Archive for the ‘Information Architecture’ Category


The Decentralization of Information Architecture

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Santoas Beach in Singapore
Above: The palm that shaded me as I read Everything is Misc.

What do these photos I took yesterday have to do with the title?

This is the first time I’ve taken personal time off since I started work nearly 7 months ago. I guess I’m having too much fun running around meeting the movers and shakers in the web industry, there’s just too much good stuff and it constantly keeps me pumped.

I had a chance to unwind yesterday in Singapore, and cruised over to Santosa Island, the southern most tip of the Asian continent. Maybe I’m a real web geek, but I even brought along David Weinberger, of well not him personally, but his book Everything is Miscellaneous, which I’m continuing to chug through. His book suggests that over-categorizations by centralized sources is inefficient and ineffective. By letting the crowd sort it out, and can actually be more useful. If you’re an information architect you should really be reading this book. The choices presented to consumers are nearly unlimited. For some reason I started to think about classification systems at the beach and multiple facets to place on items, even sand. One of the biggest challenges for User Experience professionals isn’t building the website, but understanding their audience. There’s a podcast interview of David Weinberger if you want to know more.

It’s 2am and I was woken up by a large explosion! I though a building had crumbled down the block, as I looked out the window I realized it was a tropical storm, extremely loud thunder and bright lighting, I counted over a dozen instances as it drifted off. (you can tell if you count seconds between lighting and thunder).

And if you’re not sure what Information Architecture is, and why it matters to a web strategy, check out this interview I did with Chris Baum.

The bridge to paradise Santoas Beach in Singapore

The Bridge to Paradise, here’s the specific Google satellite map, you can see the bridge.

Web Strategy Show: Understanding Information Architecture for the Modern Web Team with Chris Baum

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So you have a massive website with hundreds of pages, each with documents, text, and media on them. How the heck is a user going to find this content? Navigate? Search? ask someone else? In this video with Chris Baum, (The editor in chief of Boxes and Arrows) to understand what is Information Architecture and how applying these principles will help you.

Find out:

What is Information Architecture?
Why is it important?
What role should they play in content creation?
What’s the difference between “Big IA” and “Little IA”
Online resources: Boxes and Arrows

I filmed this at Portland’s Convention center at Webvisions right in the hallway, so we get to experience the natural environment, including some curious onlookers. Have you seen my other shows? I’m on a quest to interview the top minds and practitioners in User Experience, Web Analytics, and Web Strategy.

Rocky here at PodTech has done yet another great job making it look very professional, thanks man!

Not sure what User Experience(UX) books to read? The UX Zeitgeist will tell you!

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Yesterday at E-Metrics I had the pleasure of spending some time with Louis Rosenfeld, the father of Information Architecture. He first brought this field about after observing a need from his applied background in library sciences to the great world wide web. His book, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (3rd and latest version here) was an influence on me, (my version, not tattered) when I was organizing information for the enterprise intranet at World Savings.

Louis continues to be a resource to the greater web community, as he’s lead a project that helps to identify which books, manuscripts, and resources are the most helpful to the community. In the spirit of the people, this project relies heavily on ‘crowd sourcing’ so this list is not an editorial list, but a list from the people.

What’s the name of this resource? It’s the UX Zeitgeist:


Q: What is UX Zeitgeist?
A: UX Zeitgeist combines input from the UX community with data from a variety of web services to generate an unequaled collection of UX books and related topics. UX Zeitgeist also profiles the trends that describe the field’s evolution.

More from the UX Zeitgeist FAQ section. If you’re seeking where other UX and IAs hang out, you could also check out the Information Architect Institute. I have a fun job, I get to learn from the leaders in our industry, and Louis was no exception.