that goes into creating the main centerpiece of your digital product - the construction of the elements of your navigation. This is the most important aid you can possibly give to your users as they are constantly seeking a reason to walk out on you."
Comments more interesting than post.
"I wrote a piece a while back that there was a "war" of sorts going on between (among?) information achitects (who frequently came out of the library science, writing, or HCI fields), usability experts, and "designers," and by that, I mean makers of pretty pictures and high concepts (frequently designers who came out of a classic design-for-print-ads field). Judging by the posts I've seen on this forum, the job listings (and requirements) in the general field, and, oddly enough, feedback I've gotten from users, "information architects" have lost the field and retired - IMHO to the detriment of the discipline. (And I'm talking here about websites and web apps, kiosks, smart phones, etc., not hand-held devices and products or things like menu structuring for DVD players or car audio systems.)"
The other is the most significant subject in your professional live.
"When we interact with web and intranet teams, we find many struggling to move beyond conceptual-level discussions on information organization. Hours on end are spent on discussing the meaning of "metadata", "controlled vocabulary" and "taxonomy" without any strategic understanding of how everything fits together. Being so bogged down at this level they fail to look beyond to the main reason for their pursuit—organizing information for others (the end users) so that they can find the information easily."
We have models for maturity levels of usability, UX, CX and IA. Next up IxD, CS and what-have-you.
"These UX design practice verticals were the product of an IA exercise that charted the primary activities of eight unique forms of practice that play out in any comprehensive UX design project-large or small. Information architecture is one of those practices. It's possible to arrange the following six tiers of the IA practice vertical-which together make up the primary areas of interest of information architecture-in a way that permits the quick evaluation of a site's IA maturity."
Another take on the same event.
"Not many would dispute that organizations need a Web strategy to be successful. When it comes to execution, operational governance is considered the key to getting the organization to act on the strategy. Governance takes the strategy and makes it real through alignment of roles, responsibilities, management policies and budget decisions."
InfoArch gets rehabilitated.
"By bringing the IA phase back and by concentrating first on the information, several things will happen. First, your sketching and interface design becomes much, much better because you have prioritization and buy off on the content, context, and users you are designing for. This means that your wireframe/prototyping phase becomes a lot more about the interface and not what content should go in the interface and why. Second, you are showing your stakeholders that UX design truly isn't just form, but really is also about function. We are moving away from the interface, which is how we started, and towards a real solution of which the interface is only a part. Third, we stop lying to ourselves, and we stop saying that the best UX solutions aren't just the coolest or the best aesthetically, but they are those that take content, context and users into consideration while creating an aesthetically appropriate interface. Most importantly, we stop UX's slide down the evolution scale back towards the time of print design and outputs, and instead continue our climb up the mountain towards being the user experience experts."
Info overload gets to be a IA/UX issue as well.
"The one thing we know about information overload on the Web is that we don’t know enough. The rapid rate at which people and organizations create and propagate information complicates our getting a grip on information overload in the domain of information technology. Our information includes things like our Honey-Do lists, gigabytes of digital documents, and the deluge of email messages that pile up in our email inboxes. The amount of information we consume and manage is growing in both its volume and volatility. Probably worse than the self-inflicted burden of information glut that we've invented for ourselves is the fact that the less we know about information overload, the less we can know about the relevance of our collective stockpiles of information."
Systems lead to models, and modelling is what we do.
"Information architects are inveterate systems thinkers. In the Web's early days, we were the folks who focused less on pages than on the relationships between pages. Today, we continue to design organization, navigation, and search systems as integral parts of the whole. Of course, the context of our practice has shifted. Increasingly, we must design for experiences across channels. Mobile and social are just the beginning. Our future-friendly, cross-channel information architectures need to address the full spectrum of platforms, devices, and media."
(Peter Morville ~ Journal of Information Architecture Volume 3 Issue 2)
Great write-up of the founding mothers and fathers of our beloved field.
"Information architecture is a professional practice and field of studies focused on solving the basic problems of accessing, and using, the vast amounts of information available today. You commonly hear of information architecture in connection with the design of web sites both large and small, and when wireframes, labels, and taxonomies are discussed. As it is today, it is mainly a production activity, a craft, and it relies on an inductive process and a set, or many sets, of guidelines, best practices, and personal and professional expertise. In other words, information architecture is arguably not a science but, very much like say industrial design, an applied art."
(Andrea Resmini & Luca Rosati ~ Journal of Information Architecture Volume 3 Issue 2)
Like any other practice, through time professionals gravitate towards different epicentres of expertise.
"Interaction Design is reaching a critical point in its history. We have spent the better part of the last half century converging. We have built our entire identity by bringing in other disciplines and practices into our fold. We are often decried as 'land grabbers', but I say it is more about shoring up our knowledge base and practice so that we can be ready for the ever-increasing complexity of the tasks set before us through our acknowledged focus on human behavior as it relates broadly to the interaction of systems."
Follow the leader, follow the path.
"(...) the most interesting element in the use of a map is that it allows the anchoring of certain tasks to specific places. In other words, the map allows for a greater deal of information to be easily and unambiguously contextualized."
The more knowledge and understanding you have, the better the design. Or intuition.
"Better to accept a wider margin of error in usability metrics than to spend the entire budget learning too few things with extreme precision."
Or what the form of the character T can initiate. And what about the A, K, or X?
"This second installment of my series on hiring IA practitioners, therefore, expounds on the Boersma T-model by presenting a grid that can help hiring managers make informed recruiting decisions by giving them a clear picture of the key verticals of UX practice, while taking into account three potential levels of an IA practitioner's professional experience."
Great conference testimonial.
"(...) I can still easily say "Wow." It was a great conference."
Not really sure why we changed data and information into content, as if it's something completely different.
"Content can be a little frightening, it's true. Not to everyone mind you. Some people simply love content, with all its oddities and challenges. More often than not these are the people who spend much of their time designing and creating content. But there are definitely people who look somewhat askance at this thing called 'content'. The reasons why some people are less than enamored with content are worth considering and not only to refute them. There may well be good reasons to be afraid - or at least to approach content with due respect."
Some things are innate, others you have to learn. It's called Hard Fun.
"Taxonomy and metadata skills are now much more important library skills. A lot of information being created today does not fit into the Dewey Decimal Classification, the Library of Congress Subject Headings or many other classification systems. Companies struggle with how to organize digital information to ensure everyone can find it and many companies are starting to move away from file servers and into content management systems where taxonomy and metadata are crucial to categorizing and retrieving information. However, most people don't have the instinctual skills to create information organization structures that are useful or the practical knowledge and experience to be confident in the structures they create."
So, information architecture and digital literacy fix filter failure.
"When thinking about folksonomies and similar user-generated knowledge organization, we can see that professional goals would most probably require not only the use of these unsophisticated tools, but also classification and subject indexing that employ classification schemes, top-down hierarchical taxonomies, thesauri and other formal structures."
Dead of alive? Who cares? Making the complex clear and understandable is more necessary than ever.
"Employees need to perform their jobs to support their clients. Information architects are on the front lines when it comes to improving performance. We know how to listen to what users want from a system; we know how to analyze what we learn so we can determine what to put in and what to leave out; we know how to cluster information into smaller usable chunks that support information processing and decision-making; and we know how to test our assumptions and optimize a system so it is directed toward a common goal."
A column is like a site. Great to start but a hell of a job (for most) to maintain it on a regular basis. As always, benefit of the doubt.
"This column explores the strategic aspects of information architecture and the tools to equip information architects for success. Topics will address the business, strategy, user experience, and implementation of strategic information architecture, including organizational, content management, and tactical considerations."
(Andrea Ames and Alyson Riley ~ STC Intercom)
Or, what a simple diagram can bring.
"What I also find disturbing is the lack of competency that some senior IA practitioners, with three to five years of experience, demonstrate when looking for employment. As a manager of an IA team, I have reviewed many resumes and portfolios of IA practitioners who don't meet the basic requirements; whose design artifacts don't reflect what I would expect of someone with senior-level experience. Does anyone know what junior or senior means? UX design managers, managers of information architecture, and IA practitioners should have a shared understanding of what makes a junior or senior IA practitioner a viable candidate."
Sounds more like information architecture, projects and clients to me.
"To do well in either architecture or user experience design, the ability to communicate well is key, and the most important part of communicating is listening. As designers, we need to listen to our clients and their customers to understand their needs and requirements. We need to communicate our designs to both our clients and our development teams in a way that they will understand. Our ideas need to be translated into designs and made concrete, through user scenarios, workflow diagrams, mock-ups or wireframes so that they can be discussed, understood, tested and improved upon. Communication becomes even more important once those designs start being built. As I already stated, nothing ever gets built as planned. Therefore, communication is key in working with the development team to evolve and refine the design as it gets built, and to manage the expectations of the client throughout the development process as those changes are occurring. And, a lot of that communicating is listening."
Well said: "I'm getting too old for this shit."
"(...) ideally the phrase UX will disappear completely into a collective understanding and we will once again call ourselves by titles that better describe what we do all day."
Martin Belam again created the online epicentre of the event. Thank you Curry Bet!
"(...) my probably futile attempt to gather together all the EuroIA slides, resources, poster sessions, and blog posts into one place."
It's not about information, content and stuff. It's about answers, meaning and understanding.
"I am an information architect; I have always identified myself this way professionally because it describes information architecture as my core practice, which I simply think of as making the complex clear (Wurman). It defines my professional and personal ethos - and it does so to an extent I was not even aware of until recently."
The ship 'Titanic' sets course to a new UX iceberg.
"Over the past two decades, the volatile evolution of Web applications and services has resulted in organizational uncertainty that has kept our understanding and framing of the information architect in constant flux. In the meantime, the reality of getting things done has resulted in a professional environment where the information architect is less important than the practitioner of information architecture."
Wandering through the structured space with information (a.k.a. the Library) has its UX too, made by librarians.
"It worries me that librarians still seem to think that the problem facing librarianship is that people aren't visiting the librarians at the library. I haven't read a really great world altering story anywhere about how a library has suddenly implemented a new program to get all the students rushing in to talk to the librarians, and basing future experience on past, I have to say no such program is about to fly in through the window to save the profession."
In the old days, we called it Information Disclosure.
"(...) some facets are useful in fundamental decision making. These browsable facets should enable their selection in the absence - and instead - of a category, then once selected, intersect with other facets using the same category taxonomy the rest of the Web site uses. Some Web sites get this wrong by not allowing pivoting to categories at all. Others try to simulate this functionality by creating a separate category taxonomy for each brand - and they fail."
Still an information architect, not an user experience designer.
"I map paths and places across physical, digital, and cognitive spaces. (...) the task only grows harder as tech spins faster, which is precisely why I believe that there has never been a better time to be an information architect."
(Peter Morville a.k.a. @morville)
Whatever 'stuff' is organized according to structures (a.k.a. relations) can be called an architecture.
"The transition towards information spaces as the stage for our day-to-day interactions will continue unabated. Information architects are uniquely positioned to design these spaces thoughtfully and effectively. Seeing our role as digital placemakers allows us to better understand — and employ more effectively — our work as a critical cultural component, that influences the way our institutions serve us and our fellow human beings experience reality."
After the tsunamis of data and information, now waiting for the 'tsunami of wisdom'.
"It's probably safe to say that we've surpassed Richard Saul Wurman's tsunami of data and now face a massive flooding of information on an epic scale. Practices of information architecture have managed to survive over the years with effective tactical approaches and quick thinking. But, the flood of information and how we access and use it only appear to be increasing in volume and complexity over time. Practitioners of information architecture must consider proceeding with greater strategic intent."
Or what a lot of reading, days of conversations and writing a book can do to your use of terms.
"Cross-channel is not about technology, or marketing, nor it is limited to media-related experiences: it's a systemic change in the way we experience reality. The more the physical and the digital become intertwined, the more designing successful cross-channel user experiences becomes crucial."
"To design better search and discovery experiences we must understand the complexities of the human-information seeking process. Numerous theoretical frameworks have been proposed to characterize this complex process, notably the standard model, the cognitive model and the dynamic model. In addition, others have investigated search as a strategic process, examining the various problem solving strategies and tactics that information seekers employ over extended periods of time. In this paper, we examine the needs and behaviours of varied individuals across a range of search and discovery scenarios within various types of enterprise. These are based on an analysis of the scenarios derived from numerous engagements involving the development of search and business intelligence solutions utilizing the Endeca Latitude software platform. In so doing, we extend the classic IR concept of information-seeking to a broader notion of discovery-oriented problem solving, accommodating the much wider range of behaviours required to fulfil the typical goals and objectives of enterprise knowledge workers."
"It's common for enterprises to have a document library in their intranets that houses all types of administrative and operational content. Such a document library usually has a taxonomy to improve the discoverability and findability of content. However, there is one problem: documents need to get into the library first! Submitting a document to the library involves filing or tagging the document with the right taxonomic terms, a procedure that can make people see red if not done properly. Tag bundles can help simplify this procedure and also improve the use of such document libraries."
"In a miniature information architecture, coverage of a single topic is chunked into units that are connected through simple navigation."
"In this column, I'll summarize and compare the latest generative and evaluative methods for IA user research. The methods I'll examine include open card sorting, Modified-Delphi card sorting, closed card sorting, reverse card sorting, card-based classification evaluation, tree testing, and testing information architecture with low-fidelity prototypes. I'll cover the advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing between these methods, when it makes sense to use each method, and describe an ideal combination of these methods."
"Contemporary information architecture can help reframe how we approach this thing called information overload. In this article (...) Nathaniel Davis, founder and curator of DSIA Research Initiative and DSIA Portal of IA, leads the discussion on behalf of contemporary information architecture. He repositions information abundance and filter failure as signatures of information overload. Davis then suggests how information overload can be quantified as two unique conditions that are ideal for further investigation in theory, research and practice to better understand their influence on providing sound information architecture recommendations."
(Nathaniel Davis ~ DSIA Portal of IA)
Navigating Streams in an Information Ecosystem ~ "Welcome to the sixth electronic edition of the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Although generally organized in the same manner and sequence as earlier print publications, articles in this edition use Portable Document Format (PDF) files, with integrated images, graphics, and other material. Addresses to websites and other Internet locations may or may not be active hyperlinks, depending on individual author decisions. Returning this year is an integrated schedule and table of contents, clicking on any session title will open the paper or session description."
(American Society for Information Science and Technology a.k.a. ASIS&T)
"83% of consumers prefer retailers offering a continuous and consistent shopping experience across the different channels: people would like to seamlessly interact with a company independently by the touchpoint, medium or place." (Pervasive Information Architecture blog)
"Some of his philosophical interests surface more visibly here, but overall the book is extremely relevant to the field of technical communication. For anyone who has ever struggled to organize help content, this book provides solid answers and strategies." (Tom Johnson)
"Today I delivered the opening keynote address at the Polish IA Summit in Warsaw, entitled 'Come as you are'. It is the story of how I've come to spend 13 years building digital products, and how I've observed and been part of the changes and development in the UX and IA disciplines over that time. It finishes with what I consider to be the five key lessons about computers and people from my career as an IA practitioner." (Martin Belam)
Content Talks Episode #3 ~ "Kristina picks Louis Rosenfeld's brain about the relationship between IA and content strategy, and how the burgeoning content strategy community can avoid the pitfalls of other professional associations." (Content Talks)
Closing plenary of the IA Summit 2011 ~ "Although there's still a substantial gap between aspiration and execution, business leaders are at least now talking about the right things: experience, prototyping, design strategy, and innovation. (...) User experience converts are typically drawn to the glamour of interaction design on shiny technology, and the amateur psychology that helps them sound authoritative about their approaches. Most lack knowledge of basic information architecture, design theory and elementary programming skills." (Cennydd Bowles)
"A context menu is a menu that contains commands specific to the object that the cursor is currently pointing at – the 'target object'." (Hagan Rivers ~ two rivers consulting)
"(...) it's not just the Web anymore. There's bigger game out there for us to design, and I'm going to make a point that attendees walk out of the workshop with three basic fundamental take-aways: they understand why we talk of pervasive information architectures, they know what pervasive information architectures are, and they have the tools to hack them." (IA Summit 2011)
"This paper will attempt to bridge the gap by giving procedures and advice on all the steps involved in making a faceted classification and putting it on the web. Web people will benefit by having a rigorous seven-step process to follow for creating faceted classifications, and librarians will benefit by understanding how to store such a classification on a computer and make it available on the web. The paper is meant for both webmasters and information architects who do not know a lot about library and information science, and librarians who do not know a lot about building databases and web sites. The classifications are meant for small or medium-sized sets of things, meant to go on public or private web sites, when there is a need to organize items for which no existing classification will do. It is certainly not the intent of this paper to show how to build another universal classification, nor to describe how a library that uses a faceted classification scheme can put their catalogue online." (William Denton ~ Miskatonic University Press 2009)
"Service design is the natural progression from UX – taking interactions across platforms and concentrating on the invisible and tangible connections around customer or user interactions. Information architects should be at the heart of this design work and don’t be surprised to start to see IAs appear in companies that you didn’t even think of as 'digital'. (...) It is not just interface design. It is not just about making the world more usable and ethically correct. It’s all this and more. It is a force for changing business in its approach and to make it economically stable by providing for needs but also satisfying wants beyond the present day. This is the business value of UX. How you interpret the data you collect, and create something truly unique, relies on the teams skill set and experience." (James Kelway ~ user pathways) | courtesy of petermorville
"In web design, there are certain common design patterns that are used for interaction. Site navigation has a wide variety of common and familiar design patterns that can be used as a foundation for building effective information architecture for a website. This guide covers popular site navigation design patterns. For each site navigation design pattern, we will discuss its common characteristics, its drawbacks, and when best to use it." (Cameron Chapman ~ Six Revisions)
"This paper examines the use of the postulational approach to facet analysis to manually induce a faceted classification ontology from a folksonomy." (Elise Conradi ~ Journal of Information Architecture Volume 2 Issue 3)
"Is information architecture dead? No way! It ain't even sick. Let me share some personal observations about our field." (Eric Reiss ~ Journal of Information Architecture Volume 2 Issue 3)
"Government environments often have prescribed complex processes for obtaining and implementing technology solutions. In order to encourage and enable information architecture (IA) in government systems, it is essential to embed IA within the current processes and to view IA as part of the overall architectural framework. The definition of IA used here is broad and inclusive spanning applications, the Web and the enterprise. A common focus exists aimed at organizing information for findability, manageability and usefulness, but the definition also includes infrastructure to support organization of information. This case study describes the development of an IA checklist in a large United States government agency. The checklist is part of an architectural review process that is applied 1) during assessment of proposed information systems projects and 2) design of solution recommendations before system implementation." (Laura Downey and Sumit Banerjee ~ Journal of Information Architecture Volume 2 Issue 3)
"One of the things that stands out for me in any consideration of 'content strategy' is that it is centered upon the business goals of the organization. It sounds almost painfully obvious but grim reality shows us that it is not as obvious as it sounds. A content strategy should bring to the fore the idea that the content must be expressly designed and developed so as to address specific business objectives. This content must also, it follows, be designed to work with and leverage the tools that are being used, such as the search technology that a customer or prospect is most likely to call upon when looking for an answer. (...) the content strategist must take on board a raft of considerations and then chart an efficient and effective path of content investment." (Joe Gollner ~ The Fractal Enterprise)
"When considering the structure of a building, architects often define its central, organizing idea as part of their ideation and design process. This unifying idea is known as the parti. The overall expression and movement of people through the space, the actual flow that happens through daily use, emanates from and returns to this fundamental idea." (David Sherwin ~ ChangeOrder) Also, part 1
"She's a natural to work on transforming the infinite depths of data about our urban environment into patterns that reveal other patterns, says TED founder Richard Saul Wurman, who got to know Strausfeld during her days at the MIT Media Lab. She'd be on my chart of the top information architects. She'll be a formidable figure." (FastCompany)
"(...) one of the main issues that we see, but at times ignore, in this field is that most of us try to be jacks of all trades within UX." (Elisabeth Hubert)
"(...) a summary of why findability becomes an issue for technical writers, and what the information paradox is that we encounter. Then, in an usual ethical twist, I’ll explain why findability might not actually be an issue." (Tom Johnson)
"This paper considers the nature of information science as a discipline and profession. It is based on conceptual analysis of the information science literature, and consideration of philosophical perspectives, particularly those of Kuhn and Peirce. It is argued that information science may be understood as a field of study, with human recorded information as its concern, focusing on the components of the information chain, studied through the perspective of domain analysis, in specific or general contexts. A particular aspect of interest is those aspects of information organization, and of human information-related behaviour, which are invariant to changes in technology. Information science can also be seen as a science of evaluation of information, understood as semantic content with respect to qualitative growth of knowledge and change in knowledge structures in domains. This study contributes to the understanding of the unique 'academic territory' of information science, a discipline with an identity distinct from adjoining subjects." (Lyn Robinson and Murat Karamuftuoglu ~ Information Research 15.4)
"As physical and digital interactions intertwine, new challenges for digital product designers and developers, as well as, industrial designers and architects are materializing. While well versed in designing navigation, organization, and labelling of websites and software, professionals are faced the crucial challenge of how to apply these techniques to information systems that cross communication channels that link the digital world to the physical world." (Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati ~ Pervasive IA)
"(...) that's what we do: we build structures and patterns, we imagine orders. These are not there, in the data, in re, but are a part of our individual or collective imaginary, of our professional expertise. As such they can be fantastically "wrong" but still produce meaning, and good design." (Andrea Resmini)
"The IA Summit is the premier destination for those who practice, research and are interested in the structural design of shared information environments. Some call themselves information architects (and many don't) but all share a common desire to help people live better lives through meaningful experiences with information. (...) After 11 successful years bringing hundreds of practitioners together for five days of intense exchange of ideas and experiences, we pause to reflect on the state of information architecture and what is in store for this community of practice. As we continue to strive for more, we turn our focus to what can make us - as practitioners - and our practice, better."
