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Let's Define Information Architecture

Manish Saini
February 22, 2020

Let's Define Information Architecture

The term info. Arch. I believe comes with a lot of ambiguity in the sense that 2 people talking about practicing IA might not be talking about the same thing. Mostly we use fragments of it.

Do we know what all it encompasses? And why should we even care? I believe if we know at least how broad or narrow the term is then we as designers can share this information and present a better case for ourselves to product owners/ other stakeholders.

Manish Saini

February 22, 2020
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  1. नमस्ते

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    Thank You !

    For spending your Saturday with me.
    UX Designer at Cvent
    Currently
    Information Design (M.Des)
    National Institute of Design
    Education
    I am Manish Saini
    Information Experience Designer
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    issue 01
    meet the
    top talent
    Image Source: Adobe Zine 2019

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    Let’s Define IA
    Manish Saini @sainisays

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    What do you relate to
    Information Architecture?

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    I used to relate
    Artefact
    Site Map Wireframes
    Artefact
    Tool
    Mind Map

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    But Why Define IA ?

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    Let’s Do This…
    But How?

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    Understanding Architecture of
    Information
    • High Level Understanding of IA
    • Your Understanding of IA
    Origin of IA
    • Timeline
    • Artefacts
    • Classifying IA
    Definitions of IA
    • Different Definitions of IA
    • Discuss couple of them in detail
    IA by mnemonics

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    Understanding IA
    Physical Spaces Digital Spaces

    Buildings

    Study

    Living

    Bedroom

    Users

    Users

    Information Systems / Websites

    Data

    Information

    Content

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  10. Consumers of
    Information became
    Producers
    “PROSUMERS"
    Research paper -
    Architecture of the
    IBM System/
    360” (Amdahl et al
    1964),
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    1960 1980 1990 2000 2010
    1964 1970
    TIMELINE WHO
    1974-75
    WHAT
    1998
    INFORMATION
    DESIGN
    ERA
    Focuses on
    physical layouts,
    arrangement of
    hardware
    FOCUS
    Palo Alto Research
    Centre (PARC),
    Information
    specialists were
    gathered to
    develop
    technology which
    could support the
    “architecture of
    information”
    Information
    Architecture
    termed coined
    INFORMATION
    SYSTEM
    On HCI
    guidelines &
    Information
    Structure
    Explosion of
    data and need
    of systems to
    manage info.
    Ronda Leon’s Hypothesis
    3 broad, different and
    partially overlapping
    approaches of IA.
    Differentiating factor being
    the way they
    work with information:
    statically, dynamically, and
    as a resource.
    SYNTHESIS OF
    THE TWO
    Design deliverables
    blueprints, requirements,
    information categories,
    guidelines on the underlying
    business processes,
    IA went mainstream
    CLASSIC IA
    Library information
    Science:
    Labelling, Navigation,
    searching systems, etc
    PERVASIVE IA
    IA as a process:
    To find needs &
    present info. as tasks
    As curated by Resimi and Rosati - A Brief History of Information Architecture

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    Defining Information Architecture

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    Most Definitions Focus around
    Rosenfeld’s Visualisation of IA
    Context
    Business models,
    goals, politics,
    culture, resources
    Content
    Document types,
    meta info., attributes
    Users
    Info. Needs,
    Audience, Types,
    Expertise, Tasks,
    Ecology

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    One definition that stands out
    Dan Klyn, The Understanding Group

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    Defining Information Architecture
    What does it
    mean?
    In which context
    it is arranged?
    How to access it?
    Dan Klyn, The Understanding Group

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    Ontology Taxonomy
    Choreography
    IA
    what we mean when
    we say what we say
    Organising meaning
    in a context
    How meaning and
    structure fit together

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    IA as Ontology, Taxonomy
    & Choreography

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    Ontology Taxonomy Choreography
    What?
    Dan Klyn explains, ontology is “what we mean when we say what we say”.
    ‘study of being’
    in IA context, ontology refers to the meaning behind our labels, terms,
    language and content categories
    Context?
    a poorly designed ontology can lead to findability issues, retention
    problems, user error and much more.
    ontology is driven by the needs, expectations and goals of your users
    Why we need it?

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    Ontology Taxonomy Choreography

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    Ontology Taxonomy Choreography
    What?
    how information is grouped, classified and labeled within a shared information
    environment
    Think of an online shoe store. The shoes might be organized and labelled
    by color, size, style, season or collection
    Context?
    Once the information is identified Taxonomy provides enough context to
    navigate around
    Why we need it?

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    Ontology Taxonomy Choreography
    What?
    The rules for interaction among the parts
    in IA context, scheme of navigation through the interface
    Context?
    flow of an experience delights the user and doesn’t distract from
    what the user is trying to do
    Why we need it?

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    But…
    What was the need of this
    presentation?

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    By understanding analogies
    We can relate to concepts like IA
    more naturally than mechanically
    So that,
    We can arrange visual mnemonics
    as cues of information.

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    @sainisays
    धन्यवाद!

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