Information Architecture Overview
An Information Architect (IA) structures and organizes an online resource like a website. Most of an Information Architect's work is invisible to most users. You might notice the effort put into a website by an Information Architect, but is not something you will typically be able pinpoint. Have you ever been on a website where the navigation titles, page titles, and structure of the website made sense, almost as if someone tailored the website for you? Words and terms mean different things to different people, even though a slight overlap in the connotative meaning exists. How is it possible to categorize words and phrases to where it makes sense to all of these different people? It might just have been the work of an Information Architect!
However, navigation and search do not even come close to the depth of an Information Architect's work. Information Architects consider three different realms when organizing and structuring an online resource: users, content, and context. They work with users to understand what they want from a website, how you look for information, and your overall experience. While emphasizing the context, they attempt to incorporate business goals, politics, and other resources into the website. Finally, Information Architects deal with content. Imagine those websites you have visited with hundreds of thousands of pages. What is the best way to organize and structure the information as well as different types of information, videos, audio, standard web pages, pdfs, etc., so that people can quickly extract the information they want? The answer is simple; hire an Information Architect.
To learn more in depth about Information Architecture, consider reading the following book.
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