"Karen McGrane joins Jeffrey Zeldman and Dan Benjamin to discuss putting publications online, the state of content management, careers in web design, running a design business, teaching UX and design, and more." (The Big Show)
"If you are an Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Interaction Designer or similar and your job is designing digital interactive (web)sites, services or products then join in with the UX Card Sort! This card sort is a way of creating insight into what UX professionals have in common and what the differentiators are, based on your daily professional activities instead of discussing what a label such as IA/UXD/ID etc. should contain. The Card Sort does start though with the request to enter your job title as that might already identify existing clusters with a common label." (George Miles)
"In Adaptive Path's newsletter of September 28, I shared my views on the European UX scene. In response, several people wrote to me with additions to the landscape. Below are the most interesting ones, followed by my impressions of 3 more European conferences: Euro IA, UX Russia and Design by Fire. And yes, I will count Russia as part of Europe in this respect." (Peter Boersma ~ Adaptive Path)
"Research and practice in IA are fractured, with very weak connections in between (and this gap is not unique: many disciplines face this challenge)." (Andrea Resmini and Keith Instone - ASIS&T on Information Architecture)
"One thing that has been useful for me is the overall model of the problem space that emerged for me." (Keith Instone) - courtesy of resmini
"User researchers frequently use card sorting to understand how users perceive the structure of a Web site and the ideal way for them to navigate through the site. Usually card sorting starts with doing an inventory of a Web site's content, then creating a card for each stand-alone piece of content. Researchers recruit participants for a card sort from a Web site's target audience, then ask them to group the cards into categories that make sense to them." (Shanshan Ma ~ UXmatters)
"Information Architects often struggle to stay relevant to business clients and internal project teams due to their academic approach to achieving business objectives. Way too often, Information Architecture presentations fail to resonate with internal and external stakeholders due to how methods, findings, and solutions are presented." (Jonathan Lupo)
"Wurman holds a special place for those who practice information architecture. He coined the term in 1976, in part as a response to what he identified as limited perceptions of the word design. The term information architect grew from his desire to know rather than already knowing; and from his ignorance and curiosity rather than his intelligence and assumptions. So it's not surprising that when Wurman presented keynote remarks at the recent IA Summit, he spoke of information architecture within the framework of a journey from not knowing to knowing. That's the magic of this business, he told us." (Thom Haller)
"Cities can be viewed as information architecture systems. Here, 'architecture' is used in the sense of computer architecture -- it refers not to the design of buildings, but to how the components of a complex system interact. Information exchange includes the movement of people and goods, personal contact and interactions, telecommunications, as well as visual input from the environment. Information networks provide a basis for understanding living cities and for diagnosing urban problems. This paper argues that a city works less like an electronic computer, and more like the human brain. As a functionally complex system, it heuristically defines its own functionality by changing connections so as to optimize how components interact. An effective city will be one with a system architecture that can respond to changing conditions. This analysis shifts the focus of understanding cities from their physical structure to the flow of information." (L. Andrew Coward and Nikos A. Salingaros ~ Journal of Information Science, Volume 30 No. 2, 2004) | courtesy of @wantmag
"The authors of this paper position pratice-led research (PLR) as an effective agent in the transformation of the seemingly inherent and natural acts found in casual practice into the formal arrangement of accepted truths and regulated practices of a discipline for user experience design (UXD) and information architecture (IA) communities of practice. The paper does not intend to exhaustively define discourse analysis, discipline practice or pratice-led research per se, but rather to introduce practitioners and the fields of UX and IA at large to the basic concepts of PLR so as to begin establishing discussion and awareness." (Hobbs, J., Fenn, T., & Resmini, A. ~ Journal of Information Architecture No. 3)
"This paper details a way to extend classic information architecture for web-based applications. The goal is to enhance traditional user experiences, mainly based on navigation or search, to new ones (also relevant for stakeholders’ requirements). Examples are sense making, at a glance understanding, playful exploration, serendipitous browsing, and brand communication. These new experiences are often unmet by current information architecture solutions, which may be stiff and difficult to scale, especially in the case of large or very large websites. A heavy reliance upon search engines seems not to offer a viable solution: it supports, in fact, a limited range of user experiences. We propose to transform (parts of) websites into Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), based, beside other features, upon interaction-rich interfaces and semantic browsing across content. We introduce SEE-IA (SEarch-Enhanced Information Architecture), a coherent set of information architecture design strategies, which innovatively blend and extend IA and search paradigms." (Spagnolo, L., Bolchini, D., Paolini, P., & Di Blas, N. ~ Journal of Information Architecture No. 3)
"Topic Maps is a standards-based technology and model for organizing and integrating digital information in a range of applications and domains. Drawing on notions adapted from current discourse theory, this article focuses on the communicative, or explanatory, potential of topic maps. It is demonstrated that topic maps may be structured in ways that are 'text-like' in character and, therefore, conducive to more expository or discursive forms of machine-readable information architecture. More specifically, it is exemplified how a certain measure of 'texture', i.e. textual cohesion and coherence, may be built into topic maps. Further, it is argued that the capability to represent and organize discourse structure may prove useful, if not essential, in systems and services associated with the emerging Socio-Semantic Web. As an example, it is illustrated how topic maps may be put to use within an area such as distributed semantic micro-blogging." (Lars Johnsen ~ Journal of Information Architecture No. 3)
"Over the past several months I've proposed Architecture differs from design in its strategic and political positioning. In the last article, I suggested User Experience Architecture is at its best when it forces the business to question its assumptions about its market, its offerings, the technologies it depends on, and ultimately its vision. Do all businesses benefit equally from a User Experience Architecture? When is the time, effort and cost valuable, and when is it unnecessary? Hasn't business done just fine for the past several thousands of years without a need for a User Experience Architecture? Why now?" (CHIFOO)
"Taxonomy is an ancient scientific practice. It means to find names for things. In naming things, you try to figure out how sets of things are related to one another, so that each, unique item will not only have a unique name, but also a reference to the others to which it relates. Taxonomy creates a hierarchy of inheritance, from general down to specific and back: A giant tree, on which there is a unique place for every item, like the leaves at the ends of twigs at the ends of branches connected to a trunk and running deep into the earth." (The Content Strategy Noob) courtesy of basevers
"So in the interest of resurrecting a six-year old conversation, here are some questions. I plan to use these to get my client to think strategically about the challenge of developing a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and multi-regional information architecture. Being the information architect that I am, naturally I categorized them." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"I had the pleasure of interviewing Lou and, I have to admit, I was surprised by what I learned about my own role in the world of User Experience Design. We all contribute to the Big Tent of User Experience, and the future is very bright." (Anthony Viviano ~ Three Minds)
"I'm starting a new series on organizing content. I'm not sure how many parts there will be in this series. Writing essays in a serial format is an experiment I'm exploring. Basically this approach to writing follows the agile model. I write a bit, get some feedback, write some more, get feedback, and keep going. The feedback along the way shapes the direction I'm heading. Also, with each serial post, I hope to take the issue a little deeper." (I'd Rather Be Writing)
"(...) my opening keynote slides and the talk I wrote out which I gave at the German IA Conference in Cologne, Germany May 14, 2010. I speak about experience design, social design and service design. The theme of the conference is Service. Design. Thinking. What I actually said may have been slightly different than the text here but the intent was the same." (Erin Malone)
"Many people find it hard to picture a website as more than a bundle of content. This often makes explaining the mixture of languages used and the way everything comes together a difficult task. Because what makes up a website can be related and linked to the physiology of a human body, this article's comparison should help clients and beginners alike understand the complex nature of a site’s creation and components." (Alexander Dawson - Six Revisions)
"In this paper, we illustrate how Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), combining lightweight information architecture with advanced search paradigms (like faceted search) and interactive visualization strategies, can be used to better support a number of communication goals. The examples are taken from the new Web site for the Directorate General of Antiquity of the Italian Ministry for Culture Heritage (to become public in Autumn 2010), where both a huge amount of content (the Italian archeological heritage) and a variety of users’ profiles (from scholars to amateurs and tourists) are managed." (Stefano De Caro, Nicoletta Di Blas, and Luigi Spagnolo ~ Museums And The Web 2010) courtesy of petermorville
"This year marks the 11th annual Information Architecture Summit. Our theme is meant to inspire everyone in the community—even those who aren't presenting or volunteering—to bring their best ideas to the table. As busy practitioners, we rarely have the chance to step back and think about the future of our field—we're too busy resolving day-to-day issues. By gathering and sharing practical solutions for everyday challenges, we can create more breathing room to plan for what's to come." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"Screen-based user interfaces now include dynamic and moving elements that transform the screen space and relations of mediated content. These changes place new demands on design as well as on our reading and use of such multimodal texts. Assuming a socio-cultural perspective on design, we discuss in this article the use of animation and visual motion in interface navigation as navimation. After presenting our Communication Design framework, we refer to relevant literature on navigation and motion. Three core concepts are introduced for the purpose of analysing selected interface examples using multimodal textual analysis informed by social semiotics. The analysis draws on concepts from multiple fields, including animation studies, ‘new’ media, interaction design, and human-computer interaction. Relations between time, space and motion are discussed and linked to wider debates concerning interface design." (Jon Olav H. Eikenes and Andrew Morrison ~ IJDesign Volume 4 No. 1, 2010)
"When you do information architecture work you’ll realize that most sets of content can be organized in more than one way. One of the challenges for an IA project is figuring out what way works best for your audience, your content and your project’s goals." (Donna Maurer - UXBooth)
Interview with Peter Morville about his new book Search Patterns - "(...) I'm a skeptic when it comes to grand visions of The Semantic Web. In narrow domains such as medicine, we can develop thesauri (or 'ontologies') that define terms precisely and map hierarchical, equivalent, and associative relationships. But these approaches simply don't scale, and they can't keep up with the rapid evolution of language and knowledge." (Bridgeline Digital)
"This year marks the 11th annual Information Architecture Summit. Our theme is meant to inspire everyone in the community—even those who aren't presenting or volunteering—to bring their best ideas to the table. As busy practitioners, we rarely have the chance to step back and think about the future of our field—we're too busy resolving day-to-day issues. By gathering and sharing practical solutions for everyday challenges, we can create more breathing room to plan for what's to come." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"In short, just step up to the plate and own the passages that make up your customer's journey. By the use of some straight-forward tools and processes (which are mostly extensions of items that should be in your user experience toolkit already), you can incorporate service design thinking and deliverables into your overall practice." (Fritillaria)
"This year marks the 11th annual Information Architecture Summit. Our theme is meant to inspire everyone in the community—even those who aren't presenting or volunteering—to bring their best ideas to the table. As busy practitioners, we rarely have the chance to step back and think about the future of our field—we're too busy resolving day-to-day issues. By gathering and sharing practical solutions for everyday challenges, we can create more breathing room to plan for what's to come." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"Trying to summarize the summit turned out to be harder than I expected. What I've posted below seems more like several tips of the largest ice bergs rather than a thorough recap. My notes don’t do justice to all that went on but they’re a start at least." (@mattzellmer)
"Faceted navigation may be the most significant search innovation of the past decade. It features an integrated, incremental search and browse experience that lets users begin with a classic keyword search and then scan a list of results. It also serves up a custom map that provides insights into the content and its organization and offers a variety of useful next steps. In keeping with the principles of progressive disclosure and incremental construction, it lets users formulate the equivalent of a sophisticated Boolean query by taking a series of small, simple steps. Learn how it works, why it has become ubiquitous in e-commerce, and why it’s not for every site." (Peter Morville & Jeffery Callender ~ A List Apart)
"In her keynote closing the 2010 IA Summit, Whitney asks if our work is just our job or our passion. To really make the difference we seek, our practice needs to be our calling. The UX community is united because of a common mission: We empower people to become self-reliant and more resourceful, organized, social, and relaxed. We don’t do it for them, they do it for themselves." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"IA Summit as an exercise in design. Need I say more? So let's have fun." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"(...) as a community like this matures, it's natural (but not inevitable) that the pioneers leave, and the new folks carry on without them." (Peter Morville)
"In his day one keynote from the 2010 IA Summit, Dan Roam—founder of Digital Roam Inc and author of the best-selling Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures - shares his unique visual-thinking approach with a receptive crowd in Phoenix. Transcending language barriers, his approach helps solve complex problems through visual thinking, and has helped resolve challenges at many businesses: Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and eBay to name a few." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"With the majority of the earth's population now living in cities, Richard Saul Wurman realized there was a yawning information gap about the urban super centers that are increasingly driving modern culture. In this keynote presentation from the 2010 IA Summit, Mr. Wurman discusses his 19.20.21 initiative: an attempt to standardize a methodology to understand comparative data on 19 cities that will have 20 million or more inhabitants in the 21st century. He encourages the design community to take initiative and solve big problems rather than make small changes incrementally." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"The world needs talented, passionate service designers but it can do without rock stars. Service designers are humble. They embrace participatory values, particularly the idea that we should be designing with people rather than designing for them. The practical upshot is an evolutionary divergence in approach to research, sketching, design and prototyping." (Jeff Howard)
"I think we should be called information architects and that it’s easier to talk about IA with people outside our field in terms of A than to talk with them about UXD in terms of X or D. Mr. Garrett thinks we are now and have always been user experience designers, that UXD is easier for muggles to understand, and that those of us who specialize in and choose the titles of IA or IxD are either fools or liars." (Dan Klyn - Wildly Appropriate)
"My interests and skills in the universe that is Design tack heavily toward using information to create structured systems for human experience. I'm obsessed with the design challenges that come from linking things that couldn't be linked before the Internet — creating habitats out of digital raw material. That, to me, is the heart of information architecture." (Andrew Hinton)
"The strategy you adopt when tackling a project needs to take this continuum in mind. If your product is about content consumption, content is king and you should do due diligence and start from a content strategy perspective. Users of those products are coming to be informed or entertained and need the content to be front-and-center; the product is in service to displaying the content in as appropriate a manner as possible. The meaning of the content matters; you wouldn't display a cartoon the same way you’d display an analysis of the stock market. At least, not usually." (Dan Saffer - Kicker Studio) - Goes back to the old web app (code) versus doc (data) distinction.
