Tag Archives | information architecture

The History of Information Architecture…And What’s Changing

Great panel to kick off the conference:

Changes they’ve seen:

  • Schleicher notes that today, more developers are moving toward IA, and prototyping is changing the conversation.
  • Scott worked at Borders.com 10 years ago, and notes that companies who don’t support ecommerce and the web do not succeed anymore.
  • Schleicher points out that people are increasingly recognizing the value of context in any decision.

Schleicher: You need to understand the impact you want to have, as much as you need to understand the user.

Stemen would love to get rid of the idea that everything needs to fit into a hierarchy. [I love this idea, but I also still struggle with getting people to understand the need for organization, finadability and even the customer experience -- never mind getting them to go beyond hierarchy.]

Schleicher: Still absolutely essential to visit real users and see their spaces or places. Did work for Ford and visited customers…and their cars. Made very effective decisions for the website based on knowing how real people used their cars.

Question from the audience: Does the panel expect all IAs will have to have development skills in the future?

Scott says no. It’s fine to, but the skills of communication, empathy and user understanding are central to IA.

Stemen: Cites Paul Resnick as saying that when you design at the edge of your understanding, your design will be amateurish. You need to understand a couple of levels deeper than where you’re designing.

Question from the audience: How have end users changed?

Scott: What hasn’t changed is basic biology and cognitive structures. What has changed is how much we use technology and how much more [frequently] we relate to it. Technology will be pervasive.

Schleicher: Most user research done 10 years ago is obsolete and dead. The user will be dead in 5 years — we will have technology as our copilot and not our servant. The changing demands of the workplace are radical right now.

Danger for the future: Stemen says his concern for the future is that IAs become all about documentation and just have to update the wireframes to match the comps….[Oh wait. That happens already.]

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I’m Blogging From World IA Day in Ann Arbor

Today I’m blogging at World IA Day in Ann Arbor, MI. Part of a worldwide day to celebrate and learn about the discipline of information architecture, the Michigan event is kicking off shortly on the University of Michigan campus.

I’m on the board of the Information Architecture Institute, a worldwide organization that promotes the discipline and practice of IA. Learn more — and join — at the IA Institute website.

For more from World IA Day all over the world, follow #wiad on Twitter.

My posts from World IA Day-Ann Arbor

The History of Information Architecture — And What’s Changing

The Future[s] of IA

Architecting Search-Engine Friendly Websites

Letting Go of Perfection: Developing IA Agility

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Wonderful video on information

You’ve got to make the time to watch this hour-long video on stats, information and the power they give us. If you’ve been hanging around the web for long at all, you’ve likely seen some of Hans Rosling’s and the Gapminder Foundation’s work before, but I love how this video makes clear how information is so interesting and attainable — and critical to our continued progress.

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Learn where to put the peanut butter

I’m blogging today over on the Digital Nashville site. Digital Nashville is one of our great local tech organizations — we have a growing tech community here, and DN connects some of the best marketers and tech folks.

Learn where to put the peanut butter [and how to handle other thorny questions of website structure] today in my post over on the Digital Nashville site.

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