Role of the Information Architect
"An Information Architect
organizes a website so that users have a better online experience. In general, their main
responsibilities are to: assign tasks to team members."
Difference between Usability and Information Architecture
"Though the terms Usability and
Information Architecture are often understood to be the same thing, this is not true.
Information Architecture focuses on how to design information. On the web, this involves
reading text, labeling items, creating navigation systems, searching for data, using
content and so forth."
Creating User-Focused Site Designs
"For your site to succeed, arrange the content around the user's needs.
Many novice web designers underestimate the difficulty in designing an effective site
structure, especially one that will be appreciated by novice and experienced users. Thus,
before any coding starts, gather, sort and organize your content. The more time spent on
this, the more success visitors will have on your site."
Macromedia Flash Design Guidelines
"Developing web-based multimedia poses
a significant challenge for web designers as it requires an in-depth understanding of
various aspects of Internet technologies, such as user requirements, hypertext navigation,
bandwidth considerations, usability, and browser settings. Nonetheless, people now expect
sophisticated websites with multimedia playing a central role in their online experience.
What is Information Architecture?
"This emerging field has become more prominent in recent years as websites have grown
increasing complex and users demand more friendly navigation systems. Information
Architects organize content, such as text, labels, graphics, and shopping carts, so that
users can understand the site's content and do things faster on the
Selection of feature words and proper names that reflect the main topics of the text "Automatic text categorization is an important research area and has a potential
for many text-based applications including text routing and filtering. Typical text
classifiers learn from example texts that are manually categorized. In this paper we
discuss the categorization of magazine articles with broad subject descriptors."
The CSNA is a non-profit interdisciplinary organization whose purposes are to promote the
scientific study of classification and clustering (including systematic methods of
creating classifications from data), and to disseminate scientific and educational
information related to its fields of interests.
Magazine for using taxonomies in knowledge organization
"Taxonomy software can reduce our reaction time to
make informed and timely business decisions based on knowledge and information contained
within the unstructured data of an organization's digital documents. This software helps
us form ideas from information we didn't know we had while revealing relationships and
correlations that were submerged or lost in the depths of the ocean of information
Learning how to classify | How to classify
content by Gerry McGovern http://www.gerrymcgovern.com.
"Design classification like it will be 'written in stone.' You don't want to be
changing your classification every six months. This will mean a lot of work and will
create confusion." http://www.gerrymcgovern.com/nt/
Finding the Flow in Web Site Search Marti Hearst, Jennifer English, Rashmi Sinha, Kirsten Swearingen, and Ping Yee. pdf or html
Hierarchical Faceted Metadata in Site Search Interfaces Jennifer English, Marti Hearst, Rashmi Sinha, Kirsten Swearingen, and Ping Yee PDF
Master Degree in Information Architecture The IAKM Master's degree requires 48 credit hours: 24 hours in the core and 24
hours within a concentration. The core program provides competencies in information
technologies, information design, information seeking behavior, strategic planning, and
information users and uses. Contact Sharon Edwards at
firstname.lastname@example.org The prospectus is
Information Architecture Ecomp 308 The class will focus on work world applications, structuring documents,
briefings, websites, electronic interfaces, and electronic support systems. The class will
appeal especially to technical writers, webmasters, designers, or records managers who are
looking for integrative solutions to communications problems. Details at the USDA site: http://grad.usda.gov/evening/summer/info.html
Information Architecture for Indexers
"This article will start with a brief description of my background and expertise and
will continue with the goals of this discussion. We will then explore the nature of
information architecture (IA), including the importance of users, context and content. We
will conclude with a discussion of one possible IA process." http://www.contextualanalysis.com/publications-IAforindexers.doc
Information Architecture Project
This MIT project is collecting the design principles that create navigable information
spaces. "What if we could explore information like we explore the world around
us? Humans have a rich awareness of location and situation that directs how we
interpret and interact with our environment. The Information Architecture project seeks to
create information spaces, where people will use this awareness to search, browse, and
learn. In the same way that they navigate in the physical environment, they will navigate
through knowledge. "
Information Retrieval Online text of a
book by Dr. C.J. van Rijsbergen. "Information retrieval is a wide, often
loosely-defined term but in these pages I shall be concerned only with automatic
information retrieval systems. Automatic as opposed to manual and information as opposed
to data or fact. Unfortunately the word information can be very misleading. In the context
of information retrieval (IR), information, in the technical meaning given in Shannon's
theory of communication, is not readily measured"
Knowledge Interchange Format
(KIF) DARPA project based format for exchanging pieces of knowledge bases.