"The president of a firm that's synonymous with User Experience and who literally 'wrote the book' on the elements of User Experience making an impassioned call for everybody who’s called information architect or interaction designer to change their business cards to omit mention of these competing paradigms, and then insisting that the way your firm does its work is different than every other kind of design approach that’s come before it? It's a sell job, if not a sales pitch. I think he doth protest too much." (Dan Klyn - Wildly Appropriate)
"So many articles explain how to design interfaces, design graphics and deal with clients. But one step in the Web development process is often skipped over or forgotten altogether: content planning. Sometimes called information architecture, or IA planning, this step doesn't find a home easily in many people's workflow. But rushing on to programming and pushing pixels makes for content that looks shoehorned rather than fully integrated and will only require late-game revisions." (Kristin Wemmer - Smashing Magazine)
"Given the emphasis on HCI and psychology one might easily think this is a relatively recent volume on IA and usability. In fact, this book was published in 1991! I find it amazing how appropriate much of the content still is." (Jussi Pasanen - Volkside) - courtesy of ferrydendopper
"Sitemaps are a safety net. They can be a last resort for users before they abandon ship and leave your site having not found what they needed and vowing never to come back." (Rob Mills - Think Vitamin)
"Search, search, search. Everyone is talking about search these days. Bing, semantic search, site search. That's all you hear. Don’t get me wrong: search is wildly important to our daily experiences on the web. I’ve written a bit on search on this blog. (...) But at the same time were seeing a lot of new products and interfaces that offer enhanced online browsing experiences. Browsing it totally underrated, I believe. What's more, looking broadly across human information behavior, we see that browsing is more than an accident, impulsive activity–it's not just aimless surfing." (James Kalbach - Experiencing Information)
"As information architects, we have the opportunity to learn when our constituents are thwarted by information structure. If possible, we should observe actual performers doing actual work in actual work contexts. We should understand what performers need to know, what is better referenced and what is best supported. We should understand the pressures, activities, accountabilities, interruptions, relationships and consequences of good and flawed performance. And we should measure." (Thom Haller - ASIS&T Bulletin February/March 2010)
"Information is going everywhere, bleeding out of we thought was cyberspace and back into the real world: increasingly, many tasks we perform every day not only constantly require us to move between different media, but actually have us move from the digital to the physical environment and back. Computation is everywhere, and so are search and interaction. It's time to move beyond the computer screen to design information space in these new ubiquitous ecologies." (Andrea Resmini & Luca Rosati)
"Information architecture can be a daunting subject for designers who've never tried it before. Creating successful infographics and visualizations takes skill and practice, along with some advance planning. But anyone with graphic design skills can learn to create infographics that are effective and get data across in a user-friendly manner. Below are a collection of resources to get you going down the information architecture path. Whether you just want to become more familiar with infographics and data visualizations for occasional use or are thinking of making it a career, the resources below will surely come in handy. There are also some beautiful examples and more roundups to see even more fantastic graphics." (Cameron Chapman - Noupe)
"If we have a call for papers and no one writes them, we aren’t documenting our work. One has to then question what historical significance these excellent summits will have. Wouldn’t it be extremely advantageous to be able to look back at the papers for all the summits, especially as time marches on and the field continues to (hopefully) develop? Wouldn’t it be a valuable teaching tool and reference for those institutions with IA programs? Wouldn’t it also be a valuable reference for companies and their IA teams? A collection of papers from past summits could also be a important tool for spreading the value and knowledge that IA has to offer." (Andrea Resmini)
"I'm organized but not overly so. I mean, I kept my books in alphabetical order as a kid, but I didn't think of it as an early indicator of the career path I'd take. But I do appreciate order, so when I import a CD into iTunes and iTunes assigns metadata to my lovely new tunes via its Gracenotes system (which compiles user-generated and submitted data), it's a relief to me, when the provided data has been entered with, you know, some semblance of order. Often, it isn't. In reviewing this data over time, I noticed users make certain mistakes consistently when tagging their music. These mistakes then, reveal principles, and though they happen to apply to music in my iPod, in practice, they also apply to tagging other digital files." (Robert Stribley - Scatter/Gather)
"In this contest, you are invited to explain information architecture. What is it? Why is it important? What does it mean to you? Some folks may offer a definition in 140 characters or less, while others will use this opportunity to tell a story (using text, pictures, audio, and/or video) about their relationship to IA." (Peter Morville)
"(...) five reasons why vertical navigation should not be used and why designers and architects should almost always construct their sites with horizontal navigation in mind." (Louis Lazaris - Smashing Magazine)
"(...) is an emerging agile design tool for prototyping rich user interfaces. The big idea behind this experiment is whether we as interaction designers, IA's, UX professionals and developers can create our own prototyping tool in an open way."
"The difference between usability and user experience (UX) design is often explained as the latter trying to paint a richer picture and pay attention to engaging users in the process of interaction1. This is preferably accomplished by providing an engaging experience. In particular informational applications are often supposed to be entertaining. In many circumstances this is beneficial and highly appropriate, particularly in the context of low-choice interaction scenarios such as news and entertainment-related content or applications. However, the important condition to remember is context. In fact, context is the crucial aspect to consider when creating an environment that allows playful and experimental emotions to emerge." (Journal of Information Architecture)- A very nice X-mas present
"For large sites, portals or company intranets Value BEGINS with the information architecture. There is nothing else that matters as much as Information Architecture in these instances. If people can’t find the information they are looking for, the application is useless. It does not matter how great the design is, how fast the page loads, how cute the menu drop-downs are – what matters is intuitively organized information that is easily accessible." (Lou Storiale Blog) - courtesy of wolfnoeding
"One of the clearest mistakes we make in web site development is not understanding the people who use them. Despite the help of personas, user testing, scenarios and marketing data in advance, even the big brand sites struggle to be user friendly. Why is this? One reason is the context in which pages and links are delivered. For findability to work properly, we need to know the words people use to communicate with their surroundings. This may be different online, especially in situations where we can ‘be anyone’ and change who we are." (Kim Krause Berg - Search Engine Land)
"When it comes to user interface documentation, wireframes have long been the tool of choice. However, using traditional diagramming tools like Visio, OmniGraffle, and InDesign, most wireframes today look the same as their ancestors did from a decade ago – assembled with rigid, computer-drawn boxes, lines and text. While these artifacts have served us well, they can also be slow to produce, burdened with unnecessary detail and give a false impression of 'completion'. To compensate for the drawbacks of traditional wireframes, many practitioners put aside the computer in favor of simple pencil sketches or whiteboard drawings. This speeds up the ideation process, but doesn’t always produce presentable or maintainable documentation." (Aaron Travis - Boxes and Arrows)
"A big part of information architecture is organisation – creating the structure of a site. For most sites – particularly large ones – this means creating a hierarchical 'tree' of topics. But to date, the IA community hasn't found an effective, simple technique (or tool) to test site structures. The most common method used—closed card sorting—is neither widespread nor particularly suited to this task. Some years ago, Donna Spencer pioneered a simple paper-based technique to test trees of topics. Recent refinements to that method, some made possible by online experimentation, have now made 'tree testing' more effective and agile." (Dave O'Brien - Boxes and Arrows)
"In this article, I sketch Otlet's and Kaiser's ideas about information analysis and compare the types of knowledge organization systems (KOSs) that they constructed on the basis of these ideas. As we shall see, Otlet and Kaiser held very similar views about the possibility – and desirability – of disaggregating documents into information units and organizing the latter into indexed information files. Both men also agreed on the technological means to implement their information-analytic approach." (Thomas M. Dousa - ASIS&T Bulletin Dec/Jan 2010)
"Content Strategy is not Copywriting. Design is not Window Dressing. Information Architecture is not Boxes and Arrows. (...) CS and IA are the same thing, or at least they should be." (Ian Alexander - Eat Media)
"IDEA2009 had the world's foremost thinkers and practitioners converge on Toronto's MaRS Convention Center to share the big ideas that inspire, along with practical solutions for the ways people's lives and systems are converging to affect society. Listen and learn from experts in a variety of fields as we all continue the exploration of Social Experience Design." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"In the paper, we describe how cross-mediality and bridge-experiences are playing a major role in redefining the goals and scope of information architecture as a strategic practice and discipline for the successful design of user experiences, and propose a seven point manifesto for a holistic approach to the design of digital – physical human information interactions as ubiquitous ecologies." (Andrea Resini and Luca Rosati - Proceedings of the International Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems 2009)
"IDEA2009 had the world’s foremost thinkers and practitioners converge on Toronto’s MaRS Convention Center to share the big ideas that inspire, along with practical solutions for the ways people’s lives and systems are converging to affect society. Listen and learn from experts in a variety of fields as we all continue the exploration of Social Experience Design." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows) - courtesy of jjursa
"The extraordinary growth in Internet use offers researchers important new opportunities to identify and test new ways to deliver effective behavior change programs. The information architecture - the structure of website information - is an important but often overlooked factor to consider when adapting behavioral strategies developed in office-based settings for Web delivery. Using examples and relevant perspectives from multiple disciplines, we describe a continuum of website IA designs ranging from a matrix design to the tunnel design." (Brian G Danaher H. Garth McKay, and John R Seeley) - courtesy of a'path
"The presence of so many cultures, and varied talks made for a surprisingly vibrant and enlightening event. This is the EuroIA's real strength and perhaps why I feel it has a greater meaning in the global sphere. There are few other groups in UX who have such a mix of backgrounds, experience and cultural references to call upon." (James Kelway - User Pathways)
"As the field of user experience grows and evolves, UX practitioners find themselves having to master new techniques to take on new challenges. Adaptive Path's Jesse James Garrett takes a look at where user experience has been and where it's going." (Jesse James Garrett - UX Week 2009)
"Donna Spencer is our long-time, go-to expert on the topic of Information Architecture. We're happy to bring her stateside again for the upcoming User Interface 14 conference. Recently, I spoke with her, all the way from Australia, in advance of her trip to Boston." (Jared Spool - UIE)
"It's a widely-held belief among various Web practitioners (from content strategists and information architects to Web infrastructure tool builders and application developers) that senior executives don’t understand the real power and capability of the Internet. And, that this lack of understanding has left Web Teams executing in a vacuum, with inappropriate funding and inadequate headcount. More importantly, it has left organizations exposed, as new Internet-enabled businesses sneak up and shut down the slower-to-react belle-weathers. The house is on fire and the C-Suite has got a garden hose. To address this strategic deficit, there’s been a lot of discussion about the placement of a senior Web-savvy person in the C-Suite to drive the creation of a sensible Web content and information strategy. I've thought about this potential new role in the C-suite a lot and think that it's not required." (Lisa Welchman) - courtesy of ruudruissaard
"The Swiss daily, Tages Anzeiger, introduced a new design this week. It is the work of designer Tom Menzi, who has given the TA a classic, elegant, functional look; however, the process started with a pitch for the job, which included the design team of Information Architects (IA), a firm with offices in Zurich and Tokyo. Their model did not win the job for IA. In this post, Oliver Reichenstein, of IA, offers an unusually transparent account of what they did, how they did it, and why they think their model did not make it. Every designer who has ever participated in a pitch will identify with Oliver’s account." (Mario R. Garcia - Garcia Media) - courtesy of michielvuijlsteke
"I had low expectations for the conference, thinking it was not going to be very professional. That was my estimation of the IA movement in general. (...) I assume that CHI was where the interesting professional UX work would be done. I did not expect any such thing at an IA conference, which I thought was too narrow and too niche to be interesting.I was wrong and closed minded, both of which I find annoying." (Jonathan Arnowitz - UX in Arnoland)
"About 150 UX professionals are gathered in the center of Copenhagen to talk, listen and at EuroIA '09. Johnny was invited to the party to cover the event and bring the good stuff to you. So enjoy the show." (Jeroen van Geel - Johnny Holland Magazine)
"The profession is still judged, by and large, by the quality of our documentation. Most recruiters and hiring managers seem more interested in the quality of annotation than the quality of thinking." (Karen Loasby- IA Play)
"In good design, the interplay between visual design, information architecture, and content is how the user gets the best information. It is when we've balanced these three areas well that we see delighted users and achieve our business objectives." (Jared Spool - UIE)
"What is UX design, service design & design thinking? How are they related?" (Sylvain 'Sly' Cottong - IntegratedPlace)
"Naview is a navigation preview tool for rapid information architecture prototyping from Volkside. It helps information architects design and visualise a new navigational structure and aims to bridge the gap between card sorting and IA user testing." (Volkside) - courtesy of jholland
"As designers, one of the greatest challenges we face is designing for other people. It is remarkably easy to design for oneself and infinitely more challenging to design for others. Like me, you are probably experienced in designing for others in your own world – likely a Western country, in a large city, with high quality information infrastructure." (Miles Rochford - ASIS&T Bulletin Aug/Sep 2009)
"Designing and building a successful social website or application is no mean feat. Adding a social dimension to an existing experience is trickier still. Nevertheless, the skills to do so are well worth cultivating, as the ubiquitous, pervasive, massively interconnected world of the Internet and allied digital networks, such as mobile SMS connections, have unlocked a growing panoply of opportunities for social relationships, remote presence, real-time interactions and the capacity for self-organized groups of people to coordinate their behavior and collaborate on changing the world." (Christian Crumlish - ASIS&T Bulletin Aug/Sep 2009) - courtesy of janjursa
"The following article belongs to an upcoming series – A series on developing approaches to problem solutions with systematic use of creative techniques. I want to comply with this article and series to wishes and requests of friends and colleagues. (...) Card sorting is a categorization technique where users sort cards describing and giving their picture, their understanding and their mental picture of concepts, workflows and information and knowledge." (Holger Maassen - ux4.com)
"Information is knowledge. Knowledge is the library’s commodity. As a result it attracts producers and consumers of this knowledge. To survive it should be aware and adaptable to changes and influences in this age of information and communication. What form and position will its physical and conceptual structure need to take in order to endure these changes in the data saturated realm of public and private society?" (Bart Verschaffel - Tomaat)
"Kristina Halvorson quotes the origin of the phrase information architecture. Then Tufte came along. Designers took it upon themselves to craft information that was understandable and digestable. Then the web came along. To begin with, it was treated as a visual medium. Jesse James Garrett changed the emphasis to user experience. But where is content in Jesse's diagram? It's on the second level. Then it disappears. We were approaching content on the same level as functional specs; a feature than can be ticked off a list. But content is a living, breathing thing that evolves over time. Once you put it online, you are required to feed it and take care of it." (Jeremy Keith - Adactio)
"IDEA2009 brings together the world's foremost thinkers and practitioners: sharing the big ideas that inspire, along with practical solutions for the ways people’s lives and systems are converging to affect society." (IDEA) - thnx to jjursa
"This year we will explore the theme of 'Beyond Structure'. That's because websites have moved to a new level. Any random page can be accessed from Google. Pages themselves may consist of information from many sources. And even the concept of a 'page' is changing thanks to new backend technologies. In other words, we’ve moved beyond the traditional sitemap and into a new and exciting era of web development." (EuroIA.org)
"The design of a physical space can and should take advantage of information architecture (IA) deliverables, in particular when designing an integrated model of IA across environments. The user must be able to easily consult technology-dependent environments such as digital media or printed paper catalogs in line with the information flow carried through the website. Conveying the relevance of information to the user/consumer by means of applying IA principles with a view to designing a crisscross-connecting model of human-information interaction is the focus of these studies." (Davide Potente and Erika Salvini - ASIS&T Bulletin April/May 2009)
"For those who are looking for my slides from the Puget Sound SIGCHI lecture and for those who missed it but are curious, here is my presentation. It focuses specifically on my personal process for creating wireframes. There are 4 parts to my process, each has a series of deliverables that feed into it and principals I try to keep in mind, the outcome is either a single or a series of IA deliverables. My overall strategy for IA is three step process; understanding the problem (note: not merely identifying the problem but really understanding it), find a solution (there may be more than one solution, but there is often only one right solution), and present the solution (a large part of your job as a IA is presenting your work so the client can understand the results). Hope you enjoy the slides, these are admittedly pretty rough. I plan to refine and show better pairing between the principals and the specific outcome of applying them to the wireframes in the future." - (Nick Finck)
"Donna Spencer is one of Australia's best-known information architects, organizer of the UX Australia conference, and a frequent presenter at UX conferences in Australia, the US, and Europe. I caught up with Donna between her appearances at the IA Summit and RedUX DC to talk about card sorting and her new book, Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories, which Rosenfeld Media recently published." - (Steve Baty - UXmatters)
"Structure and navigation must support each other and integrate with search and across subsites. Complexity, inconsistency, hidden options, and clumsy UI mechanics prevent users from finding what they need." - (Jakob Nielsen - Alertbox)
"It is with great pride that I welcome you to the inaugural issue of the Journal of Information Architecture. The Journal of Information Architecture is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, and its aim is to facilitate the systematic development of the scientific body of knowledge in the field of information architecture. The journal will focus on information architecture research and development in all types of shared information environments, such as for example social networks, web sites, intranets, mobile and Rich Internet Applications, from various perspectives such as technical, cultural, social, and communicational." - (Dorte Madsen - Journal of Information Architecture 1.1)
"Information Architecture has arisen as a field related to interaction design. It is commonly found embedded within the profession of computer science, and is associated with the creation of complicated software. This relatively new field exists to make meaning out of data, and can be applied to disciplines that have little to do with computing or even technology. This paper provides an overview of established Information Architecture modeling techniques, and discusses how they can be applied to the industrial design process during the synthesis phase of design. The text reflects on the nature of this messy and critical period in the design process, and offers methods of quickly making information and even knowledge out of data. Finally, the text briefly describes the changing nature of professional demands on students entering industry, indicating that Information Architect may be a lucrative alternative job title for students graduating from Industrial Design programs." - (Jon Kolko)
Information Architecture and Design Strategy: The Importance of Synthesis during the Process of Design
"During the process of design, Designers attempt to draw connections between seemingly disparate ideas; they examine quantitative data provided from marketing and qualitative data gathered from end users, and before they can begin designing, they must make order out of the chaotic mess of research. The connections that can be formed during this synthesis phase frequently hold the keys to 'innovation'. Designers visually explore large quantities of data in an effort to find and understand hidden relationships. These visualizations can then be used to communicate to other members of a design team, or can be used as platforms for the creation of generative sketching or model making. Frequently, the action of diagramming is a form of synthesis, and is a way to actively produce knowledge and meaning. (...) This paper investigates the elements of Design Synthesis that are common to both Information Architecture and Design Strategy." - (Jon Kolko)
"EuroIA invites your participation to this premier European event on Information Architecture. Join us in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 25-26, 2009, for two incredible days of presentations, panels, and networking with information architects from across Europe and around the world. This year we will explore the theme of 'Beyond Structure'. That's because websites have moved to a new level. Any random page can be accessed from Google. Pages themselves may consist of information from many sources. And event the concept of a 'page' is changing thanks to new backend technologies. In other words, we've moved beyond the traditional sitemap and into a new and exciting era of web development."
