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What the heck 
is an 
Information Architect? 
(and more importantly, why do I care?)
What?
THEM: What do you do…? 
ME: Um, well, I’m an 
Information Architect. 
(pause) 
THEM: So… uh…
Do you…
Do you… 
Make it 
pretty?
Do you… 
Make it 
pretty? 
No, that’s a Web Designer
Do you…
Do you… 
Write 
the code?
Do you… 
Write 
the code? 
No, that’s a Developer.
THEM: 
Uh… 
OK… 
So…
Do you…
Do you… 
Manage that 
backend 
STUFF?
Do you… 
Manage that 
backend 
STUFF? 
No, that’s a Data or Systems Architect.
THEM: 
Wait… 
So what DO you DO?
And I tell them…
Information 
Architect
Website 
Information 
Architect
Architect 
Website 
Information 
Architect
Architect 
Website 
Information 
Architect 
Building
Just to be clear…
But this really is mine…
Back to the 
building analogy…
4bed/3bath 
Idea
4bed/3bath Blue Prints 
Idea
4bed/3bath 
Idea 
Currency 
Transfer 
Blue Prints
4bed/3bath 
Idea 
Currency 
Transfer 
Blue Prints 
Wireframes
And why 
do you care?
Because… 
an 
Information Architect 
can make your life easier.
•BA/PM/Planner: 
An IA can help you consider and plan 
for all scenarios. 
•Dev: 
An IA can help answer your questions 
ab...
Process 
(as seen from an IA perspective) 
Idea
Process 
(as seen from an IA perspective) 
Idea 
Biz 
Req 
vetting
Process 
(as seen from an IA perspective) 
Idea 
Biz 
Req 
vetting Wires
Process 
(as seen from an IA perspective) 
Idea 
Biz 
Req 
vetting Wires Art
Process 
(as seen from an IA perspective) 
Idea 
Biz 
Req 
vetting Wires Art 
UI 
Spec
Process 
(as seen from an IA perspective) 
Idea 
Biz 
Req 
vetting Wires Art 
UI 
Spec 
Dev
Process 
(as seen from an IA perspective) 
Idea 
Biz 
Req 
vetting Wires Art 
UI 
Spec 
Dev QA
Process 
(as seen from an IA perspective) 
Idea 
Biz 
Req 
vetting Wires Art 
UI 
Spec 
Dev QA
IA’s Artifacts/Deliverables 
1. Wireframes (Wires) & 
Flow Diagrams 
2. UI Specification 
Document
Wireframes (wires)
Wireframes (wires)
Wireframes (wires)
Wireframes (wires)
Wireframes (wires) 
•Determine hierarchy of data 
and functionality 
•Consider where you 
want eyes to go 
•Predict user b...
UI Functional Specs
UI Functional Specs 
Idea
UI Functional Specs 
Idea 
Biz 
Req
UI Functional Specs 
Wires 
Idea 
Biz 
Req
UI Functional Specs 
Wires 
Art 
Idea 
Biz 
Req
UI Functional Specs 
Wires 
Art 
Specs 
Idea 
Biz 
Req
UI Functional Specs
UI Functional Specs 
•Call out specific behavior 
•Provide IF/Then scenarios 
•Account for errors 
•Accounts for permutati...
Process Recap 
(as seen from an IA perspective) 
Idea 
Biz 
Req 
vetting Wires Art 
UI 
Spec 
Dev QA
Stuff for us to figure out together: 
When to 
engage 
an IA 
How this 
process 
marries into 
your existing 
processes 
H...
What is an Information Architect?
What is an Information Architect?
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What is an Information Architect?

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A brief presentation to explain the value of an Information Architect (IA) to managers, planners and business analysts.

Published in: Technology
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What is an Information Architect?

  1. 1. What the heck is an Information Architect? (and more importantly, why do I care?)
  2. 2. What?
  3. 3. THEM: What do you do…? ME: Um, well, I’m an Information Architect. (pause) THEM: So… uh…
  4. 4. Do you…
  5. 5. Do you… Make it pretty?
  6. 6. Do you… Make it pretty? No, that’s a Web Designer
  7. 7. Do you…
  8. 8. Do you… Write the code?
  9. 9. Do you… Write the code? No, that’s a Developer.
  10. 10. THEM: Uh… OK… So…
  11. 11. Do you…
  12. 12. Do you… Manage that backend STUFF?
  13. 13. Do you… Manage that backend STUFF? No, that’s a Data or Systems Architect.
  14. 14. THEM: Wait… So what DO you DO?
  15. 15. And I tell them…
  16. 16. Information Architect
  17. 17. Website Information Architect
  18. 18. Architect Website Information Architect
  19. 19. Architect Website Information Architect Building
  20. 20. Just to be clear…
  21. 21. But this really is mine…
  22. 22. Back to the building analogy…
  23. 23. 4bed/3bath Idea
  24. 24. 4bed/3bath Blue Prints Idea
  25. 25. 4bed/3bath Idea Currency Transfer Blue Prints
  26. 26. 4bed/3bath Idea Currency Transfer Blue Prints Wireframes
  27. 27. And why do you care?
  28. 28. Because… an Information Architect can make your life easier.
  29. 29. •BA/PM/Planner: An IA can help you consider and plan for all scenarios. •Dev: An IA can help answer your questions about what was intended. •QA: An IA can help you determine test scenarios.
  30. 30. Process (as seen from an IA perspective) Idea
  31. 31. Process (as seen from an IA perspective) Idea Biz Req vetting
  32. 32. Process (as seen from an IA perspective) Idea Biz Req vetting Wires
  33. 33. Process (as seen from an IA perspective) Idea Biz Req vetting Wires Art
  34. 34. Process (as seen from an IA perspective) Idea Biz Req vetting Wires Art UI Spec
  35. 35. Process (as seen from an IA perspective) Idea Biz Req vetting Wires Art UI Spec Dev
  36. 36. Process (as seen from an IA perspective) Idea Biz Req vetting Wires Art UI Spec Dev QA
  37. 37. Process (as seen from an IA perspective) Idea Biz Req vetting Wires Art UI Spec Dev QA
  38. 38. IA’s Artifacts/Deliverables 1. Wireframes (Wires) & Flow Diagrams 2. UI Specification Document
  39. 39. Wireframes (wires)
  40. 40. Wireframes (wires)
  41. 41. Wireframes (wires)
  42. 42. Wireframes (wires)
  43. 43. Wireframes (wires) •Determine hierarchy of data and functionality •Consider where you want eyes to go •Predict user behavior •Plan for permutations •Consider process flow •Based on Biz Reqs
  44. 44. UI Functional Specs
  45. 45. UI Functional Specs Idea
  46. 46. UI Functional Specs Idea Biz Req
  47. 47. UI Functional Specs Wires Idea Biz Req
  48. 48. UI Functional Specs Wires Art Idea Biz Req
  49. 49. UI Functional Specs Wires Art Specs Idea Biz Req
  50. 50. UI Functional Specs
  51. 51. UI Functional Specs •Call out specific behavior •Provide IF/Then scenarios •Account for errors •Accounts for permutations (that may not be present in original art •Helps fill in any holes that might exist from original planning.
  52. 52. Process Recap (as seen from an IA perspective) Idea Biz Req vetting Wires Art UI Spec Dev QA
  53. 53. Stuff for us to figure out together: When to engage an IA How this process marries into your existing processes How IA deliverables can be tweaked to be more useful to you Where do docs live When’s lunch QA

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