What is Information Architecture (IA)?

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what information architecture is, what an information architect does, and the process of doing information architecture.

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What is Information Architecture (IA)?

  1. 1. What is Information Architecture (IA) Systemically? a quick summary with a brief example... David J. Walczyk, Ed.D. Art | Design | Consciousness dw61@nyu.edu | david@davidwalczyk.com New York University
  2. 2. A system better than the sum of the parts
  3. 3. A system better than the sum of the parts
  4. 4. Richard Saul Wurmancoined the term “Information Architecture” “The individual who organizes the patterns inherent in data, making the complex clear; a person who creates the structure or map of information which allows others to find their personal paths to knowledge; the emerging 21st century professional occupation addressing the needs of the age focused upon clarity, human understanding and the science of the organization of information.”
  5. 5. Conceptually Organizational Context • Goals • Culture • Technology • Resources/constraints • Politics • Etc... User NeedsService Interfaces • Audience • Information • Task • Task completion • Needs • Customization/personalization • Information seeking behaviour • Content • Experience • Etc... • Etc...
  6. 6. Organizationally Organizational Strategy | A deliverable A person ‘User Needs | Content• Mediator • Site map • Wireframes• User-advocate • Interaction design• Helps form and hold • Presentation project vision • Etc...• Translator• Etc... Design Technology
  7. 7. Four interrelated systems 1. Organizational System 2. Labeling System Organizational Strategy ‘User’ Needs Content 3. Navigational System 4. Layout SystemThese systems are INTRINSICALLY related and driven by the interrelationship of (1) Organizational Strategy, (2) ‘User’ Needs, and (3) Content.
  8. 8. A systemic and recursive process Organizational Strategy | ‘User’ Needs | Content Information Navigation/ organization/ Task completion/ Site Map Interaction Graphic Labeling Wireframes Task analysis (if possible) Design Design Content Strategy Testing Revisions Many ways! This is just one! IMPORTANT: Bad IA/UX is the norm because the design is not treatedsystemically as a recursive process driven by a holistic understanding of organizational goals,‘user’ needs, and content.
  9. 9. A Simple Example
  10. 10. Home
  11. 11. Home IA
  12. 12. Home Design
  13. 13. Product Page
  14. 14. (Absorbable) Product Page IA
  15. 15. (Absorbable) Product Page Design
  16. 16. Search
  17. 17. Search IA
  18. 18. Search Design

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