"These sessions were recorded on the third day of the conference." - (Boxes and Arrows)
"In this segment, RSW talks about his approach to creating websites (spoiler: it's how he approaches everything), extolls the 'mundane' aspects of IA, and expresses skepticism about the idea that architects' work might benefit from separating out the instructional and diagrammatic from the emotional and experiential." - (Dan Klyn - Wildly Appropriate)
"These sessions were recorded on the second day of the conference." - (Boxes and Arrows)
"In the first part of this segment, RSW expands on the Kahnian design principle of 'dumbness', refuses to be included in or associated with anything called deliverables, talks about his favorite Kahn buildings, and the spiritualism in Kahn's charcoal drawings. (...) In the second part of this segment, I ask RSW about what architects might have that in their process or training or approach that allows them to do a better job with clients in the early schematic phase of a project." - (Dan Klyn - Wildly Appropriate)
"These sessions were recorded on the first day of the conference." - (Boxes and Arrows)
"I'd say that one of the biggest, hairiest questions I'm getting asked (ed. on content strategy) is how to plan for and govern user-generated content." - (Louis Rosenfeld - Rosenfeld Media)
"I think we are at another of these interesting moments, (...) we are integrating with the last wave. We are still waiting to see what is going to come next. My prediction is that as we start to dig out of this recession or depression what have you, we will have a new wave of innovation with some really exciting things so perhaps IA Summit will have a whole new set of threats and opportunities to grapple with, but I don’t know what those are just yet." - (Think out loud)
"Michael Wesch opened the IA Summit this year with an inspired keynote that provides a fresh and ambitious direction for all designers. He points out that our 'audiences' aren't audiences at all, but rather creators, and our job is not to lecture but to enable. With this new approach comes not only design challenges but the joy of reconnecting people to each other, which he illustrated with a series of extraordinary video clips." - (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"Jesse James Garrett is a noted figure in the IA community, not only for his ground breaking book Elements of User Experience, but for the essay that galvanized the community in 2002, IA Recon. In this IA Summit Closing Plenary, given without slides while wandering amidst the audience, Jesse examines what he has learned at the conference, he thoughts on the nature of the discipline and the practitioner, and gives bold, perhaps even shocking advice for the future direction of information architecture." - (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"Part one of my first interview with RSW. In this introductory segment, I asked him about the 1976 AIA Conference (I posted a PDF of the advance program from this milestone in the history of Information Architecture a few weeks ago), about the job-title 'information architect' and also about librarianship as it pertains (or not) to his concept of IA. Many more segments to follow!" - (Dan Klyn - Wildly Appropriate) courtesy of petermorville
"(...) there are two issues here that most of us are neglecting to consider in our endless discussions: career lifecycle and domain lifecycle. These are the East/West aspect of all of our debating. If you leave these out of the discussion, you can't really understand the debate, or the people debating, or what it should mean to you." - (Louis Rosenfeld) courtesy of sly@TWTTR
"Interaction Design is NOT Information Architecture. Stop the madness of trying to be everything to everyone!!" - (Dave Malouf) courtesy of jjursa
"What war is the field of information architecture fighting? The war we still seem to be fighting is the war against information architecture itself as a valid concept, as a meaningful part of design practices. (...) The discipline of information architecture and the role of the information architect will always be defined in conjunction with one another. As long as you have information architects, what they do will always be information architecture. (...) There are no information architects. There are no interaction designers. There are only, and only ever have been, user experience designers." Great point-of-view. - (Jesse James Garrett)
"As it seems to be a common pattern with me in recent times, this post has been long in the making and even longer in the thinking. And I'm not done yet, really, but since the 10th IA Summit in Memphis, Tennessee, seems to have expanded our horizons in novelty ways, I have a feeling the times are ripe for a first attempt at my tuppence on the subject. What subject? IA, IxD, UX, and where we stand, of course. And say thanks to JJG." Provocative, deep thinking, and milestone article for the discipline of information architecture. Congrats Andrea! - (Andrea Resmini - FatDUX blog)
"Can we use the nuggets buried in research to generate interaction between academics and practitioners? Here's an idea: at the next IA Summit, perhaps we could dedicate a half day or full day precon to workshopping the ideas in ASIS&T's top research papers from the preceding year." - (Louis Rosenfeld)
"(...) a companion site for the IA Summit Wall of Deliverables annual event and an ongoing repository of deliverables submitted from the community to share." Great initiative by Jacco et al. - (About WoD)
"Spring 2009, Volume 1 Issue 1 of the Journal of Information Architecture will be available to all for download in PDF format as either individual articles or as a single complete publication on March 31st 2009." - (About the JoIA)
"The Information Architecture Summit is the premier gathering place for information architects and other user experience professionals. It’s grown from a special interest group’s efforts to define an emerging field, to a rich and expanding community of practice shaping and informing multiple disciplines." - (IA Summit '09)
Great initiative of European Information Architects Andrea Resmini, Dorte Madsen, Katriina Byström, Nils Pharo, Stanislaw Skorka and Luca Rosati. - More coming soon!
"(...) we definitely do have a phenomenological definition of IA: IA is what has been going on in the self-identified IA community of practice (and related academic oases) in the last 10 years or more. (...) the upcoming peer-reviewed scientific Journal of Information Architecture, due in Spring 2009. For the discipline to mature, the community needs a corpus, a defining body of knowledge, not a definition." - A big applause for this initiative. Keep up the good work! (Andres Resmini, Katriina Byström and Dorte Madsen - ASIS&T Bulletin Feb/Mar 2009)
"The official IAI announcement will say Because of personal and professional reasons, our fellow board member Peter Boersma has decided to resign his position on the IAI board. Here's some explanation around that phrase." (Peter Boersma - BEEP)
"Web analytics offer quantitative insight into user behaviour. They can be used to benchmark site performance and report to management. But, because web analytics data tells what people do on a web site, analytics data should be used to inform and direct more qualitative user research methods such as focus groups or usability tests that tell us why they do what they do. More importantly, you can use the natural interest people have in web metrics to introduce the more qualitative measures into the business overall." (Hallie Wilfert - FUMSI) - courtesy of thehotstrudel
"This paper surveys information architecture in the context of digital libraries. Key concepts are defined as well as common attributes of information architectures in general. Communications standards (...) are explored, as well as the history of information architecture and related models. A number of digital library projects are analyzed with a focus on their distinct architectures. The key role of information architecture in the design and development of the twenty–first century digital library is detailed throughout." (Scott J. Simon - FirstMonday 13.12)
"Information architecture (IA) means so much to our projects, from setting requirements to establishing the baseline layout for our design and development teams. But what does it mean to your clients? Do they see the value in IA? What happens when they change their minds? Can IA help manage the change control process? More than ever, we must ensure that our clients find value in and embrace IA—and it’s is our job to educate them. If we want our customers to embrace IA, we must help them understand why we need it. IA is about selling ideas effectively, designing with accuracy, and working with complex interactivity to guide different personas (potential customers) through website experiences." (Keith LaFerriere - A List Apart)
"The EuroIA Network Initiative aims to facilitate the development of a stronger network between European information architects. An large effort is already being made through international orginasitations such as the Information Architecture Institute, it's European chapter and the local groups. The initiative wish to contribute to this effort, pushing the objectives even further, among other things, by the formation of a legal entity which can contain and support a range of important activities to strengthen our industry and it's position in Europe." (Ning network)
"Over the last ten years, the Internet has gone from being the product of technology to the media channel of choice for much of the general public. Designers and developers have forged together innovative, entertaining and essential landmarks that can be accessed by computer, mobile and TV. As the importance of access, effectiveness and ergonomics of the web has become self evident, the role of the user experience professional has become the missing link between technology and people. We aim to make the web more usable, accessible, findable and practical." (Hammad Khan - Wireframeworks)
"This News Network is designed to help people track and share news about IA." (Jan Hot Strudel Jursa)
"What was intriguing about this particular conference was the diversity of people, both in professional and geographic terms. There were graphic designers, interaction designers, technical leads, managers, and oh yes... 'information architects'. What was interesting about the attending information architects was that they came from so many backgrounds to become an information architect. There were actual classically trained architects that became IA's, there were designers that were IA's and so on." (Adam Kallish - Spill)
"The speakers pushed the boundaries of what it means to design complex information spaces of all kinds. We can all expand our practice by absorbing their experiences and ideas. In cooperation with the IA Institute, we're happy to bring you recordings of most conference talks. We hope you enjoy listening to nearly the entire conference via these recordings." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) one of the major challenges facing small public libraries today: rethinking the user experience to help bridge the digital and physical realms while enabling library administrators to better respond to patrons’ changing needs." (Michael Magoolaghan - ASIS&T Bulletin Oct/Nov 2008)
"A staged approach to realising a network of IAs in Europe." (Søren Muus et al.)
"Card sorting is a useful technique for discovering user perspectives on site navigation. However, designers or user researchers who conduct card-sorting exercises should be aware of the method’s challenges and assumptions. This column has presented a number of alternative methods that can extend and complement card sorting and thus provide the most comprehensive insights for designing an effective information hierarchy." (Michael Hawley - UXmatters)
"At the moment I'm trying to pull back and see information architecture as a new but somewhat established field. Invention used to be necessary of everyone, but now it's only needed from a few. Compare it to another field like electrical engineering. At the beginning there was a lot invention, but now we know enough to simple do it. Today, some engineers continue to push the envelope in the design of microprocessors while others specify the wiring in the next model of speaker phone. I would expect IA to settle into the same spread." (Victor Lombardi - Noise Between Stations)
"I'm giving a presentation on Taking Social Networks Global, at the EuroIA Summit in Amsterdam. I was working on it the past days, and I'm pretty happy with how the talk is turning out. As a preview, here are my slides (so far, they might still change slightly)." (Peter Vandijck)
"(...) my main concern is that this discussion about openness and transparency could be distracting us from the main question we need to be addressing right now: what is the IAI's vision and its role in society?" (Jorge Arango) - courtesy of petervandijck
"Information Architecture involves the design of organization and navigation systems to help people find and manage information more successfully." - the conversation is the interesting part. (Jeff Sexton - Future Now's GrokDotCom) - courtesy of michelvuijlsteke
"This article is going to look at the early stages of planning out a web site, and a discipline that is commonly referred to as Information architecture, or IA. This involves thinking about who your target audience will be, what information and services they need from a web site, and how you should structure it to provide that for them. You’ll look at the entire body of information that needs to go on the site and think about how to break that down into chunks, and how those chunks should relate to one another." (Jonathan Lane- The Web Standards Curriculum)
"These days, there are two predominate ways that users get to a web site. Either they type the URL into the address bar, bringing them to the site's home page, or they come to the site through an aggregator or referral, such as Google, often taking them to a specific page within the site. For some sites, the home page is the most popular route, but increasingly, users link deep into the site." (Jared Spool - User Interface Engineering)
"This article will explore the basic concepts of designing optimized site architectures for efficient spidering by search engines. Building an easily spidered site has ramifications in how pages, sections of a site, and entire domains are topically understood and categorized by bots, which influences indexing and rankings." (AudetteMedia) - courtesy of thehotstrudel
"In 1997, the BBC aired a three-hour documentary based on Stewart Brand's book, 'How Buildings Learn'. Brand has posted the whole program on Google Video in six 30-minute parts." (via Jason Kottke)
"It is clear that the discipline of information architecture is undergoing change. I was amazed at the range of job titles I encountered. Very few people actually had the title information architect. This must be a sign that the rapid development of the Web and the technological advances that are occurring are just moving so fast what we do is very hard to define. It is just a label, and we shouldn't become too hung up on it, but I think the IAI need to be aware and wise to the developments that are going on in other disciplines such as IxD and UX in general." (James Kelway - UXmatters)
"They are a visual representation of the content of a web page that is the culmination of user research, business objectives and content. Best brought together in a sequence of pages to illustrate paths of navigation and interactions on the page." (User Pathway) - courtesy of thehotstrudel
"I'm a person who is deeply passionate about Information Architecture, but also troubled about its future. In 10 years, will we be iRise jockeys or strategic leaders…or something else entirely? If you ask me, my gut says that Information Architecture is definitely worth saving, but right now, I can't tell you why." (Matthew Milan - Experience Matters)
"Analogous Spaces refers to the fact that every science or knowledge, every thought, every memory, every action creates its own space and that these spaces are organised according to a similar structure or architecture." (Charles van den Heuvel - Analogous Spaces presentations)
"This afternoon I presented my session at WebDU on the topic of information architecture for designers and developers. In the particular case of WebDU, these designers and developers mostly specialise in Flex and Flash." (Patrick Kennedy - Pat's Point of View)
"EuroIA invites your participation to this premier European event on Information Architecture. Join us in Amsterdam, Netherlands September 26-27, 2008, for two incredible days of presentations, panels, and networking with information architects from across Europe and around the world. This year we will explore the theme of 'Redrawing the Map', both between countries and online – from forging new international alliances to adapting traditional deliverables to the needs of a Web 2.0 world." (Euro IA 2008)
A collection of online vids concerning usability, information architecture, interaction design and user experience design. (Jan Jursa - The Hot Strudel)
"Just as it is important to choose the proper knife when slicing-n-dicing vegetables, it is critical to prescribe a suitable user interface to support faceted filtering. Faceted filtering allows you to narrow down a large list of objects to a manageable size by applying flexible combinations of attribute filters in any order. Rather than forcing you down fixed paths within a website’s information architecture, faceted filtering allows you to multi-dimensionally slice-n-dice the information in a manner that best accommodates your specific needs. A user interface that optimally supports faceted filtering must expose its robust functionality in a way that expresses affordances, controls complexity, and follows existing standards that have been pre-established across the web." (Mike Padilla - Digital Web Magazine)
"Giving this talk at the IA Summit was a blast; I'm so grateful for the positive response, and the patience with these still-forming ideas. I'm looking forward to seeing where the conversation goes from here! NOTE: You need to view this in 'Full Screen' mode, which you can only do from the SlideShare page itself. Otherwise, the narrative text isn't readable." (Andrew Hinton - inkblurt)
A growing number of pictures from the Information Architecture Summit 2008 (April 10-14, 2008 - Miami Florida)
A growing number of presentations from the Information Architecture Summit 2008 (April 10-14, 2008 - Miami Florida)
"At the 2007 IA Summit in Las Vegas, IAKM worked to gather video interviews from the top and pioneering professionals in the Information Architecture-related fields. Through the course of the Summit, many interviews were collected to be used in IAKM courses as well as in an effort to create a video history of the discipline. Following are some clips from the interviews. A video repository is currently under development." (Information Architecture and Knowledge Management Kent State University) - courtesy of bloug
"There have been some absolutely phenomenal presentations at the IA Summit in Miami so far. If you didn't happen to make it out to the conference or you'd like to revisit the material, I've amassed a list of IA Summit podcasts and PowerPoint slides. Not all presentations have been made available online yet so I'll make a follow-up post in a couple of days to capture any new presentation links." (NLC Internet Marketing Blog)
"Meeting new people and catching up with old friends is one of my favorite things about attending the IA Summits. The folks in this community are some of the smartest and most welcoming people I know! Alas, while concepts and practices can be clearly conveyed in publications such as Boxes and Arrows, it is very difficult to describe the people behind these ideas in a way that does them justice. Perhaps if they introduced themselves to you." (Jorge Arango - Boxes and Arrows)
Complete syllabus with lecture notes and audio recordings - "This course introduces the discipline of Document Engineering: specifying, designing, and deploying electronic documents and information repositories that enable document-centric or information-intensive applications. These applications include web services, information supply chains, single-source publishing, composite applications/virtual enterprises/portals, and so on. Course topics include developing requirements, analyzing existing documents and information sources, conceptual modeling, identifying reusable semantic components, modeling business processes and user interactions, applying patterns to make models more robust, representing models using XML schemas, and using XML models to implement and drive applications. The syllabus contains over 20 short case study examples from different industries, with special emphasis on business-to-business, healthcare and medical informatics, and e-government." (Robert J. Glushko)
"Here are all the recordings from Webstock 08 and Webstock 06. These recordings will be permanently archived at the following links. Where there is no recording for a particular session, that was the decision of the speaker and we fully respect that. (...) We'd love to hear from you if you find these recordings useful. Please drop us a line and let us know, especially if you weren't at Webstock and/or are from locations other than New Zealand. Enjoy!" (Webstock)
Editorial Insert in the January 21 edition of Fortune Magazine - "Understanding the way information is used is particularly crucial in relation to the Internet: Sites that help users find what they need quickly and easily tend to win customers. Sites that frustrate users lose them—fast. So, to get their data game-plan right, savvy companies are turning to the increasingly important field of information architecture." (The Information Architecture Institute)
"This year your peers and industry experts will speak about how topics such as social networking, gaming, patterns, tagging, taxonomies, and a wide range of IA tools and techniques can help as users 'experience information'. - April 10-14, 2008 (Miami, Florida USA)" - (About the Summit)
"The first batch of full videos from the Second Italian IA Summit (Trento, November 16-17 2007) is available from the web site (as published by Brightcove). Some of the presentations are in English, so you might find interesting stuff even if you do not know Italian. The second and final batch will be published in the coming days and the full papers are scheduled for the end of the month." (Andrea Resmini)
The proceedings of the 2nd Italian Information Architecture Summit held on 16=17 november 2007 in Trento are availble. At the moment only slides, but soon papers and videos too. Furthermore, Paolo Massa and Andrea Resmini publish their trip reports. courtesy of lucarosati
Audio files from the IA Conference in Germany - "Keynote Speech, Victor Lombardi, Smart Experience, New York (USA). Content: Tools - Background - Patterns of other fields (e.g. publishing) - Why tools? - What does this mean for designers? - Tools we can create now." (Deutsche IA Konferenz 2007 - iavoice) - courtesy of wolfnoeding
"In analyzing 56 intranets, we found many common top-level categories, labels, and navigation designs, but ultimately, the diversity was too great to recommend a single IA." (Jakob Nielsen - Alertbox)
"In my keynote talk at the 2007 IA Konferenz in Stuttgart, Germany this month, I argued we need to create fewer artifacts and more tools. We're already doing this, but it's easy to get stuck in a make-more-web/mobile-sites rut and that could lead to irrelevance." (Victor Lombardi)
The posters of the third European summit on Information Architecture (21-22 September, Barcelona) are available for download. (euroIA.org)
"It is argued that the actual elements of typical browsing episodes have not been well captured by common approaches to the concept to date. Empirical research results reported by previous researchers are presented and closely analysed. Based on the issues raised by the above research review, the components of browsing are closely analysed and developed. Browsing is seen to consist of a series of four steps, iterated indefinitely until the end of a browsing episode: (1) glimpsing a field of vision, (2) selecting or sampling a physical or informational object within the field of vision, (3) examining the object, and (4) acquiring the object (conceptually and/or physically) or abandoning it. Not all of these elements need be present in every browsing episode, though multiple glimpses are seen to be the minimum to constitute the act. This concept of browsing is then shown to have persuasive support in the psychological and anthropological literature, where research on visual search, curiosity and exploratory behaviour all find harmony with this perspective. It is argued that this conception of browsing is closer to real human behaviour than other approaches. Implications for better information system design are developed." (Marcia Bates - Information Research Vol. 12 No. 4, October 2006)
"(...) I was in Barcelona for the Euro IA Summit, and I made a solemn vow to my wife and myself that I was actually going to concentrate on doing stuff rather than spending my time and energy blogging about doing stuff. However, it did seem rather churlish not to at the very least post my favourite take-away facts and quotes from the conference itself." (Martin Belam)
&ot"In this article I argue, with a bit of logic and a bit of experience, that IAs can do their jobs better if they understand organizational change management, even if they don’t need to be change management specialists. I'll also suggest a variety of concepts and practices that can (hopefully) help IAs in their change agent role, and I promise to throw in something entertaining as well." (Matthew C. Clarke - Posted on October 11, 2007 | Permalink
The proceedings of the third European summit on Information Architecture (21-22 September, Barcelona) are available for download. With its theme 'Translating Information Architecture' and under the great orchestration of Eric 'FatDUX' Reiss, 150 participants from 18 countries had two great days full of presentation, poster and panel sessions. See how they network at the Flickr picture impression 'euroIA2007'. Next year's euroIASummit (26-27 september 2008) will be in Amsterdam! - (euroIA.org)
