I enjoy reading the emails that come from the LinkedIn group for the SharePoint Users Group. Today there was a request posted asking for a copy of people’s Information Architecture, to use as an example for someone that was getting started. David Crighton responded with the link to view Peter Morville’s presentation Understanding IA.
I looked through it, and thought it was a good introduction to IAs. My favorite slide was Pace Layering: “The fast parts learn, propose, and absorb shocks; the slow parts remember, integrate and constrain. The fast parts get all the attention. The slow parts have all the power. – Steward Brand”
I liked Peter’s explanation that “IA’s are Architects of Understanding – we help our users to understand where they are, what they’ve found, what to expect, and what’s around. We help our clients to understand what’s possible.”
Wikipedia’s definition of Information Architecture includes in the role of IA, “Information architecture is a specialized skill set that interprets information and expresses distinctions between signs and systems of signs. More concretely, it involves the categorization of information into a coherent structure, preferably one that the intended audience can understand quickly, if not inherently, and then easily retrieve the information for which they are searching“