"Knowledge Interchange Format (KIF) is a language designed for use in the interchange
of knowledge among disparate computer systems (created by different programmers, at
different times, in different languages, and so forth)."
Information Architecture - as described by the
The Art of Information Architecture http://www.iboost.com/build/backend/arch/644.htm
Aaron West introduction to one of the core tenants of IA: understand the problem, plan the
solution, create the design.
Seven deadly sins http://home.netscape.com/
Sin 1: Forgetting who your users are
Sin 2: Not creating a flowchart
Sin 3: Not organizing your content
Sin 4: Not using consistent navigation
Sin 5: Using unclear link colours
Sin 6: Using the TITLE tag incorrectly.
Sin 7: Not looking ahead.
"Your site will change over time - you'll want to add information, prune old
pages, incorporate new technologies and tags, and perhaps give it a complete visual
overhaul. The best way to handle such changes is to come up with a plan for growth now,
while you're in the early stages of design."
The intersection of these issues can be addressed by the process of Information
Interaction Design. In other circles, it is called simply Information Design,
Information Architecture, or Interaction Design, Instructional Design, or just plain
Scott Jason Cohen's Curse of Information Design http://www.alistapart.com/stories/curse/ To many, the information architect seems redundant. If the project involves heavy
back-end implementation, the system and user flow will already be determined. In terms of
layout, a good visual designer will know not to make a page too damn cluttered. So why use
an information architect and his unparalleled influence in creating the site?
Mark Hurst of Creative Good http://www.goodexperience.com/columns/040300infoarch.html
"The main difference between information architecture and customer experience is the
foundation of each. Customer experience is founded on empathy with, and understanding of,
the customer. Information architecture, on the other hand, is based on an
understanding of information. "
Real world examples of key
wording in action, shows a wide variety of associated pictures with key words. This
basic key word document from the Picture Agency Council
of America (PACA) covers a lot of information in two pages.
Metadata and Searching
Finding the Flow in Web Site Search. Marti Hearst,
Jennifer English, Rashmi Sinha, Kirsten Swearingen, and Ping Yee. pdf or html
Hierarchical Faceted Metadata in Site Search Interfaces Jennifer English, Marti Hearst, Rashmi Sinha, Kirsten Swearingen, and Ping Yee pdf
Look Before You Ask http://www.digital-web.com/columns/wideopen/wideopen_2002-07.shtml
by David Wertheimer. "Let search remain to maximize your site's usability, but
tone down its presentation just enough to encourage a click or two. The goal is not to
eliminate search as an option, but to expose the audience to an alternate, and possibly
superior, mode of site navigation."
The Scorpion Projectis a project of
the OCLCOffice of Research exploring the indexing and
cataloging of electronic resources. Since subject information is key to advanced
retrieval, browsing, and clustering, the primary focus of Scorpion is the building of
tools for automatic subject recognition based on well known schemes like the Dewey Decimal System
WranglersExamines the features and capabilities of leading
classification products. "Automatic classification tools transform enterprise
documents from "bags of words" into knowledge resources" Katherine Adams
Strategically"Taxonomies are structures that provide a way of
classifying things -- living organisms, products, books -- into a series of hierarchical
groups to make them easier to identify, study, or locate. Taxonomies consist of two parts
-- structures and applications. Structures consist of the categories (or terms) themselves
and the relationships that link them together. Applications are the navigation tools
available to help users find information."
are knowledge representation tools, typically used in natural and life sciences to
understand, group and classify nature, like plants and animals."
Automated Categorization of Web Sites"In this
paper we analyze the nature of web content and metadata and requirements for
text features. We present an approach for targeted spidering including metadata extraction
and opportunistic crawling of specific semantic hyperlinks. We describe a system for
automatically classifying web sites into industry categories and present performance
results based on different combinations of text features and training data."
TaxonomiesImplementation of taxonomies to organize organizational
knowledge. "The only thing harder than finding any particular item of
information may be finding it again" Sarah L. Roberts-Witt