"Joe Lamantia dives deep into the components of the building block system. Each has a place in his design framework for dashboards and portals. Get full coverage on how you too can use these same elements in your work." (Joe Lamantia - Boxes and Arrows)
"After explaining the concepts of patterns and collections, I spoke about how I thought process patterns and design patterns could be combined and about what the benefits would be to designers and team managers (and of course users and clients) once they were combined." (Peter Boersma)
"I had some great reactions to this talk and I want to thank all the people who engaged with me in discussions afterwards. It’s given me a good picture of what areas I should develop further in future subsequent talks. I’m also pleasantly surprised to see that contrary to what some people think, the IA community (the European one at least) is very much open to new ideas. That’s really nice to experience firsthand." (Kars Alfrink - Leapfrog)
"UiaML is a symbolic modeling language like UML that is meant to be a supporting tool for information architects. At it's current state UiaML supports low fidelity modeling. With future development of UiaML we hope to support high fidelity models, too." (Alex Jongman)
"At the European IA Summit in Barcelona, I'll give a talk about information architecture for global websites. The slides without the talk aren't that great, but here they are anyway, maybe it'll help you decide wether to attend this talk or one of the other great ones." (Peter Van Dijck)
"Information architects - and anyone curious about the roots of information management - will find much of interest in Glut's thought-provoking tale. Given the stimulating and contrarian nature of Glut's ideas, one only wishes Wright would occasionally return from the corridors of the time tunnel and bring his well-informed perspective back to our present age." (Bob Goodman - Boxes and Arrows)
"Card sorting is a simple and effective method with which most of us are familiar. There are already some excellent resources on how to run a card sort and why you should do card sorting. This article, on the other hand, is a frank discussion of the lessons I've learned from running numerous card sorts over the years. By sharing these lessons learned along the way, I hope to enable others to dodge similar potholes when they venture down the card sorting path." (Sam Ng - UXmatters)
"After giving it some thought, I find that the thing I like most about the map is that it is pure, stripped down navigation. Harry Beck decided that including streets, districts and other geographical information on his underground maps was distracting and added little value. All you need to know is how to get from A to B. I suspect that the same may be true in information spaces." (Patrick C. Walsh - Boxes and Arrows)
"At the crossroads of ubiquitous computing and the Internet, the user experience is out of control, and findability is the real story. Access changes the game. We can select our sources and choose our news. We can find who and what we need, when and where we want. Search is the new interface of culture and commerce. As society shifts from push to pull, findability shapes who we trust, how we learn, where we go, and what we buy. In this cyberspace safari, Peter Morville explores the future present in mobile devices, search algorithms, ontologies, folksonomies, findable objects, digital librarianship, and the long tail of the sociosemantic web. Reflect with Peter he challenges us to think differently about the power of search - and findability - to redefine our sources of authority and inspiration in an increasingly digitized and networked information environment." (Peter Morville - Google Video) - courtesy of markvanderbeeken
"What do primordial bacteria, medieval alchemists, and the World Wide Web have to do with each other? This fascinating exploration of how information systems emerge takes readers on a provocative journey through the history of the information age." (Alex Wright)
GK VanPatter in conversation with Bob Goodman (UX Consultant), Peter Jones Ph.D. (Redesign Research), and Eric Reiss (FatDUX and President, Information Architecture Institute) - "Considering the complexity involved our purpose here is not to try to redefine Information Architecture or other disciplines but rather talk about whether or not what we are doing has changed, is changing and what we might do to help others understand what that might mean, how we think about all the change that is occurring ourselves, how do we make sense of it? In no particular order I invite you to share your own thoughts and then lets jump off from there." (NextD) - courtesy of puttingpeoplefirst
"(...) a bi-monthly news magazine packed with developments and issues affecting the field, pragmatic management reports, opinion, and news of people and events in the information science community." (ASIS&T)
"What is the meaning of the Picasso polar bear? What is the Spanish strategy? Is it the art of branding? And, which country will be next? Feel free to upload your version to Flickr, tag it with remixpolarbear and explain your country's unique contribution to information architecture strategy and practice. Just don't tell the folks at O'Reilly." (Peter Morville - findability.org)
"One-Sheeters are quick and easy marketing tools for information architects. They're like mini brochures to advertise IA deliverables and promote the IA practice in your company. One-Sheeters help people envision what deliverables you produce and where they fit into a project. They're quick to produce and easy for anyone to understand." - courtesy of elearningpost
Book review on 'Designing the Obvious' (Hoekman 2006) - "Zen is the art of practicing meditation in everything you do and existing solely in a mental space. Envisioning surroundings as full of peace creates an image of actions as poetry. If information architecture is poetry, it gives just meaning, placement, and timing to an overall message or theme. The flow of numbers, letters, images and sounds together form a medium for the mind, a zen space of constant understanding." (Clifton Evans - Boxes and Arrows)
"On the whole, IA Summit 2007 was an excellent conference. Though, because of the deficiencies of the venue, it was less successful than last year’s Summit. Next year’s IA Summit looks promising. It will take place at the Hyatt in Miami, Florida, on April 10–14, 2008. Its theme: Experiencing Information." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"Our final source suggested asking the provocative question 'what would happen if someone simply pulled the plug on their website. Would their organization become stronger or weaker?' He also cautioned against talking about information architecture specifically; people are interested in the ends, not the means." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"Information architects working within enterprises are confronted by unique challenges relating to organisational culture, business processes, and internal politics. Compared to public website or interface design projects, key aspects differ in the application of IA discipline relating to uncertainties around the exact nature of the business problems being solved." (James Robertson - Boxes and Arrows)
"My presentation at the 2007 IA Summit, in Las Vegas, covering professional ethics, ethics of user experience and cultural ethics. Subjects include privacy and trust, evolutionary psychology, virtual status and ubiquitous altruism, applied to social networking and the mobile internet." (Olly Wright)
"I would recommend one thing for the IA Community to consider: invite someone from the NextDesign Leadership Institute to speak at the 2008 IA Summit (Miami, Florida, USA, April 10-14). We have a history of giving our biggest critics a voice at our main event - Mark Hurst and Mark Bernstein are just two examples. Time to find our long-lost twins." (Keith Instone)
"Slideshows for tag: iasummit2007." (SlideShare) - courtesy of elearningpost
"(...) by exposing ourselves to different cultures, we develop a deeper understanding of our own, and this will make us better designers. When we create an information architecture for a website—irrespective of its intended target audience - we will inevitably be called on to express the contextual assumptions that allow the website’s messages to be properly understood. Knowing that these assumptions exist (and understanding how the various audiences may interpret them differently) is the first step in creating sites that communicate more effectively across cultural lines - even if they are within our own society." (Jorge Arango - Boxes and Arrows)
"Many Web professionals consider content inventories critical parts of most projects. Are there certain specific things to look for during a content inventory? Fred Leise definitely thinks so. He proposes a set of content analysis heuristics and discusses how to utilize each one." (Fred Leise - Boxes and Arrows)
"The European LIS Curriculum Project (...) was an innovative exploration of views and practice regarding library and information science (LIS) curriculum in Europe. The Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark, was the contracting agency for the project, which involved more than 100 European educators." (ASIS&T Bulletin Dec/Jan 2006)
"The IA profession is growing, but a large proportion of IAs still work in relative isolation. Few organizations can boast an internal IA practice, so many rely on individual contractors – IAs who have to work on their own. Even companies with IAs on staff often lack managers who understand and care about information architecture. (...) But local groups are more than just a nice thing to have – they're the key to the future. Building IA as a profession requires building IAs as professionals. This process happens one person at a time." (Stacy Merrill Surla - ASIS&T Bulletin Dec 2006 - Jan 2007)
"It all comes down to creativity: Our documents need to support our creativity. They need to be able to radically change at any time to permit new and unique project demands. The simpler the document format or template, the more likely it is to be able to be adaptable to new and innovative ways of thinking about our products." (Christopher Fahey - graphpaper.com) - courtesy of elearningpost
"The Information Architecture Summit is a premier gathering place for information architects and for discussion about information architecture. Everyone who touches on IA is welcome to share and learn. Last year's IA Summit attracted over 500 attendees, including beginners, experienced IAs, and people in a range of related fields." (IA Summit 2007)
"But I know an IA spirit when I see one. They have a passion for the complex combined with a desire to help out. They are the sort who, on discovering the library books pulled from their shelves, would relish sorting the mess out rather than bemoaning the terrible transgression." (Karen Loasby - Freeprint) - courtesy of elearningpost
"(...) the future's quite bright, especially for information architects who find ways to connect the timeless principles of design and organization with new transmedia models of interaction, co-creation, tagging, and user participation." (Peter Morville - Semantic Studios)
"Two key elements distinguish an enterprise IA from a basic IA. The first is the role an EIA plays in the design, development, and maintenance of an enterprise’s semantic infrastructure. The second is the scope and type of projects an EIA can be involved in as they develop applications that use and build on this semantic infrastructure." (Tom Reamy - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) information architecture is stuck. While this implies a problem with the practice, I’m going to suggest that it really has more to do with the practitioners. The practitioners are stuck and the conversation is not evolving. Not enough of us are getting uncomfortable and knocking down fences to reach out to other people from other fields and engaging in meaningful conversation about design and business problems. The conversation is stuck and we need to evolve." (Scott Weisbrod - Experience Planner)
"We have done our best to balance old and new. We have addressed emerging technologies while maintaining a focus on fundamentals. And, we have tried to emphasize goals and approaches over specific tactics or technologies. In this way, we hope to provide not only knowledge about information architecture, but a framework that will enable you to learn and unlearn over an extended period of time." (Peter Morville - findability) - chapeau lou and peter
"If you couldn't be there, you can read a nice overview by Jorge Arango, view the photos and presentations, and even watch the movie. Podcasts from the subsequent Encounter will be posted soon." (Peter Morville - findability)
"But the fact is that IA is a theory about the inherent structure of information - the architecture of information - and if we are moving away from that we should call it something else. Relationship Architecture, perhaps?" (Joshua Porter - bokardo)
"We still need IA to make a good user experience. All the Ajax in the world couldn't make a great site if there wasn't a solid structure and organization holding it together. I hope we don't lose sight of that." (Chiara Fox - Adaptive Path)
"Despite no longer calling myself an information architect (I've been happy with entrepreneur for some time) and despite a deep affection for the community I've been part of for so long, the lists have been making me crazy. I'd been off them for a while, and had gotten back on for a number of reasons, from promoting the new Boxes and Arrows features to seeing if new trends were emerging in my (former?) profession. And I was shocked at the blatant stupidity I thought I was seeing. Only it wasn't stupidity; I had radically changed my point of view. It was as if I had been enjoying the company of swans for some time, went to sleep and woke up a duck-- and thought the swans looked silly, all long necked and white and show." (C. Wodtke - Elegant Hack)
"In a room full of designers, software developers, architects, museum design professionals, and even a solitary (but charming and Canadian) archaeologist, here was a profound statement of principles about the relationship between designer, information, and audience. So much of the activity around the profession of information architecture and user-centred design in my experience is based on tasks, goals, functions, and flows. It's about attempting to control the user's experience to such a degree that some claim to be able to actually design an experience. And here was a set of principles, first articulated 50 years ago that seemed as relevant and as fresh as anything we'd seen or talked about at the conference." (Gordon Ross - Disseminate) - courtesy of heyblog
OZ-IA 2006 talk - "What every IA should know (...). I think this was the best presentation I have ever given. This is a quite hard topic and somehow it ended up quite hilarious (...)" (Donna Maurer)
"EuroIA 2006 was a great success. I've dwelled a bit on the not-so-good presentations, but I'll get back with details on the great stuff too." (Stig Andersen)
"Most models of information seeking behavior look at more than behavior, they consider cognition which is quite natural for information activities, except that behavior and cognition are not the same." (Andrew Dillon - InfoMatters)
"(...) there was little or no concession made for the multilingual nature of the event. The conference was conducted in English - which was just as well for me (there's nothing like being in Europe to make you feel like a neanderthal for speaking only one language) - and understandable as English was the common tongue. Yet I couldn’t help but think that it seemed kind of strange that the proceedings were, well... so English." (Leisa Reichelt - disambuity)
"My recent presentation at Web Directions South on Informaiton Architecture for Web Developers is now here live online." (Thomas Vander Wal)
"Collaborative iteration is the secret to getting to the right design solution. It's embarrassing that we tripped up this way, knowing how many articles this site hosts on good process. We should have realized a contest was the very opposite of good collaboration." (Christina Wodtke - Boxes and Arrows)
"Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld are working on a third edition of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, the 'polar bear book'. In order to make sure they include the best ideas and examples, they are conducting a series of community surveys. Five surveys have been completed. Many thanks to those of you who took the time to share your thoughts and insights." (Information Architecture Institute)
"On the last weekend of September 2006 there will be a conference/retreat on information architecture in Sydney." (Oz-IA 2006)
"The 2006 Euro IA Summit will take place in Berlin during the last weekend of September (30 September - 1 October). This year’s theme is ’Building Our Practice’." (ASIS&T Euro IA 2006)
"Every field of social science has been integrating culture and meaning into their theories and methods - some more than others - and we as designers should be doing the same. To do that, we need a framework that takes these things into account as well." (Bob Glushko - Doc or Die)
A conversation with Lou Rosenfeld about search analytics, information architecture, and designing for usability
"(...) topics including information architecture, search analytics, print and online publishing, designing for usability, tagging, and microformats. We had a great conversation!" (Jon's Radio - InfoWorld)
"Though it's common practice, thinking of information retrieval exclusively as 'search' is an arbitrarily narrow way of framing an area of capability with strong impact on overall perceptions of user experience quality and effectiveness. In the long term, it limits opportunities to offer customers more effective solutions to broader and more fully understood needs that involve information retrieval, but are motivated by other goals. This narrow view is especially limiting for the user experience architect, as it implies an immediate focus on the search aspects of information environments." (Joe Lamantia) - courtesy of donnamaurer
"Of course there is a great deal of relevant research, as can be said of any area. However, this relevant research is scattered across many disciplines and over numerous journals, using various names and taking multiple forms. Seldom does it establish an explicit connection to IA, let alone describe itself as IA research." (Karl Fast - ASIS&T Bulletin June 2006)
"(...) choosing to be 'remembered' means different things on different sites. At one end of the spectrum, it's like an automatic sign in, enabling full access to account/personal information. The other end involves little more than a username pre-fill, allowing for quicker sign in." (Meg Peters - Boxes and Arrows)
"As information architects, the core of our profession rests on the analysis of information, the identification of structure, the creation of taxonomies and site maps, and the development of wireframes and user interfaces. These skills are well-honed, and we play a significant role in the design and creation of many systems, from websites to web 2.0." (James Robertson - Boxes and Arrows)
"After much procrastination, here are all my recordings from this year's Information Architecture Summit sessions. (...) I was sad to have to trash some of the recordings, but this year I sat with the trouble-making kids in the back, so the audio quality was not the best in many sessions." (Livia Labate) - Much appreciated.
"Thanks to Livia Labate, you can listen to my closing plenary at the 2006 IA Summit. It will help you if you follow along with the PDF of my slides. I'm definitely proud of this talk, though I hate hearing all my uh's and 'um's. Definitely something to work on. If you want to avoid the aspects of IA history that I dwell on and hop to the thesis, start around the 12:00 mark." (peterme) - great talk peter!
"I had a great time hanging out with the DC-IA crowd this weekend talking about the sessions and experience of going to the IA Summit in Vancouver back in March. We unfortunately ran out of time and didn’t get to talk about all the topics we wanted to address, but there were very interesting and livelly conversations nonetheless. Here are a few recordings with our discussions; feel free to download and catch up." (Livia Labate)
"It is true that RIAs make our jobs harder. But it is also true that they introduce some very exciting opportunities that can significantly improve user experience and flow. The Guided Wireframe Narrative technique allowed us to quickly and accurately articulate different design dimensions using familiar tools and techniques. If the job fits the technique, it's a win-win." (Andres Zapata - Boxes and Arrows)
Deadline: June 15, 2006 - "The Second European Information Architecture (IA) Summit's focus is building our practice in Europe. The objective of the event is to bring together a number of disciplines and practitioner communities by providing a stimulating environment for debate and an opportunity for establishing cooperation. This community is not just limited to language or region, but all encompasses our specialisations like designing for mobile devices, and multilingual solutions. We are calling for papers that reflect those communities of practice, language and location." (Euro IA 2006)
"In December 2001 the Italian haute couturier Prada opened its groundbreaking new "epicenter" store in New York City, designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. IDEO, working with Koolhaas and his architecture and research firm OMA/AMO, created the invisible technology that allows Prada staff members to choreograph the in-store sales experience. IDEO Human Factors specialists interviewed store staff and observed the technology currently in use. The results of this research were incorporated into the design of the store's information architecture, as well as the interactive dressing rooms and the in-store devices that allow the staff to focus completely on the customers, such as the Staff Device, the Recharging Trolley, the Staff Clip, and the Customer Card." (IDEO)
"(...) the dividing line among information architects is real. One group tends more toward control and using expertise to create a structure that should work the same way for every user. The other tends more toward flexibility and enabling user interaction to determine the structure of the site and the content of the answers. (...) I would think it's a good time to proudly state 'I am an information architect, dammit!'" (David Weinberger - KMWorld)
"Card sorting is a technique that is used to gather user input to design the information architecture of a site. The technique is easy to prepare and run, and great fun. But sometimes the results can be hard to interpret and it is not always clear how to use them to design the IA." (Donna Maurer - Rosenfeld Media)
"(...) before you all go berko and abuse me for sterotyping your 'species' I don't think that anyone who works as an IA for any period of time can actually remain strictly within the confines of their species. I think you're always coloured by it, but I think the more you do and the better you get, the more you respect the other species and what they bring to the collective table. And the more you tend to extend your skills and refine your approach to take in some of these traits and build them into your personal repertoire." (Leisa Reichelt - disambiguity) - courtesy of webword
Overview and Pre-conference sessions, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday - "(...) IAs adore long conversations about ideas. Perhaps that's why the Summit continues to be one of the most intellectually challenging of the practitioners' conferences." (Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) a toolset that allows information architects to create an integrated and interactive deliverable from standard Visio files." (About swipr) - congrats jacco!
"During March 23-28, 2006, over 500 people gathered in Vancouver, Canada, for the seventh Information Architecture Summit sponsored by ASIS&T (American Society for Information Science and Technology). The delightfully diverse attendees included not just people with the job title information architect, but also librarians, Web developers, business analysts, user experience designers, and others." (Laurie Lamar - UXmatters)
"The seventh annual ASIS&T Information Architecture Summit—IA Summit 2006 for short—was held at the Hyatt® Regency in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, shown in Figure 1, from March 23 through 27, 2006. Its theme was Learning • Doing • Selling. While I attended the IA Summit Redux in San Francisco at Adaptive Path last year, this was my first IA Summit." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"Document Engineering helps us specify, design, and implement these documents and the processes that create and consume them. It synthesizes complementary ideas from information and systems analysis, electronic publishing, business process analysis, and business informatics to ensure that the documents and processes make sense to the people and applications that need them. A document-centric philosophy unifies these different analysis and modeling perspectives." (Robert J. Glushko - Document Engineering)
"(...) the site has become an increasingly important resource for federal writers and managers. The concepts of clarity and structure in text that are outlined on the site have served as the foundation for federal writing guidelines – especially guidelines for crafting federal Web content." (Thomas Haller - ASIS&T Bulletin April 2006)
"(...) this will keep you going for a while." (ASIS&T 2006 Information Architecture Summit) - Thanks Donna.
"Here are my raw notes from Rashmi Sinha's talk at the IA Summit, 'Sorting, Tagging and Social Information Architecture' or The Missing Chapter in the Polar Bear Book." (Christian Crumlish - You're It!)
