Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

Posted by tripwire45 on Dec 17, 2006 9:17 PM EDT; By James Pyles
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Morville and Rosenfeld's book is a real eye-opener for anyone who wants to understand the complexities of organizing web information at the enterprise-level. This isn't about how to put together a standards-compliant website (well, it is sort of) or how to develop web applications or graphic design for webpages. True, all of those functions are necessary for web development but the (apparently) growing career of Information Architecture (IA) is an entity all its own.

Let me backup a minute. Many of us develop websites as individuals. I work with a team of software engineers

documenting a wide variety of information for them and their customers. To this end, I administrate

the group's Intranet site and it has to be many things to many people. I organize data, try to make it easy to find, try

to make it visually appealing and maintain different security levels for different groups. I wear a number of different

hats depending on my customers' requirements.

Now imagine a team of professionals developing and maintaining a national or multinational corporation's web

presence. You probably will have one or more people who specialize in areas such as graphic design, usability, software

development, knowledge management, and other disciplines. It's like taking the hats I wear and putting each one of them on separate

people or groups. This book describes the role and methods of one of those disciplines or "hats"; Information Architecture.

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