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Information architecture

Information architecture is the categorization of information into a coherent structure, preferably one that most people can understand quickly, if not inherently. (source: Wikipedia)

The present and future of information architecture

IA is not like a polar bear, but like a cat. Multiple lives. The next live of IA will much more complicated that the previous one.

Interview with Peter Morville. ~ “We’re in an era of service ecosystems. This means we must wrangle with the challenges of digital strategy and cross-channel user experience.”

(Timothy Jaeger ~ Medium)

Why UX designers need to think like architects

Design and architecture or architecting. Designer and architect. More parallels than differences: bits and atoms.

“The connections between architectural and experience design are undeniable, the thought processes nearly indistinguishable from one another. When we explore other, older design disciplines, their evolution may begin to guide ours, and we may begin to truly innovate. We are truly the architects, the chief builders, of the web (…)”

(Rima Reda a.k.a. @rimareda ~ UX Magazine)

The seduction of semantics and the third wave

Only the discourse will bring our field forward. Not the table tennis of opinions.

“If there’s a third wave, a new spirit, a , it’s because we can build on 20 years of continuous practice and research and some 40 years of framing a common problem space. We are as much moving on as we are bringing it all back home: it’d be great if we could do that without paying too much attention to the sirens of unnecessary semantics. It’s a waste of time and we have a ton of work to do.”

(Andreas Resmini a.k.a. @resmini)

Information Architecture Summit 2014 Closing Plenary

Always a pleasure to read a deep mind.

“We can struggle to create a positive vision for the future as individuals, organizations, and societies. We’re in the midst of an in between stage of liminality. We’re on the threshold of sustainability or collapse. To thrive, we will need to change culture. It won’t be fast, but a little change can add up. It won’t be easy, but there’s no other way. And I know this community will contribute, because it’s all about connecting the dots…”

(Peter Morville a.k.a. @morville)

The battle for the body field

Content chunck and design. XML revival?

“Richer, more flexible designs can coexist with the demands of multichannel publishing; future design changes can sidestep the laborious process of scrubbing old content blobs; and simpler, streamlined tools can help editors and authors produce better content faster. By combining the best of XML and structured web content, we can make the body field safe for future generations.”

(Jeff Eaton ~ A List Apart)

Accreditation for UX Professionals?

Formal power entering the field of UX. Who’s to decided?

“Are educational institutions equipped to prepare UX designers for the workplace of the future as advances in technology outpace those in education? Should the UX community be pushing for levels of accreditation to verify that someone has the skills and education necessary to call himself or herself a UX designer? How can an employer ensure that a candidate meets their expectations for a role in user experience?”

(Chris R. Becker ~ UXmatters)

Intranet information architecture trends

Any information environment needs structure, therefore IA. Intranets not exclused.

“Intranets are improving findability and discoverability by organizing content by task rather than department, using megamenus to present deep content, offering clear cues to help orient users, and providing shortcuts to important pages and tools.”

(Marieke McCloskey ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

Architecting the connected world

Integration, synergy and connections of bits and atoms. A new design ecosystem with many options.

“We’re at a revolutionary information crossroads, one where our symbolic and physical worlds are coming together in an unprecedented way. Our temptation thus far has been to drive ahead with technology and to try to fit all the pieces together with the tried and true methods of literacy and engineering. Accepting that the shape of this new world is not the same as what we have known up until now does not mean we have to give up attempts to shape it to our common good.”

(Andy Fitzgerald a.k.a. @andybywire ~ Radar O’Reilly)

A conversation on the architecture of information

This is a discours, not just conversation

“The big question: Is this still information architecture? (…) I can’t answer that question for everyone, of course, but yes, it’s definitely IA from my perspective and in my (scientific) narrative.”

(Andreas Resmini a.k.a. @resmini)

The architecture of information

It’s academic, so it must be European. Go Andreas, go!

“This paper maintains that in the epistemological shift from postmodernism to pseudo-modernism, technological, economic, social, and cultural elements of change have thoroughly transformed the scenario in which information architecture operated in the late 1990s and have eroded its channel-specific connotation as a website-only, inductive activity, opening the field up to contributions coming from the theory and practice of design and systems thinking, architecture, cognitive science, cultural studies and new media. The paper argues, through a thorough discussions of causes and effects and selected examples taken from the practice, that contemporary information architecture can be thus framed as a fundamentally multi-disciplinary sense-making cultural construct concerned with the structural integrity of meaning in complex, information-based cross-channel ecosystems.”

(Andreas Resmini a.k.a. @resmini)

Towards a new information architecture: The rise and fall and rise of a necessary discipline

That’s why the byline of this stream is ‘Understanding by Design’.

“Taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, those are just tools. Metadata is just a material. Information Architecture is about making meaning out of piles of facts. Who cares how you do it, or in what medium? (…) Information Architects are in the understanding business. Clarity is their north star, and organizing and clarification are their tools. We may have a new tsunami of data. But we also have information architects ready to help. Let us never forget how much we need them.”

(Christina Wodtke a.k.a. @cwodtke)

Adopting a professional compass for information architecture

Sailing the volatile oceans of digital transformation, you need a compass, maps and a sense of direction.

“In this column, I’ll demonstrate that, with an IA compass in place, expressing the value that information architecture delivers to a business becomes clearer. The IA compass that I’ll describe is absent of theoretical and technical rhetoric and focuses on a greater good. This greater good is one that is most likely to resonate with our business and marketing colleagues. While it is important that they acquire a general understand of information architecture, they are more interested in how information architecture fits into their business model and delivers value.”

(Nathaniel Davis a.k.a. @iatheory ~ UXmatters)

Architecture, design, and the connected environment

Great description of the distinction between architecture and design. Like InfoArch and InfoDesign, human cognition and perception.

“(…) user interface design is a context-specific articulation of an underlying information architecture. It is this IA foundation that provides the direct connection to how human end users find value in content and functionality. The articulatory relationship between architecture and design creates consistency of experience across diverse platforms and works to communicate the underlying information model we’ve asked users to adopt. (…) This basic distinction between architecture and design is not a new idea, but in the context of the Internet of Things, it does present architects and designers with a new set of challenges. In order to get a better sense of what has changed in this new context, it’s worth taking a closer look at how the traditional model of IA for the web works.”

(Andy Fitzgerald a.k.a. @andybywire & +Andy Fitzgerald ~ O’Reilly)

The lingering seduction of the page

Great to see IA being pushed around like mad.

“(…) I examined the articulatory relationship between information architecture and user interface design, and argued that the tools that have emerged for constructing information architectures on the web will only get us so far when it comes to expressing information systems across diverse digital touchpoints. Here, I want to look more closely at these traditional web IA tools in order to tease out two things: (1) ways we might rely on these tools moving forward, and (2) ways we’ll need to expand our approach to IA as we design for the Internet of Things.”

(Andy Fitzgerald a.k.a. @andybywire & +Andy Fitzgerald ~ O’Reilly)

IA and business strategy: An evolving relationship

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.”

(Andrew Hinton a.k.a. @inkblurt ~ The Understanding Group)

Classification and its consequences

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.”

(Andreas Resmini a.k.a. @resmini)