"Giving a closing plenary is a nerve-wracking experience. I realized I had a hard time relaxing and enjoying myself at the summit, because in the back of my mind, I was continually tweaking my talk." (Peter Merholz) - congrats!
"By studying several dozen design teams, the UIE research team has spent the last few years looking at how different compositions lead to the most effective results. How do you build a team to produce the best possible designs?" (Jared Spool - UIE Brain Sparks)
"(...) my talk explored the question of how pre-literate cultures manage their collective intellectual capital. In particular, I focused on the use of folk taxonomies (not to be confused with 'folksonomies'), visual symbol systems, and the cultural effects of the transition from oral to literate cultures. Finally, I tried to probe the relevance of these systems to present-day problems in information architecture." (Alex Wright)
"Here is an overview of my points, with links to background information I compiled in prepration for the panel, as well as some of my notes." (Keith Instone)
"This, our third eventful year, was marked by significantly increased visibility in the community and a more focused range of initiatives and services. Between 1 September 2004 and 31 August 2005 our membership grew 51%; as of 31 August 2005, the Institute had 845 members from over 55 countries. Our cash flow is positive, our volunteer rate is up, and our administrative activities have been streamlined. And clearly, the economic recovery experienced over the past year is having a positive effect on our industry." (IAinstitute)
Building Our Community - Document as handed out to all participants. October 15-16, 2005 - Brussels Belgium (Eric Reiss) - The Euro IA Summit 2006 will be in Berlin.
"By framing the web with a particular metaphor, certain concepts are established as the main unit of currency, so to speak. Those concepts, in turn, force us to think about structure in a particular way." (Dan Brown Greenonions)
"Using the paradigm of change architecture, IAs can become more aware of the idea that when we step onto the business stage of a project, we will first need to unfreeze aspects of the situation and the environment, and ultimately make the path from recommendation to action visible to the participants. " (Bob Goodman - Boxes and Arrows)
"The most important issue is not whether you notice a mode of seeking information that fits into one of these categories, but that a range of modes exist. Observe how your users approach information, consider what it means, and design to allow them to achieve what they need." (Donna Maurer - Boxes and Arrows)
"As the Web becomes both interface and infrastructure for an Internet of objects we can barely imagine, what metaphors will shape our fate? Clearly, the sea level will rise, but our children need not drown nor suffer information anxiety. These are painful analogies born in the journey from past to present. They fail to anticipate the future." (Peter Morville - ASIS&T Bulletin Feb/Mar 2006)
"I think it'd be safe to say that the IAI has been successful. It has over 800 members in about 40 countries. It has provided the IA community with a few excellent services, like a mentoring program, a job board, and a high-quality moderated discussion list. And it's had a hand in a number of successful events around the planet." (Louis Rosenfeld - bloug)
Main Conference Session Details (IA Summit 2006)
"By looking at physical architecture as a case study and metaphor for organizing space into meaningful places, this paper explores the possibility of organizing Cyberspace into spatial settings that not only afford social interaction, but, like physical places, also embody and express cultural values. At the same time, because Cyberspace lacks materiality, is free from physical constraints, and because it can only be 'inhabited' by proxy, these 'places' may not necessarily resemble their physical counterparts." (Yehuda E. Kalay and John Marx - First Monday Special Issue #5)
"Fundamental forms of information, as well as the term 'information' itself, are defined and developed for the purposes of information science/studies. Concepts of natural and represented information (taking an unconventional sense of representation), encoded and embodied information, as well as experienced, enacted, expressed, embedded, recorded, and trace information are elaborated. The utility of these terms for the discipline is illustrated with examples from the study of information seeking behavior and of information genres. Distinctions between the information and curatorial sciences with respect to their social (and informational) objects of study are briefly outlined." (Marcia J. Bates)
"Sitemaps can be useful tools and are a whole lot easier when you separate the data from the visualization. After you have done these steps a few times, you will be able to update a sitemap in under a minute." (Stephen Turbek - Boxes and Arrows)
Visio: The interaction designer's nail gun (2nd edition)
"The reason why Microsoft Visio is a popular prototyping tool is because of its interface widgets that you can drag and drop onto pages and its ability to link pages and view them as web pages. But what distinguishes Visio from other prototyping tools is its use of layered backgrounds." (Henrik Olsen - GUUUI)
Paper from the Euro IA Summit 2005 - "This paper will explore how IA projects can be constructed and undertaken to achieve coherence. It will review how elements such as metadata creation, document creation flows, permissions, version control, change and update management and usage patterns can be used to create a global picture of an organisation’s information creation, distribution and use, and thereby to derive the optimum patterns." (Barry Mahon and Alan Gilchrist - TFPL)
"IA is real, it's here and it has a history. Everything else is just hair-splitting. While deriving a definition might be really important to the academics among us, I no longer see it as essential to success of the field." (Andrew Dillon - ASIS&T Bulletin)
Conference presentation - "(...) detailed IA issues such as specific - to vs. relevant - for audiences, org-chart-itis, faceted browsing and navigation frameworks." (Keith Instone)
"(...) huge issue in organising this information in a way that the audience can actually find it, which, after all, should be the main goal. So I want to talk about 3 things that the BBC does centrally to try and make this easier for the end user - navigation, search, and classification." (Martin Belam - currybetdotnet)
"The consequent explosion of content and functionality on the Web and the new ways in which we're making use of Web content has recast the role of the information architect. This article explores the information architect's evolving responsibilities in light of the changes we're experiencing on the Web." (Dan Brown - UXmatters Preview)
One of the results of the first European IA Summit 2005 in Brussels of last weekend is available now. - "The EuroIA mailinglist is the online conversational platform for researchers and practitioners in the field of Information Architecture in an European context." (Peter J. Bogaards) - sponsored by Webtic - Paul Jongsma
"This year's IA Retreat - 'New Challenges in Information Architecture' - took place at the Edith Macy Conference Center, just north of New York City, October 7-9, 2005. Of the many themes discussed at the retreat, those that stood out revolved around the challenges of enterprise information architecture (as in very large enterprises, such as government agencies, and Fortune 100's), cross-cultural IA issues, and designing user experiences for evermore complex, and increasingly less, web-centric systems." (Anders Ramsay - Boxes and Arrows)
Presentation from Europe's first information architecture summit - "This talk will take an analytical but subjective approach to the current state-of-affairs of (continental) European IA. The local IA communities of practice, knowledge and interest seem still premature, fragmented and not well-connected. Even if there is such a thing as an European IA community, it lacks a solid identity and definitely a strategy." (Peter J. Bogaards - BogieLand)
"(...) the Europeans have been implementing mobile and trying to work through a means to access information in the environment and context where the information makes sense. Boy, was I right." (Thomas VanderWal - InfoCloud Solutions Inc.)
"(...) excerpt from Mr. Morville's new book, Ambient Findability - Findability precedes usability in the alphabet and on the web you can't use what you can't find." (A List Apart)
"The real upheaval lies just ahead, as a generation of school kids (and their teachers and librarians) struggle to reconcile traditional notions of education and objectivity and authority with the constructivist web of social facts and collective intelligence where folksonomies flourish and the truth is a virus of many colors. I can hardly wait." (Peter Morville)
First Chapter of Ambient Findability by Peter Morville - "Findability is the biggest story on the Web today, and its reach will only grow as the tidal waves of channel convergence and ubiquitous computing wash over our shores. We will use the Web to navigate a physical world that sparkles with embedded sensors and geospatial metadata, even as we diminish the need to move our bodies through space. Mobile devices will unite our data streams in an evolving dance of informed consumers seeking collective intelligence and inspiration. And in this ambient economy, findability will be a key source of competitive advantage. Finders, keepers; losers, weepers." (Peter Morville - findability.org) - congrats with the book and the blog
"Today many users of the Internet are using information-based web sites to try and satisfy their information needs. How well they satisfy these needs (finding relevant information) can often depend upon one common feature - the site's information architecture." (Mark Game - HOT! Topics Newsletter) - courtesy of lucdesk
Programme of the Europe's first information architecture summit - "'Building our community' is the theme of this inaugural European Summit. No, we are not talking about the EU. We are talking about our professional community - information architects and other people involved in structuring information for electronic media. And we want to see YOU!" (ASIS&T 2005 Euro IA)
"When you start a site map, even as a paper sketch, take that opportunity to immediately start putting ID numbers on pages. Don’t wait until later. Having the IDs then gives you a baseline vocabulary to use in any subsequent docs, and you’re free to decide on 'friendly" names later. It can help you avoid a lot of confusion later." (Joshua Kaufman - Digital Web Magazine)
"Who in the academic community is doing the leading research and inquiry into IA issues? Who are the big thinkers?" (IAwiki)
"(...) a card sorting application for Mac OS X. It allows you to easily define a new card sorting problem, perform several sessions with multiple participants, and finally analyze the results (using multiple criteria) and generate printable reports." (iPragma) - courtesy of theotherblog
"Andrew Dillon declared in his closing keynote speech at the Montreal IA Summit (2005) that IA was entering its second phase. IAs are seeing more and more job opportunities as well as more professional recognition, and the field itself seems to be progressing. Not so in Germany. Here, IA is barely on the map." (James Kalbach - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) the number of first-time attendees was staggeringly high. From a show of hands on the opening day it appeared as if they were in the majority. Nothing wrong with this situation you might say, but the number of new attendees was high last year too, so it would appear that repeat attendance is not the norm." (Andrew Dillon - ASIS&T Bulletin 31.5) - courtesy of peterboersma
"Document, Document, Document: I try to document my work as much as possible in order to have a running record of my day. This includes to-do lists, dates and times of meetings with key outcomes, design sketches… everythings." (Joshua Kaufman - Digital Web Magazine)
The Survey Results: "This summary (based on data from 129 respondents) presents the key topics in ranked order from most important to least important.
"A diagram that helps information architects and other designers make their enterprise's content easier to find regardless of which department maintains it. The goal is to integrate content from across departmental 'silos' in ways that make sense to users." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"IA in Europe (and Germany) in general isn’t doing that well. People are frustrated with clients who don't know what IA is, and there doesn't seem to be much innovation. Imagine my surprise when I visited Spain and found a small but thriving IA community!" (Peter van Dijck)
"This article provides an introduction to information architecture, discusses the evolution of the discipline and provides a 9-step guide for how to create an effective information architecture." (Iain Barker - Step Two Designs)
Discussion list on the similarities and differences of information architectures in the context of global, regional and local cultures, languages, and value systems. (Global-ia Archives)
"Perhaps even more worrying, evidence of poor usability gained by interacting with the design did not initially change the beliefs of these users about the application's quality." (Andrew Dillon - ASIS&T Bulletin April/May 2005)
"In France, IA will probably never take off, at least the current style of US-centered IA. In Belgium, there are a few companies doing interesting IA/UX work, mostly for large clients like J&J and such. But as a field it's pretty unknown. I blame Belgian's lack of self-promotion. In Holland, there is a bit more awareness (and historically more 'design' awareness) around IA, but also some confusion about what IA really is. There's another Dutch 'IA' organization with a very different take on what it means. I'll report back on Spain later, but I have noticed there is a bit of a UX scene there." (Peter van Dijck)
"Card sorting is a powerful technique for assessing how users group related concepts together. In its simplest form, a researcher would write concepts - usually menu items for interaction design - on cards and ask users to group related items together. In a closed card sort, the number of groups and their names are fixed. In open card sorts, the number and names of groups are determined by the participants, although the researcher may specify limits (3 to 5 groups, for example)." (William Hudson - Syntagm) - courtesy of cityofbits
Search results on Information Architecture from Brainboost: Question everything. (Brainboost Answer Engine) - courtesy of iaslash
Select the session title to download a presentation. (IA Summit 2005) - courtesy of donnam
"It's certainly good news for the field, but are we simply in for another boom and bust cycle? Surprise: I'm optimistic. The field seems healthier than it was four years ago for at least a couple reasons: (...)" (Louis Rosenfeld)
IA Summit 2005 Presentation in Montréal - "information architecture experience" (CD Evans - infostyling)
"I am at the Information Architecture Summit, blogging the sessions I'm attending." (Sébastien Paquet)
IA Summit 2005 Presentation - "It's the dawn of an age where interactive functionality and information is available and intertwined everywhere. The past two decades have been a pre-dawn period where products, software, environments, functionality, and interaction with information have gradually converged. What lessons have been learned within a single consulting design career during this period, pursuing from the beginning, convergence in these areas?" (James Leftwich) - courtesy of functioning form
"(...) a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to advancing and promoting information architecture. Founded in 2002, the Institute has over 600 members in 40 countries. Learn more or join now." - (previously The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture)
"Design is a valued industry in many fields, with professional support systems to match. Without adequate support systems in IA we will be awkwardly bound to the current design process out of fear of improvement. The nature of software design should be integrated and brought into the design process in a much more sustainable way, and I see support systems as the only way to provide the stability needed to develop through specialization." (Clifton Evans - Boxes and Arrows)
"An information architecture project will uncover the very heart of internal politics in any organisation. In most cases, content owners, department heads and product managers all fight for prime 'real estate' and prominence within the website structure – resulting in a site design that looks like a 'truce' rather than an effective solution." (Hurol Inan) - courtesy of digital web magazine
"The answer is Yes, we can. But you knew that already. How do we run the company? That answer has many, complex answers. My goal here is to offer a point of view and some new ideas and hopefully give you a new framework to think about the question more." (Victor Lombardi - Management Innovation Group)
"(...) the line between Web design and information architecture doesn't have to be as clear as we may have imagined. There are many opportunities for Web designers to fill the role of information architect in every project. This is not to say that information architects are no longer needed. On the contrary, with Web sites becoming more dynamic and complex every day, information architects are needed more than ever. But as an information architect who transitioned from a Web design role, I can assure you that information architects aren't the only ones who can organize things." (Joshua Kaufman - Digital Web Magazine) - The recurring theme of structure and presentation, of cognition and perception, or of architecture and design.
"Scaling up the numerous devices and information architectures competing for my diminishing attentional resources makes me wish there were some way for us to talk at a more macro level when discussing information. But this is not just a matter of ubiquity or usability, this is really about the human rhythm of information use, the coupling of person and process." (Andrew Dillon - ASIS&T Bulletin Dec. 2004/Jan. 2005)
"Information architecture is more widely applied than ever. Decisionmakers now accept IA as critical to well-designed electronic information spaces. Practitioners use IA approaches and methodologies, and routinely include IAs on cross-disciplinary teams. There is a growing demand for IAs and greater pressure on managers and non-IA practitioners to understand IA principles. To support these needs, this year's Summit focuses on key topics, cutting-edge issues, and core competencies." - Pre-Conference Program, Main Conference Program and Poster Sessions (ASIS&T 2005 Information Architecture Summit)
"Thoughts about sitemaps, navigation, IA deliverables and the root problems with organization and content on the Web." (D. Keith Robinson)
"The Visio stencils on this page are free for downloading and using. They are designed to aid the work of Information Architects. In short, they are not for everyone, you may want to familiarize yourself with common IA practices before trying to use these stencils." (Nick Finck)
"What happens when you run a site in multiple languages/locales and need to manage the information architecture of that site? Can you just translate a taxonomy from one language to another? We are gathering a lot of material, and we'll start sharing that and opening up the conversation. Me, I plan to write a series of blog posts on international or global IA, of which this is the first." (Peter VanDijck - Guide to Ease)
"The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) provides maps for assembling topics into deliverables. By specializing the map elements, you can define a formal information architecture for your deliverables. This architecture provides guidance to authors on how to organize topics and lets processes recognize your organizing principles, resulting in a consistent, clear experience for your users." (Erik Hennum et al. - IBM developerWorks XML DITA)
"The greatest danger is waiting until we have the wrong skills for our particular market. If we actively seek out the future opportunity that exists, if we actively continue our educations, if we actively pursue research and development of new ideas, we can all thrive in the future world economy." (Victor Lombardi - Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture)
"The contributors to this highly original collection of essays explore the relationship between food and architecture, asking what can be learned by examining the (often metaphorical) intersection of the preparation of meals and the production of space." - Table of Content & Sample chapters (MIT Press)
"Future trend: The numbers of both in-house and agency IAs will decline; this drop will be partially countered by growth in self-employed consultants." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"(...) a summary of the current tools in no particuar order. I have put card details into those that work, but haven't put any results in yet." (DonnaM)
Contrasting Concepts of Harmony in Architecture: The 1982 Debate Between Christopher Alexander and Peter Eisenman
"Alexander is presenting his basis for the New Paradigm in Architecture at the same time as Eisenman presents his competing, diametrically opposed, deconstructivist claim for such a Paradigm. The importance of the debate has been widely recognised." (Katarxis 3) - courtesy of designobserver
"It was hard work. When it comes to information architecture research, the knowledge environment is highly fragmented. But I was able to extract a few gems and gain some new insights. So, for all those information architects who didn't spend their summer in a research library, here's a brief summary." (Peter Morville - Semantic Studios)
Presentations by Peter Morville of Semantic Studios - "Information Architecture is an intensive 2-day conference about how to design and organise information systems that enable better search, navigation, and collaboration within organisations." (Information Today)
"(...) these search heuristics are really geared to semi-structured text, not data; looking for ideas and concepts is a different undertaking than hunting for facts and figures (more on why they're different)." (Louis Rosenfeld - Bloug)
"To successfully communicate the characteristics of an information space, I needed an approach for creating easily understood diagrams. To be useful to my audience, the diagrams must communicate the 'big picture' of the website to stakeholders, while providing enough detail to be useful for the development team." (Jason Withrow - Boxes and Arrows)
A collection of references regarding Enterprise Information Architecture. (Gene Smith - Atomiq) - courtesy of iaslash
"Every information architect should always have a set of favorite questions in their back pocket; they really do come in handy." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"(...) I'm posting a bit of our conversation about applying and interviewing for IA jobs here. These ideas apply mainly to people who are sending a resumé out blindly. That is to say, without a word of mouth recommendation." (Michael Angeles - urlgreyhot)
"So just as I recommend my clients do, I'm undertaking an exploration of how the site is currently failing to meet my goals for it, and all those ways in which it might reach, exceed, or outright demolish those goals in the next version." (Adam Greenfield - v-2.org)
"(...) the 80/20 Rule: we pick a small set of locales that require minimal translation, are reasonably easy to design, are owned by people who want to cooperate with our efforts, and provide the business with most bang for its buck." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"Intelligence is moving to the edges, flowing through networked computers, wireless devices, empowered users and distributed teams. Ideas spread like wildfire. Innovations emerge from uncharted borderlands. Information is in the air, literally. We’re exploring a new world called cyberspace, and we’re navigating without a map." (Peter Morville - Digital Web Magazine)
"With apologies for the delay, here are links to the presentation Christina Wodtke and I delivered at the webvisions 2004 conference this past Friday in Portland, Oregon." (Nate Koechley - natek)
"As the second year of the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture comes to a close, we can look back to see an organization that has grown beyond our early expectations. Building on the accomplishments of our first year, our membership has grown 37% in the past year, to over 560 people from over 40 countries. We also continued to build more services and events to promote information architecture (IA) and educate practitioners." (Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture)
"But why should an information architect care about requirements when it's not his or her job to collect or create them? It comes down to simple math: it’s been my experience that a blurry definition of what a project needs to accomplish leads to a lot of extra work for the IA. So much extra work, in fact, that revisions end up taking much more effort than helping the team nail down useful requirements earlier in the process." (Dan Willis - Boxes and Arrows)
"The paradigm shift, however, will be the least of Google's problems. With its search engine advertising practices under constant scrutiny, Google faces myriad new issues by attaching targeted advertisements to emails, potentially a gross invasion of privacy. At the same time, the advertisements for mandolin dealers and instructors that come attached to posts to the mandolin mailing list are almost as valuable as the posts themselves." (Dan Brown - Boxes and Arrows)
"CardSort is a software tool which helps Information Architects to conduct computer aided Card Sorting. It was created by Steffen Schilb in 2003." (Steffen Schilb) - courtesy of iawiki
"(...) the full version was recognized more than the content only version, recognized more than the form only version. The interesting finding is that when the form version was recognized, it happened twice as fast as for the other versions. (...) this is because the cognitive processing of visual information happens faster than that for verbal information. While there is some truth to that, let's play detective and identify what cognitive mechanism is the culprit here." (Rashmi Sinh) - courtesy of victor lombardi
"It's been five years, the Summit is pretty much a regular event now and writing a column about it has become a normal assignment for me too. Can we stop calling ourselves a new field now?" (Andrew Dillon - ASTS&T Bulletin 30.5)
"Information architecture (or IA) is the science -- some would insist art -- of defining the structure, organization, navigation, labeling and indexing of a Website. It is the role of the information architect to decide how a site should be structured, what kind of content it should host, and how to accommodate future growth. In short, information architecture defines the backbone of a Website." (Subha Subramanian - sitepoint) - courtesy of xblog
"If information architecture is a fairly new field, then the practice of teaching information architecture is even newer. Often instructors are experienced information architects who have little to no teacher training, and they must teach students with a wide range of experience and learning goals. Learning objectives are one tool that can make information architecture courses easier for teachers and more rewarding for students." (Wendy Cown - Boxes and Arrows)
"Two questions resound throughout the content industry: Why do Enterprise Content Management (ECM) projects take so long to implement? And why do they fail with such alarming frequency? While all enterprise-level IT projects prove to be difficult and risky undertakings, a deeper examination of the ECM challenge in particular will reveal an endemic inattention to - or at best belated appreciation of - its critical corollary: the need for Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA)." (Tony Byrne - EContentMag) - courtesy of stig andersen
"The article starts off by citing Greg Storey's work to redesign the infamous Bin Laden President's Daily Brief. It then moves on to describe what Information Architecture/Design is and how it can make a difference in understanding information and in the bottom-line for a business. IA/ID also is mentioned in the decision-making process for the Columbia disaster, and Tufte gets to rail a bit against Powerpoint. Tufte also dismisses Mr. Storey's redesign of the PDB (way to exhibit solidarity, Ed). The article then moves onto another favorite pundit, Nielsen, and he gets to quote his $71B in lost productvity sound-bite." (every breath death defying) - courtesy of victor lombardi
Chapter from 'Designing Personalized User Experiences in eCommerce'
"The IA Library is a selection of resources related to the field of information architecture. The collection includes articles, books, blogs, and more." (Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture) - courtesy of peter morville
"Maybe my error is in assuming that KM is a field like IA, when perhaps it's really more an industry, dominated by vendors, where practice is almost a dirty word. Kind of like content management (although the CM professionals are getting uppity and organized). Perhaps there is more synergy between fields (e.g. IA and usability) than between a field of practice and an industry." (Louis Rosenfeld et al.)
