Category Archives: Information architecture

Flexible Fuel: Educating the Client on IA

“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.”

Richard Saul Wurman interview

“With the publication of his first book in 1962 at the age of 26, RSW began the singular passion of his life: making information understandable. He chaired the International Design in Aspen in 1972, the first Federal Design Assembly in 1973, followed by the National AIA Convention in 1976, before creating and chairing TED (Technology/Entertainment/Design) conferences from 1984-2002. He is the current Chair of the TEDMED Conferences. A B.Arch and M.Arch 1959 graduate with highest honors from the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Wurman’s nearly half-century of achievements includes the publication of his best-selling book Information Anxiety and his award winning ACCESS Travel Guides. Each of his 81 books focus on some subject or idea that he personally had difficulty understanding.”

Information R/evolution

One of Michael Wesch’s new videos: “This video explores the changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information. This video was created as a conversation starter, and works especially well when brainstorming with people about the near future and the skills needed in order to harness, evaluate, and create information effectively.”

IA One-Sheeters

“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.”

Maybe information architecture is not sleeping, just resting…

“So, I spurred something of a shitstorm in my post where I commented on information architecture is sleeping. Most people focused on the wrong thing, the cancellation of a workshop, when what I was hoping to expose was the tendency towards isolation and insularity that the community seemed to be falling into. So, I\'ve now returned from the 8th IA Summit, and I\'m thinking of revising my statement.”

Information architecture is not dead, it’s just sleeping

“I have been to every IA Summit (the first was in 2000), and I\'m going to this one with more trepidation than any I have been to before. While I don\'t accord with the sensationalist notion that “information architecture is dead,” I do fear that it is in a deep sleep. And I\'m concerned that the leadership within the field of information architecture are doing little to nothing to really advance the field. For me, an acute sign of this, and the particular cause of my trepidation for this summit, was the cancellation of “Learning Interaction Design from Las Vegas” pre-conference session. This was to be given by three leaders in the field of user experience — Steve Portigal, Bill deRouchey, and my colleague at Adaptive Path, Dan Saffer. It was a brilliant concept — using the location of Las Vegas as material for a day-long workshop on user research and interaction design. Sadly, it fell victim to market forces.”

Information Architecture 3.0

“At a recent gathering of CIOs, I was introduced, not as an information architect, interaction designer, or librarian, but as a futurist. I figure this affords me the latitude to make a prediction. Next year, after the bubble bursts, we will enter the era of Information Architecture 3.0. This won’t surprise Tim O’Reilly who slyly positioned the polar bear atop the #1 Google hit for Web 2.0 and commissioned the third edition just in time to clean up the mess. In fact, this future is self-evident in the undisciplined, unbalanced quest for sexy Ajaxian interaction at the expense of usability, findability, accessibility, and other qualities of the user experience.”

Why am I so angry?

“Last week I set a personal record: started flamewars on four mailing lists. It would have been six or seven, but I realized I was edgy, and decided to not watch the mailing list folders for a few days until I cooled off. But I never cooled off. And I wondered why. I recalled a recent blogpost by Adam Greenfield (hilariously if inaccurately mocked by ok-cancel) and I found a clue. I think he, and Peterme, and Lou and Peter Morville… well, we’re all outgrowing our favorite pair of jeans: IA.”


“Something sunk in a couple of weekends as I attended DCamp. I am without a professional tribe. This realization has grown as I attend various industry events. I’m just not really grooving with the crowds I’m part of.”