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Column: Finding Our Way

UXmatters has published 25 editions of the column Finding Our Way.

Top 3 Trending Finding Our Way Columns

  1. Information Architecture’s Two Schools of Thought

    Finding Our Way

    Navigating the practice of Information Architecture

    A column by Nathaniel Davis
    November 12, 2012

    Anniversaries often cause me to pause for moments of reflection. This anniversary issue of UXmatters is no exception. After a year writing Finding Our Way, my column on information architecture (IA), I am mindful of the challenge that I face each time I discuss information architecture. The harsh reality is that we are still lacking clearly authoritative online resources on this subject. When anyone—myself included—is free to define information architecture by writing on the subject from his or her own perspective, it can be difficult for UX professionals to navigate the practice and principles of information architecture. Oh, the joys of the Internet!

    However, regarding authoritative sources on information architecture, we must give credit to Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld, who in 1998 blazed more than a trail for the concept of information architecture in their book, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web—also known as the polar bear book. They moved mountains and paved a highway that traversed a wealth of topics that helped us to understand the basics of Web site strategy, design, and development. Read More

  2. Digital Experiences Are About People, Not Technology

    Finding Our Way

    Navigating the practice of Information Architecture

    A column by Nathaniel Davis
    May 4, 2015

    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

  3. Getting Your Web Site’s Structure Right

    Finding Our Way

    Navigating the practice of Information Architecture

    A column by Nathaniel Davis
    April 22, 2013

    The title of this column could have been “Getting Your Information Architecture Right.” But, to be honest, my guess is that the majority of people still don’t understand information architecture and the value that it brings to Web sites and other information-technology experiences. Uttering the term information architecture when speaking to a sophisticated business person or even an intelligent lay person typically leads to raised eyebrows and a tilted head—that is, an expression of perplexity—or perhaps curiosity.

    While information architecture, as a term, sounds impressive, it consists of two concepts that can be difficult to grasp—even for IA practitioners and academics.

    Even though the average person deals with many forms of information every day, people’s popular view of information is as an abstract idea that applies to just about anything. Anything can be information. As for the term architecture, it’s equally troublesome. Read More

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