"As more web practitioners have assumed the title of Information Architect to describe the work they do, and as more information architects (and user experience designers and user interface designers and information designers) are multitasking on reduced staffs, information architects have uncovered a wide range of ways to view both the practice and ourselves practicing." (Lynn Stott - Boxes and Arrows)
Video of presentations at the Fifth IA Summit 2004 - including Poster Sessions and the presentation of Jared Spool (CMSReview) - courtesy of columntwo
Materials from the Fifth Annual ASIS&T Information Architecture Summit: Breaking New Ground / 27-29 February, 2004 - Austin, Texas (IA Summit 2004)
"Feel free to leave your comments on my blog!" (Javier Velasco - mantruc)
"I realized this is the first conference I've ever attended that actually has something to do with what I do." (Dan Saffer) - courtesy of ia summit blog
"This is where you can download a version of the presentation (5.5 Mb) that we did during the IA Summit. We have also included the HTML deliverable that we created during the demonstration." (Peter Boersma and Jacco Nieuwland)
"This presentation will discuss the process of designing the research portal of the web site, with emphasis on the lessons learned by the XIA development team." (Jill Burkart et al.) - courtesy of ia summit blog
"If you consider the subject only to be concerned with organizing websites, then it is pretty clear that a master's degree in the topic may be overkill, and a course or two within a more general program will probably suffice to get you on the path. But if, like me, you think of IA as a more encompassing effort aimed at understanding how information can be organized and presented for human and organizational use, both within and beyond websites, and addressing issues of performance effectiveness and efficiency, user satisfaction, sustainability and indeed aesthetic response to a resource, then a degree program looks to be more like a minimum requirement to get started." (Andrew Dillon - ASIS&T Bulletin Feb. 2004)
"(...) a quick and dirty presentation." (Tracy Reith)
"In July 2003, PeopleSoft acquired mid-tier enterprise software company JD Edwards. Perhaps the most important business move in PeopleSoft's history, this acquisition required quick action from the PeopleSoft.com team, which wanted to demonstrate the very real integration of the two companies. PeopleSoft brought in Adaptive Path to ensure a smooth process, and the integrity of the new Web site." (Adaptive Path)
"This survey was conducted in November and December 2003. Instructors listed on our list of IA programs were invited to participate. A total of 19 responses were collected." (Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture) - courtesy of victor lombardi
"As always, the IA Summit focuses on connecting with peers. You can take advantage of frequent opportunities to catch up with colleagues and meet others in the field. And if you are new to IA, the Summit is the best way to begin your involvement in the exciting discipline of Information Architecture." (IA Summit 2004) - courtesy of victor lombardi
"(...) designed to be a hypertext reference resource for library and information science professionals, university students and faculty, and users of all types of libraries. The primary criterion for including a new term is whether a librarian or other information professional might reasonably be expected to encounter it at some point in his (or her) career, or be required to know its meaning in the course of executing his or her responsibilities as a librarian. The vocabulary of publishing, printing, book history, literature, and computer science has been included when, in the author's judgment, a definition might prove helpful, not only to library and information professionals, but also to laypersons." (Joan M. Reitz - Western Connecticut State University)
"Card sorting, which involves writing the content on index cards and asking users to sort them into logical piles, with the piles becoming the architecture of the site, tells us how to organize content. CAA is similar, except there aren't any cards." (Jared Spool - UIE Roadshow)
"Overviews, tutorials, methods, affinity diagrams, card sorting, free listing, prototyping, wireframes, comprehensive sites, articles, and related links." (University of Minnesota Duluth)
"The physical world is a network where everything touches everything else and everyone touches everyone else. The connection can be physical, financial, emotional or spiritual, but itís there. This is even more the case in the virtual world. As its name suggests, the web is a system of connected networks. In our quest for information, we are linked from one site to another and another; there is no beginning or end." (Fu-Tien Chiou - Boxes and Arrows)
"Web design has been through the evolutionary period - the period of experimentation. There was a time when nobody really understood how to design a website. It was new for all of us. But the Web is not so new anymore. So much has been learned and figured out about what works and what doesn't work. Your job can be so much easier by adapting best practices." (Gerry McGovern - UIE Roadshow)
"Information Architecture can be applied to resolve breakdowns in site design and navigation structure. The role of good Information Architecture is to make the Website work not in the technical sense, but from a functional, organized, conceptual perspective." (Ivan Walsh - Sitepoint) - courtesy of lucdesk
"I've put up a couple of fresh presentations on my site for your enjoyment/perplexment." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"I have experienced first-hand the tumultuous childhood and adolescence of the profession. It was fun. It was painful. It was exciting. It was a lot of work. And, it's over. For better or worse, information architecture has entered a new stage of maturity." (Peter Morville)
"Many colleges, universities, and companies offer courses in information architecture. (...) listings of schools that offer courses and full degree programs dedicated to IA. In compiling the above lists, we included courses and programs that explicitly used 'information architecture' or 'information design' in the title. For courses not explicitly using these terms, a course was judged to be IA-related if it encompassed a digital information design/organization theme and used one of four IA books as the text." (Victor Lombardi - AIfIA Educational Curriculum Initiative)
"There seems to be a parallel relationship between level of detail and accepted-ness. As information architecture grows to be a defined step in my company's process, my wireframes have grown more detailed; more departments must participate in and comment on them." (Liz Danzico - Boxes and Arrows)
"When people come to your website they have a mental map of how their 'ideal' webpage should be. They expect to see certain things in certain places. They expect to read certain killer words in your classification and content. The more you meet their mental map, the more successful your website will be." (Gerry McGovern)
"This article outlines practical ways to move from an intranet based on the organisation chart to one that is more intuitive and allows people to complete their tasks more easily. It does not describe a full intranet redesign process, but focuses on those issues that are most likely to occur if you wish to break your organisation chart." (Donna Maurer - Step Two Designs)
"Strap on your mental protective gear and join IBM Fellow Grady Booch on a high-energy tour of things unusual, curious, and just plain weird. Of course there are lessons to be learned along the way, as we discover how common design principals inform even the most uncommon of entities. We'll also explore the evolution of different genres of architecture, the forces that have shaped them, and their practical manifestation in today's Web- and services-oriented architectures." (IBM Rational Events)
"Information architecture is the process of organizing and structuring information so that it is logical in design and presentation. It establishes categories and relationships among different pieces of information. It defines metadata schemes, navigation and search interfaces. Good architecture not only helps users find information, but also facilitates updating content by having clear rules for adding new information. And its effects show up on the bottom line with surprising speed when users can get what they need in just a few clicks." (Judith Lamont - KMWorld) - courtesy of elegant hack
"While much of oneís success or failure depends on the skills specific to information architecture - like diagramming, documenting, organizing - an even greater indicator is soft skills: dealing with conflict, negotiating, and communicating. These soft skills are important in any profession or job role, but are of high importance in information architecture, which requires applying them in sometimes unconventional ways." (Jeff Lash - Digital Web Magazine)
"(...) that describes which aspects of the enterprise's architecture should be developed and when. My goal is to show that there are certain aspects of a site's architecture that are worth tackling right away for quick wins, others that you'll get around to later, and others that you might never reach in a distributed, highly politicized enterprise environment." (Louis Rosenfeld)
Spatial Semantics: How Users Derive Shape from Information Space (iawiki)
"(...) document templates, process map posters and other tools to help you in your practice. The documents, which have been donated by various people in the organization, have been found to be useful at one time or another. Items can be used in combination or alone as needed." (AIfIA) - courtesy of victor lombardi
"The phrase 'information architecture' appears to have been coined, or at least brought to wide attention, by Richard Saul Wurman, a man trained as an architect but who has become also a skilled graphic designer and the author, editor, and/or publisher of numerous books that employ fine graphics in the presentation of information in a variety of fields." (R.E. Wyllys - Univ. of Texas: Grad. School of Library & Information Science)
"Sitemaps and site indexes are forms of supplemental navigation. They give users a way to navigate a site without having to use the global navigation. By providing a way to visualize and understand the layout and structure of the site, a sitemap can help a lost or confused user find her way. Sitemaps are more widely implemented than site indexes, but both have their place and fulfill a unique information need." (Chiara Fox - Boxes and Arrows)
"Synonym rings and authority files are simple, common-sense ways to help users connect the various semantic concepts that are inherently intertwined with the term they choose. They are particularly good for large decentralized sites that are search dominant and have little centralized control over content." (Karl Fast, Fred Leise and Mike Steckel - Boxes and Arrows)
"In March of 2002, Louis Rosenfeld and Christina Wodtke invited a group of people to discuss how to advance the field of information architecture (IA). One previous effort, ACIA, provided valuable information but was too closely paired to a commercial company to be sustainable. Another, Info-Arch.org, generated many grass-roots ideas but few concrete results. The new group was large enough to represent diverse opinions yet small enough to stay focused on the task. After eight months of online discussions, phone calls, and a meeting at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in California, the idea of the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (AIfIA) was born." (Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture)
"This document itself has an emergent nature. There is no essay plan, there is no marking guide, there is no expectation of word count or of completion deadline. This process is already instructive: I noticed that I've planted a thousand seeds, which I already know not all will flower." (Eric Scheid - IAwiki)
"(...) low on theory, high on practice. It contains practical examples, how-toís, doís and doníts and ready-to-use templates, illustrating concepts, tools and deliverables that can be used immediately in real life by anyone responsible for designing web sites. Practical explanations and tips are illustrated with case studies from industry leaders like IBM and Microsoft, and clear explanations of the latest cutting-edge research from the academic world." (Peter van Dijck)
"Returning to the challenges of managing data, he singles out two problems common to many IA situations: a failure to keep up with information explosion (...); and the other side of the coin, stuff that is good at present but won't be within six months. 'We now use a term a client gave us: rot ñ redundant, outdated and trivial ñ and if you leave content alone it turns to rot. Itís a great acronym.'" (Ann Light - Usability News)
"(...) having a background in cognitive psychology supports the practice of information architecture, and it is precisely those interconnections and support that will be explored." (Jason Withrow - Boxes and Arrows)
"Labels and definitions inevitably vary from context to context. But is it unethical to consciously provide different answers to the same questions? No, but it is a bit two-faced and can sometimes make one feel a bit uncomfortable. Just remember: we're always speaking different languages in different contexts. Itís simply a requirement for effective communication." (Louis Rosenfeld - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) the Board of Certification for architectural qualifications has a problem with the use of the term 'architecture' in the IT sector since it might cause people to have erroneous expectations of the services IAs offer." (Andrew Dillon - Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology - Vol. 9, No. 6)
"The issue of internationalization of Information Architecture as a discipline and a profession is not the same in all parts of the world. In some countries they need a translation of articles and websites - in other countries they don't." (Gunnar Langemark Café) - courtesy of logos
"(...) creating and documenting process has been a good exercise to help institutionalize ways of working, to help educate new team members as well as to unveil the mysteries of what we do for executives, product folks, and development teams." (Erin Malone - Boxes and Arrows)
"Connecting people from diverse disciplines, countries and cultures is a strategic imperative, not only for AIfIA but for the information architecture community as a whole. Our competitive advantage derives from our very ability to build bridges and span networks." (Peter Morville - Semantic Studios)
Definitions for 'Information Architecture' from the Web (Google Labs)
"As the field of information architecture matures, we are beginning to understand the new challenges it raises for wireless media. This article suggests that some of these challenges can be best addressed through an approach called 'psychology-driven information architecture' (PDIA), which bases design decisions and solutions on the psychological profile of the end user." (Oded Napchi - Boxes and Arrows)
"I interviewed Victor Hsu at Axure software, who are developing a tool that provides a central modelling and documentation environment for information architects called Ubiquity RP." (Peter van Dijck)
"The AIfIA Job Board serves as a clearinghouse for position postings relating to information architecture and more broadly to information design, interaction design, and HCI." (Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture)
Information Architecture for Building a Digital Library (Lillian Woon Gassie) - courtesy of iaslash
"Just collecting a bunch of links on the topic..." (Victor Lombardi)
"(...) creating consistent and functional systems for navigation, graphics, page layout and title languages so that the user knows where to go, what to do, and encourages them to return." (Kelly Goto - GotoMedia)
"When the center opened in 1970, it was unlike other major industrial research laboratories; its work wasn't tied, even loosely, to its corporate parent's current product lines. And unlike university research laboratories, PARC had one unifying vision: it would develop 'the architecture of information.'" (Stanford and Silicon Valley Archives Project) - courtesy of jack johnson
"Towards standard methods and metrics for evaluating IA" (AIfIA) - courtesy of column two
- "With IA Summit #5 now in view, IA may be mainstream or mature - and I have suspicions which of these comes first. " (Andrew Dillon - ASIS&T Bulletin June/July 2003)
"(...) I would like to explore the relationship between deliverables and methodology. Unfortunately, this calls for a definition of IA methodology, which may challenge the definition of IA as the hardest question in our field." (Dan Brown - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) I've been thinking about structured content a lot lately. Here are some thoughts (some extremely basic)." (Peter van Dijck)
"Scenarios and personas are hot tools for software design and information architecture. (...) in the world of design scenarios, laptops are never forgotten on the roofs of Audi station wagons. A well-loved scenario thrives on deception." (Cathy Marshall - TEKKA)
"(...) the practice of information architecture remains primarily an institutional endeavor, driven by the needs of corporations, governments, and educational institutions. Today's information architects are the heirs of yesterday's scribes, clerks, and clerics: laboring to acquire, store, and disseminate knowledge for the sake of humanity, but ultimately in the service of institutions." - (Alex Wright - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) a quick survey of the available literature on linking and searching. We organized our findings into a series of observations and guidelines that may be helpful to designers dealing with similar issues." - (Bob Bailey - Web Usability) - courtesy of guuui
"We spoke with both Lou and Steve about the advantages of their joint seminars, the common pitfalls of web usability and information architecture, and the state of the web industry today." - (Bruce Stewart - O'Reilly Network)
"The IA translation project (aka Tia) aims to provide tools and support for translation of materials related to information architecture." (Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture)
"The paper presents the case of ongoing efforts to develop and test generalizable user interfaces that provide interactive overviews for large-scale Web sites, portals, and other partitions of Web space. The interfaces are called Relation Browsers (RB) because they help people explore the relationships across different attribute sets, thus enabling understanding the scope and extent of the corpus through active exploration of different 'slices' defined by different attribute value juxtapositions. The RB concept is illustrated through discussion of six iterations over a five year period that included laboratory usability studies, a field test, and implementations with a variety of data management problems. The current application to design concepts in a digital government setting is discussed, and the concept of the RB as the basis for an interface server is presented." (Gary Marchionini and Ben Brunk - Journal of Digital Information 4.1)
"Technical communicators stand to gain a great deal from understanding the work of the information architect. Even if you don't build Web sites, by thinking like an information architect, you'll greatly enhance the products you do develop. Whether you build online help systems, develop Web-based training, create or maintain knowledge bases, conduct usability testing, or help maintain your corporate intranet, you'll find it worth your while to get in touch with your inner information architect. Doing so will make your products easier for users to use and for owners/developers to maintain." (Mir G. Haynes - STC Intercom) - courtesy of beth mazur
Various Acrobat and PowerPoint presentations available.
