“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
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
In 2004, UX design professional Peter Boersma suggested that information architecture was one of the many disciplines that come together to shape the multidisciplinary practice of user experience design for the Web. He titled the diagram he used to express this concept The T-model, shown in Figure 1. Before Boersma’s articulation of this viewpoint, many information architects had considered the practice of information architecture as the overarching umbrella, referring to this as Big IA.
Since Boersma created his diagram, many respected practitioners of information architecture have adopted a similar position. In his 2008 IA Summit plenary, Andrew Hinton described the practice of information architecture as one of a tribe of many disciplines that contribute to the broader practice of user experience design. And in their latest book, Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing Cross-Channel Experiences,  Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati have concurred with Boersma—referring to the practice of information architecture as a necessary part of the user experience design elephant. Read More