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Information Archaeology: Understanding Historical Design Decisions in Legacy Software

Stuart Curran
September 27, 2013

Information Archaeology: Understanding Historical Design Decisions in Legacy Software

The dark matter of the IA universe can be found in the kinds of internal software tools routinely found within large organisations. Often poorly conceived and implemented, these tools are nonetheless used on daily basis by long suffering employees.

The nature of these tools is often bound up in organisational politics and decision-making in ways that seem incredibly anachronistic when compared to the advances that have been made in the design of consumer software.

An important step for anyone tasked with redesigning internal tools is to understand why they were designed the way they were.

IA provides a rich and varied toolkit that can be used to map and identify historical mistakes in the design of legacy systems and supports an "archaeological" exploration revealing how poor decisions manifest themselves in an organisation's tools.

(Presented as a Lightning talk at Euro IA 2013)


Stuart Curran

September 27, 2013

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