From IA Summit 2003: "This session will focus on the kinds of technology you ought to be aware of to do IA." (Nick Finck) - courtesy of webword
"Spring is in the air and 400 +/- IAs are gathered together for networking, knowledge sharing, drinking, schmoozing, eating and drinking. It must be the annual ASIST IA Summit. Held in Portland, Oregon this year, the summit was well attended and seemed to be just what the doctor ordered." (Boxes and Arrows Staff)
"This seminar was a real success, generating great discussion and sparking quite a bit of networking. Thanks to everyone who participated!" (Peter Morville - AIfIA)
"AIfIA-Education is an open, unmoderated list for discussing topics related to information architecture education. Educators, students, and other interested individuals are welcome to join." (Victor Lombardi - AIfIA)
"Hierarchy isn't the answer and search is even worse. Search is the last resort of a reader. Context is all that matters." (Amy Lee - curiousLee)
"Portland was interesting. (...) there was a palpable lack of international attendance, participation, and perspective." (Anne Galloway - Purse Lip Square Jaw) - courtesy of iaslash
"Navigation as design driver - it's the wrong driver." (Peter Merholz)
Mark Bernstein's, Andrew Dillon's, and Susan Campbell's position statements (Rashmi Sinha - courtesy of vanderwal
"This presentation of the Model of Attraction was given at the ASIS IA Summit in Portland, Oregon (...) The HTML outline version will be available shortly." (Thomas vanderWal)
"Spirits were definitely higher than the past two years." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"In 1994, a team of faculty and staff at the University of Pittsburgh completed the design of an enterprise-wide information architecture and framework for engaging the University in business process reengineering. The architecture provides the blueprint for developing an integrated set of information services, processes, and technologies. It enables significant efficiencies in business and service processes, and facilitates informed decisions concerning information technology expenditures and acquisitions." (Nicholas C. Laudato and Dennis J. DeSantis - University of Pittsburg) courtesy of heyblog
"Information architecture is all about the definition and organization of content. The fact that there isn't a commonly agreed definition is because the discipline is immature. If information architecture is to solve problems cost-effectively, it will have to become rigorously defined. Just like most other professionals, information architects will require accreditation." (Gerry McGovern)
"This essay gives one perspective on conferences, and how to make them more valuable and engaging experiences." (Scott Berkun)
"Boxes and Arrows was formed to break that code of silence, dedicated to discussing, improving and promoting the work of this community, through the sharing of exemplary technique, innovation and informed opinion. I think we're making some progress." (Christina Wodtke - Boxes and Arrows) - Congrats
"This list discusses information architecture in an international context." (AIfIA)
"The most common approach to selling IA involves introducing the basic concepts, along with explanations and examples of what deliverables are produced, and some discussion of the benefits." (Jeff Lash - Digital Web Magazine)
The Flamenco Project, Methods for Information Architecture, and Human Cognition and Information Architecture (Rashi Sinha)
"Save money and win friends by standardizing your information architecture." (Gerry McGovern - User Interface 7 West Conference)
"(...) the message that an organisation calling itself the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture had decloaked and announced its existence to the world came as nothing short of a grenade in the Inbox." (Adam Greenfield - v-2)
Conference Schedule Update (ASIS&T)
"(...) the results of a survey conducted by the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture in January 2003 in preparation for the Leadership Seminar at the ASIS&T IA Summit." (Peter Morville - AIfIA)
March 21-23, 2003 (Portland Oregon, USA) - Full programme available (American Institute of Information Science and Technology)
"This survey is part of an effort to identify important trends and possible futures for information architecture." (Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture)
"Design of line graphs, contour and pseudocolor plots, and a wide variety of other user-generated graphics." (John P. Boyd - University of Michigan) - courtesy of tremendo
"These might be helpful if you're preparing an IA seminar yourself, or, if nothing else, they're an interesting snapshot of what folks were interested in during late 2002." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"Information architecture will grow in importance. More organizations will recognize that organizing information efficiently is one of the key challenges they face." (Gerry McGovern)
"The AIfIA Education Curriculum Initiative will create a framework which instructors will use to create information architecture programs, courses, and syllabi for courses." (Victor Lombardi - Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture)
"A good IA tool should work like your brain. Is there one? Yes. It's called Tinderbox." (Sean Carton - ClickZ)
"Trying to establish a profession on the foundation of a myth is, I think, a tactical error." (Mark Bernstein)
"Just spurious notes from what I saw, in general a very good conference." (Victor Lombardi)
"Rosenfeld addressed himself to the issue of practising information architecture in an unfriendly enterprise environment." (Ann Light - Usability News)
"Very glossy, but pretty much right on the money. The reasoning stresses business concepts like ROI, so it speaks to the business person pretty well." (James Melzer)
"Information Architecture is the process of creating as structure for a body of information or content. In our case, this structure is specific to the production of a web site." (D. Keith Robinson - Evolt)
"The launch of the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture, has proven a wellspring for discussions on the emerging profession and discipline of information architecture." (Peter Merholz)
"(...) a few thousand professional information architects prove their value every day in the trenches by contributing to the design of more useful, usable, and desirable systems and products." (Peter Morville - Semantic Studios)
"I was stunned at the number of new books in these fields. There were over 20 new titles on the book shelf about information architecture, usability, interface design, web usability, flash usability, and accessibility." (David Crow)
"(...) are there any links out there today that you can recommend that explain exactly what IA is?" (Metafilter)
"As the information glut moves more and more online, our skills and expertise are fundamental to the success of an audience intent on finding the information they seek." (Erin Malone - Boxes and Arrows)
DRAFT Case Study Proposal for IA Summit 2003 (Anne Galloway)
"(...) serves to advance the design of shared information environments. We support a global community infrastructure that connects people, ideas, content, and tools. Through research, education, advocacy and community service, we promote excellence within our field and build bridges to related disciplines and organizations." (About AIfIA)
"As an Information Architect with quite a bit of large scale website IA experience, I wanted to include a section on IA for both discussion and resource purposes." (Miguel Graça)
"One of the first things you learn about information architecture is that your Web site needs to be organized the way users think it should be organized. Unfortunately, this never happens. In fact, it should never happen." (Jeff Lash - Digital Web Magazine)
"The presentation (...) illustrates how an information architecture based on taxonomies and metadata can be used to make a number of basic Web site and Intranet functions more flexible and dynamic." (Amy J. Warner - Lexonomy)
Sample chapter from 'Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web' (Christina Wodtke)
"Architecture as a discipline is a merger of science and art, joining the breadth of engineering and aesthetics with human use." (grokdotcom)
"Card sorting is an excellent approach to help you choose your classifications. It can help shortcut long, tedious and often fruitless debate." (Gerry McGovern)
"To get a quality result, classification design requires a workshop approach." (Gerry McGovern)
"Classification design should follow the 'geniuses steal, beggars borrow' rule. Your job is not to come up with some innovative way to classify your content. It is to find a classification that works." (Gerry McGovern)
"If you are a knowledge worker, a key skill you require is how to classify content. Classification skills are needed in order to better organize content on your computer, for your emails, and for how you compose documents." (Gerry McGovern)
"(...) this book can teach almost anyone the beginnings of what they need to know about how to define a web site's structure to facilitate information retrieval." (James McNally - Digital Web Magazine)
"This month's issue of Digital Web focuses entirely on information architecture, and this is the first monthly column titled "IAnything Goes" which will address information architecture on its own." (Jeff Lash - Digital Web Magazine)
"Concept maps, wireframes, storyboards, and flow-maps speak to different audiences at different stages of the development cycle." (Richard Fulcher et al. - UPA 2002)
"(...) devoted to knowledge accumulated about the design of information spaces. The material in this site is divided into cases, templates, and principles. It is being developed with a view to create a knowledge-based information space design environment." (Information Architecture: Shaping Knowledge into Form)
"There are several important factors to consider when you are planning to do prototyping for user testing. You will want to make careful choices about fidelity, level of interactivity and the medium of your prototype." (Chris Farnum - Boxes and Arrows)
Presentation at the 5th AIGA Advance for Design Summit (Louis Rosenfeld)
"Defining information architecture is a re-occuring theme in all IA forums, and frequently leads to re-naming efforts as well, from information therapist to experience designer." (IAWiki)
A Report from the IA Summit 2002 (Andrew Dillon - ASIS&T Bulletin 28.5)
"Developing an action-oriented website begins with your homepage." (Gerry McGovern)
"This case study focuses on three aspects of particular interest: the approach to schematics (i.e., wireframes), an automated page layout technique referred to as 'jumping boxes', and a user test that compared the performance of a left-hand navigation to a right-hand navigation." (James Kalbach - Boxes and Arrows)
"If you want to master information architecture you need to acquire the type of skills Tolkien exhibits." (Gerry McGovern)
"(...) a systematic, question-based process for creating communication products that improve users’ performance." (Info.Design)
"The information structure and terminology of a Web site is an essential element of its ease of use" (Jianming Dong - IBM/Ease-of-Use 2002 Papers)
"(...) we need better stories to tell." (Louis Rosenfeld - Bloug)
"I could probably put it in one simple word - respect." (David Heller - Boxes and Arrows)
"Information architecture is the process of designing the access to information so that users can rely mainly on their intuition to navigate quickly and productively around the site." (Martin White - EContent)
"I was playing around with this fairly stream-of-consciousness kind of diagram to get a clearer picture of how the different types of research and deliverables you do as an IA feed into the process and the team." (Poor But Happy)
"We welcome your comments and additional links that add intelligently to any of our Top 10 lists." (TaskZ.com)
"(...) a list of the summary postings from useful threads" (Scott Berkun - UIWeb)
"For sites to reach their full potential, information architects must become the work and create form from chaos." (Michael Graber - Design Interact)
"At the IA Summit in March 2002, I presented a poster defining wireframes and exploring their pros and cons." (Green Onions)
"(...) it's critical that IAs be involved in deeply understanding organizations and their customers." (Adaptive Path)
"In practicing user-centered design, there are few tools for making that leap from user research into the design process." (Adaptive Path)
"Dimensions are the key features or aspects that are used to describe or understand information." (Roger Evernden - 4thresource)
More will be added as they become available. (ASIS&T 2002 IA Summit)
"(...) information architecture needs more than a loosely knit band of adherents rallying around the label." (Andrew Dillon - ASIST Bulletin 28.3)
"The IA Summit, held in Baltimore last weekend, was a smashing success (...)" (Louis Rosenfeld)
Despite the decentralized, unorganized, and heterogeneous nature of the web, where millions of individuals with different backgrounds, cultures, and goals operate independently, the study shows that the structure of the web self-organizes into communities of related information." (Gary Flake et al. - NEC)
"I hoped to have a budget that would cover: A series of IA studies with a firm like Argus $300,000. (...)" (The Rogue Librarian)
Conference Full Schedule (American Society for Information, Science and Technology - Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
"(...) the definitive source for the complex task of bringing architecture and design to the digital landscape." (About Boxes and Arrows)
Secrets and Messages (Jesse James Garrett)
"Hierarchies are a way to structure complex systems, such as organizations, technical devices, or software." (Gerd Waloszek - Usability Engineering Center of SAP AG)
Tomorrow's Architect (Jesse James Garrett)
User Feedback (John Rhodes - WebWord)
Then a Micacle Occurs (Jesse James Garrett)
"The first generation of Websites has been built with a radical misunderstanding and misrepresentation of users' expectations and practices." (Stefana Broadbent & Francesco Cara - text-e)
IA Tools and Approaches (Lisa Bleyn & Sabrina Jetton - Computer-Human Interaction Forum of Oregon)
The Srygley Lecture (Alison J. Head)
Tribal Customs (Jesse James Garrett)
"(...) certain words or phrases which take on additional meaning specific to IA." (IAWiki)
The Discipline and the Role (Jesse James Garrett) - courtesy of iaslash
"As we embrace the lessons of complex adaptive systems, we must explore the territory of post-modern innovation architecture, using bottom-up methods to incubate online ecologies and economies that exhibit the capacity to learn and evolve over time."
"(...) to explain information architecture in a very simple and clear manner." (John Rhodes -WebWord)
"Web design is primarily concerned with the organization and presentation of text-based content. This requires metadata, classification, navigation, search, layout and graphic design skills." (Gerry McGovern)
"(...) information architecture is the foundation of a useful web site." (Abel Lenz - Design Interact)
"Quality web design is driven by information architecture design principles. Graphic design should support these principles." (Gerry McGovern)
"An IA component is any part of an information system (e.g., a web site) that gets users to content." (Louis Rosenfeld)
"(...) ideas associated with the phrase "information architecture" and relates them to aspects of the library- and information-science (LIS) professions." (R. E. Wyllys, GSLIS - Univ. of Texas Austin)
"The ACIA received 172 responses to this survey (...)" (Argus Center for Information Architecture)
"Without professional classification a website becomes a jumble yard of content that is confusing and time wasting." (Gerry McGovern)
"We all know that a solid information architecture is required for a commercial site, right?" (Madhu Menon)
"(...) to test a proposed or existing categorization scheme of a website to determine how well the categories and items are understood by users." (NIST Web Metrics)
"(...) the definitive source for the complex task of bringing architecture and design to the digital landscape." (contact B&A)
PowerPoint Presentation (Raoul Rickenberg and Lilian Svec - AIGA Experience Design)
"(...) a hopeful attempt to discuss and capture ideas that may lead to useful shared services for the information architecture community" - (Louis Rosenfeld et al.)
"(...) a collection of information from the 'Practicing Information Architecture' Special Interest Group meeting at CHI 2001" (Keith Instone)
"(...) the science of designing the labelling, navigation, organization and search systems to help people find and manage information more successfully." (Chris Rourke - User Vision)
"This discipline is applicable to every project that delivers anything with interaction (an online interface, a document, a process)." (Paula Thornton - TDAN Perspective)
"(...) sharing updated Power Point slides from the panel and have links to more information about each of the panelists." (Keith Instone)
"An experimental collaborative discussion space (...)" (IAwiki.net)
"My presentation aims to give the audience a framework or model - a thing to think with (...)" (Matt Jones - Black Belt Jones)
"(...) as long as we're choosing new titles, I'd like to change mine to 'brain surgeon'." (Jessica Helfand - brushtroke.tv)
"(...) the art and science of organizing information to facilitate its rapid and intuitive retrieval" (Adam Greenfield - V-2)
The IA of IKEA Stores (Kate Hagedorn)
"Some believe information architects should only concerned with the structure of hard information. I disagree." (Tim Salam)
A Sketch of Web Site Design Practice (Mark W. Newman and James A. Landay - Group for User Interface Research)
Information Architecture (Google)
"A broken link is a sign of an unprofessional website." (Gerry McGovern)
"(...) a resource-hub for Information Architects" (The Hey Hey IA - NYC)
"Information Architecture is the organization, labeling and structuring of data for content based applications such as Internet websites." (Klariti)
"(...) some preliminary information architecture principles for accessible Web design" (Stella O'Brien and Dr. Simon Polovina)
"(...) user needs analysis is crucial to the user-centred design process" (Mark McLaughlin - Intranet Journal)
"(...) to learn about what information resources and events members of the field used to learn about and keep up with information architecture" (ACIA)
"Includes comments by Richard Saul Wurman, Karen Schriver, Lou Rosenfeld, and many more" (STC Information Design SIG - Design Matters)
"(...) information architecture is designing information that people understand and use to make their business more successful" (M. Johnson)
Notes from the New York City Information Architecture and Usability Meeting
"(...) interest in this topic shows no sign of abating" (Andrew Dillon - ASIS Bulletin)
"(...) explore the kinds of diagram that can visually represent a web site" (Paul Kahn - Dynamic Diagrams)
"One who designs and supervises the construction of knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction, or knowledge of a specific event or situation, or a collection of facts or data" (Stephen Downes - NewsTrolls)
"This site was created as part of a research paper on information architecture" (David Nangle)
"(...) or how to thrive and survive in the B2B cyberspace" (Howard Smith CSC Europe)
"(...) information architects and designers can glean tips in how to help people deal with choice-overload." (Paul Whitmore of E*trade Group - Multi-University/Research Laboratory Seminar Series)
"Surfing the waves of information can be exhausting, complex, and at times, even dangerous" (Uriel Abulof - Internet.com)
"(...) those who turn their hand to information architecture often assume that they have to abandon the Mac platform to do the job" (Apple Developer OS X)
"A 'band of coherence' for information sharing" (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
"(...) a multidisciplinary degree that provides opportunities for students interested in graduate studies and research in the broad range of information-related disciplines and professions" (Thomas J. Froehlich - SLIS)
"(...) the first ASIST hot button of the 21st century" (Andrew Dillon - ASIS Bulletin)
"(...) there is a need to refine and clarify the role of the information architect" (Karen Parolek - ASIS Bulletin)
"(...) information architects and user interface designers are having trouble communicating with each other" (George Olsen - A List Apart)
"(...) collaborative discussion and development on IA standardization" (email@example.com)
Education and Training Needs for Information Architects (Argus Center for Information Architecture)
"(...) information architects are computer scientists who design information spaces" (Dale Hunscher)
"(...) provides enriching and educational online experiences of further reading" (Addwise)
"Argus (...) brought the discipline of library science to making Web pages easier to navigate and use." (Mat Roush in Michigan CrainTech)
"... is ceasing operations this month." (Argus Associates - Louis Rosenfeld)
"(...) what information architecture can do" (v2)
"(...) you first need to understand the way the content will be used most effectively" (Karuna Kapoor and Ved Bhusan Sen in Webtechniques)
"The ABCs of a Profession on the Rise" (Andrew Dillon Column in ASIS Bulletin)
"We're a young profession" (Argus Center for Information Architecture)
"(...) resources related to the topic of information architecture" - updated (Argus Center for Information Architecture)
"(...) many in the Information Architecture community have debated the value of formal educational credentials" (Zoomerang)
A New Opportunity (WebReference.com)
"This lesson discusses ideas associated with the phrase 'information architecture' and relates them to aspects of the library- and information-science (LIS) professions" (Graduate School of Library and Information Science - University of Texas)
"Seven Pitfalls to Avoid in Information Architecture" (Lou Rosenfeld in Internetworld)
"(...) a system of working wherein IAs may more effectively create and maintain their documentation" (Michael Kopcsak)
"An information architecture notation" (Dana Lee - Silverboots)
"Information architecture still has a long way to go" (Business 2.0 on Richard Saul Wurman's 'Information Anxiety 2')
"Information Architecture is the practice of designing the infrastructure of a Web site, specifically the navigation" (iBoost)
"Information Architecture that adapt to use" (Peter Merholz)
"(...) the official journal of the American Society for Information Science" (John Willey & Son)
For Describing Information Architecture and Interaction Design (Jesse James Garrett)
"(...) a neighborhood-by-neighborhood tour of an information architecture" (Webmaster Mike O'Connor)
An Electronic Web Guide (Maureen Clements)
"(...) many organizations undertake morphing their Web sites into Web applications with little thought for architecture" (Grady Booch in IBM: The Expert Perspective)
"The Index is the Key" (Contact Seth Maislin)
"Information Architect: a job that is becoming increasingly more important as the world moves to the Web" (Mercury Center)
(Monster Technology 1999)
(EduCorner: Building an Educative Site)
(Ivan Walsh of Parallel Internet)
shaping knowledge into form (The Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT)
(Mark Hurst - GoodExperience)