In my previous columns, I’ve framed my discussions around the practice of information architecture. To recap, the DSIA Research Initiative—of which I am the curator—defines the practice of information architecture as “the effort of organizing and relating information in a way that simplifies how people navigate and use content on the Web.” While the practice of information architecture can surely extend beyond the Web and its content, this IA practice definition eschews theoretical language to resonate with businesses looking for concrete Web solutions and practitioners who want to make a living off something tangible.
In the end, business clients don’t pay practitioners to practice information architecture; they pay professionals to produce IA work products that help them to meet their business objectives. So, of the many professional interests that come together to create a digital experience, what work products make the practice of information architecture unique? Read More
“The practice of information architecture is the effort of organizing and relating information in a way that simplifies how people navigate and use information on the Web.”—DSIA Research Initiative
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 (IA). Read More
Lately, I’ve been writing columns that are not specifically about information architecture (IA), but more about how the cultures of business and technology can challenge our ability to do good work. For example, my last column discusses how to make progress in agile team environments. And my column before that walks through three steps for putting bad ideas to rest before they get off the ground. This month’s column confronts another formidable challenge: buzzwords.
Buzzwords are double-edged swords that both validate successful practices and can become the bane of thoughtful UX professionals who must manage the unrealistic expectations that emerge along with the hype and misinformation. Buzzwords often become so popular that people co-opt them for distinctly different purposes—thus, disconnecting them from their original value proposition. Read More