IA - theory, definitions, expectations

IA and Other Roles in the Website Development Process

Information Architecture, or IA, directly affects all aspects of your website. It is an integral part of the development process. Clients benefit from having an information architect interact with members of their team.

Usability

Project Management

Graphic Design

Development & Configuration


IA vs Usability

The term "Usability" often refers to usability testing (heuristic evaluations, usage analysis, scenario-based testing) or usability research (interviews, questionnaires, demographic research, market segmentation). It is measured by the efficiency with which a user can perform required tasks with an information product (i.e. your website).

Though both IA and Usability are concerned with creating successful interfaces, they are two different disciplines.

April 8th 2008 6PM
By: danielle

 

What is Information Architecture

This continues to be a hot topic in Web Development, and by just broaching the subject, I risk the wrath of people in my field who may disagree with the answer I am going to try and outline in this article. IA, as it is referred to, overlaps with other aspects of project planning, and often blurs the lines between itself and information design, project management, usability analysis and user-experience approaches.

For example, James Kalbach gathers a few definitions in his article "IA, Therefore I Am":

"Definitions range from Elaine Tom's 'a map of the underlying information structures' to Wurman's 'the building of structures that allow others to understand' to Rosenfeld and Morville's 'the combination of organization, labelling, and navigation schemes within an information system' and John Shiple's 'the blueprint of the site upon which all other aspects are built - form, function, metaphor, navigation and interface, interaction, and visual design.'"

The purpose of this article is to supply clients with a basic understanding of what someone with the title 'Information Architect' normally offers in their skill set, and try to clarify what their role is on a development team.

April 8th 2008 12PM
By: danielle

 
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