Information Architecture 3.0
Information that’s hard to find will
remain information that’s hardly found.
Peter Morville, IA Summit Redux in Second Life 1
in•for•ma•tion ar•chi•tec•ture n.
• The structural design of shared
• The combination of organization,
labeling, search, and navigation
systems in web sites and intranets.
• The art and science of shaping
information products and experiences
to support usability and findability.
• An emerging discipline and
community of practice focused on
bringing principles of design and
architecture to the digital landscape.
• For every search on cancer.gov,
there are over 100 cancer-related
searches on public search engines.
• Of these searches, 70% are on
specific types of cancer. 7
The quality of being locatable or
The degree to which an object is
easy to discover or locate.
The degree to which a system or
environment supports wayfinding,
navigation, and retrieval.
enveloping (e.g., ambient air)
the ability to find anyone or anything
from anywhere at anytime 9
In the Middle Ages there
were few books, and those
that did exist were usually
kept locked in chests or
cupboards, or chained to
desks in a church.
“This book belongs to the monastery of St. Mary
of Robert's Bridge, whosoever shall steal it, sell
it or in any way alienate it from this house, or
mutilate it, let him be forever cursed.”
Schedule an quot;automatic locatequot; to see where your child is at a given time.
This feature is great for identifying a specific route or series of destinations.
“A quick glance at the
screen shows exactly where
the tagged wheelchairs are
located...Patients wait no
more than a few minutes
for a wheelchair, and we
save $28,000 a month
by eliminating searches.”
“In the information age to come,
cameras and databases will sprout
like poppies – or weeds – whether
we like it or not. Over the long haul,
we as a people must decide the
Can we stand living exposed to
scrutiny, our secrets laid open, if in
return we get flashlights of our own
that we can shine on anyone who
might do us harm – even the
arrogant and strong?
Or is an illusion of privacy worth any
price, even the cost of surrendering
our own right to pierce the schemes
of the powerful?”
Getting Real foregoes functional specs and other
transitory documentation in favor of building real
screens. A functional spec is make-believe, an illusion
of agreement, while an actual web page is reality.
We'll never hire someone who's an information
architect. It's just too overly specific. With a small
team like ours, it doesn't make sense to hire people
with such a narrowly defined skill-set.
This is something the 'well-designed
metadata' crowd has never understood
-- just because it's better to have well-
designed metadata along one axis
does not mean that it is better along all
axes, and the axis of cost, in particular,
will trump any other advantage as it grows larger.
And the cost of tagging large systems rigorously is
crippling, so fantasies of using controlled metadata
in environments like Flickr are really fantasies of
users suddenly deciding to become disciples of
Clay Shirky 34
Yes, indeed. IA as it has lived email@example.com
will soon die. Not because it
wasn’t valuable, not because
IA’s didn’t do great work, but
because the Web is moving on.
The problem is that IA models
information, not relationships.
Many of the artifacts that IAs
create: site maps, navigation
systems, taxonomies, are
information models built on the
assumption that a single way to
organize things can suit all
users…one IA to rule them all,
so to speak.
Joshua Porter 35
There’s a whole
lot of IA in Web 2.0.
Change is good for IA.
There’s a whole
lot of IA outside Web 2.0
Information Architecture 3.0 firstname.lastname@example.org
User Experience Strategy
Towards the Long Now email@example.com
• IA + Web 2.0
• IA + Interaction
• IA + Transmedia
• IA + Location
• IA + UFOs
“Search has become the new interface of commerce.”
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See Also: Ubiquitous Findable Objects by Peter Morville
IA Therefore I Am