Information architecture

Introductory articles

  • An introduction to information architecture
    Information architecture (or IA) is the science--some would insist art--of defining the structure, organisation, navigation, labeling and indexing of a website. It is the role of the information architect to decide how a site should be structured, what kind of content it should host, and how to accommodate future growth. In short, information architecture defines the backbone of a website.

  • Information architecture
    Part of a series of readings for students of information science, this article discusses ideas associated with the phrase "information architecture" and relates them to aspects of the library and information science professions.

  • Information architecture concepts
    An information architect is a vital member of a web development team, playing a critical role in how content is organised on a website. This article seeks to clear up some of the misconceptions about information architecture and help define the role an information architect plays in website development.

  • Information architecture for the rest of us
    Using a lost-in-the-woods analogy, John S. Rhodes explains information architecture in a very simple and clear manner.

  • Information architecture tutorial
    Information architecture is the science of figuring out what you want your site to do and then constructing a blueprint before you dive in and put the thing together. It's more important than you might think, and John Shiple tells you why.

  • The importance of information architecture
    Answers to the 10 most critical questions, like what is information architecture? and how will information architecture impact my Customer Relations Management implementation? Very glossy, but pretty much right on the money. The reasoning stresses business concepts like ROI, so it speaks to the business person pretty well.

Discussion articles

  • Ambient findability
    I’m fascinated by the influence of increased access to information on the learning and decision-making behaviour of individuals. I’m convinced we’re in the midst of a transition that is reshaping the sources of trust and authority in our society.

  • An information architecture perspective on personalisation (PDF)
    The framework laid out here for understanding the design implications of personalisation does not answer any questions, however--it just raises awareness of how little we already know about users’ expectations from personalisation. In fact, the web and its early navigation metaphor are still young and we do not understand it well enough yet.

  • An introduction to user journeys
    "User journeys are a method for conceptualising and structuring a website's content and functionality. These journeys allow us to shift away from thinking about structure in terms of hierarchies or a technical build. Creating a user journey places a strong emphasis on personas and also merges the creation of scenarios and user flows. However, unlike user flows, hierarchies, or functional specs (which explain the interaction between a user and a system’s logic and processes), user journeys explore a user's mental and lived 'patterns, processes, and paths' and translate these into web-based experiences."
    (Jason Hobbs)

  • Approaches to classification in publication and knowledge management - panel discussion
    "Classification of knowledge, and of the objects which contain it such as books and journals, has a long history, but is also a hot topic in the modern world of electronic collections and the World Wide Web. The subject goes by many names and has generated buzzwords such as taxonomies, ontologies, folksonomies and metadata, but the essential arguments are pretty much the same: how do we divide up and label the world or knowledge, does it have a hierarchy, what do you do about knowledge objects that seem to belong to several categories at the same time, and who decides? Can a controlled vocabulary be generated, and how does that help search and retrieval? How does one reconcile the classificatory judgements of experts with the way that the public and users see things?"
    (Electronic Publishing Specialist Group - British Computer Society)

  • Beyond the page
    Some thoughts about the page, its place in IA literature and tools, and the need to move past the page metaphor to better methods of architecting online information.

  • Bottoms up: designing complex, adaptive systems
    Peter Morville discusses how you can use bottom-up IA methods while still keeping a view of the bigger picture. In the article, Peter discusses the dangers of severing the ties to larger business or project goals when fragmenting system components in order to manage growth. He suggests how to use bottom-up methodologies to support top-down ideas.

  • Change architecture: bring IA to the business domain
    "As IAs, we are not just architecting information; we are using information to architect change. In 'traditional' information architecture, the target of work is usually a website or a web-based application. Change architecture steps outside of these bounds. The domain is not limited to a web team; it expands to include today’s dynamic business environment and the way people, processes, and tools interact and interoperate. The target is no longer limited to web browsers; rather, it is the minds of those people charged with understanding the broader business landscape and contributing to better business decisions."
    (Bob Goodman - Boxes and Arrows)

  • Cognitive psychology and IA: from theory to practice
    What do cognitive psychology and information architecture have in common? Actually there is a good deal of common ground between the two disciplines. Certainly, having a background in cognitive psychology supports the practice of information architecture, and it is precisely those interconnections and support that will be explored in this article.

  • Designing for scalability
    All web sites will scale over time. No site will remain the same as it was when first launched, nor should it. The rise in popularity of content management systems shows that the old days of launching a site, and then not maintaining it, are over. Designers are now working on the same site for months or even years. Over time, new needs will be identified and new features will need to be added; a site needs to be flexible to change so these post-launch updates can be made quickly and easily.

  • Design patterns for information architecture with DITA map domains
    When a web site or help system lacks definition and structure, readers can get lost in the content. Information architecture is the practice of organizing and interrelating content so the reader remains oriented and gets answers. By defining formal design patterns for information architecture, content providers can apply tested architectures to improve the user's experience. Using DITA map domains, you can express these design patterns in XML so authors can reuse them consistently for many collections of content.
    (Erik Hennum, Don Day, John Hunt, Dave A. Schell)

  • Don't finalise site structure until you've created page layouts
    "There is a worrying trend emerging in the field of information architecture: organisations are attempting to finalise site structures without evaluating their effectiveness in the context of a web page. Card sorting and card-based classification provide excellent insights into the inherent structure behind content. Both are excellent tools for defining strict taxonomies, but they do not necessarily generate the most approachable structure for a site. Content centred design is not necessarily user centred design."
    (Iain Barker)

  • Enterprise information architecture: don't do enterprise content management without it
    Two questions resound throughout the content industry: Why do Enterprise Content Management (ECM) projects take so long to implement? And why do they fail with such alarming frequency? While all enterprise-level IT projects prove to be difficult and risky undertakings, a deeper examination of the ECM challenge in particular will reveal an endemic inattention to--or at best belated appreciation of--its critical corollary: the need for Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA).

  • Enterprise IA summary
    A collection of presentations and articles on enterprise information architecture.

  • Evaluating information architecture
    This white paper explores the whys, whats, and hows of evaluating a web site's information architecture. It aims to raise consciousness about the evaluation of IA and to provide web site owners and other decision-makers with an understanding of evaluation issues; and information architects with a synthesis of evaluation techniques.

  • Findability hacks
    "In most organizations, findability falls through the cracks. Web site search engines return lousy results because designers and engineers don’t collaborate to fine-tune the relevance ranking algorithms. Dazzling product catalogs wallow in obscurity because marketing and engineering can’t work together on search engine optimization. And navigation systems fall short because information architects and brand architects fail to map marketing jargon to the vocabulary of users. Time after time, findability falls through the cracks between roles and responsibilities, and everybody loses. For all these reasons, findability merits special attention."
    (Peter Morville)

  • Focus on the student: how to use learning objectives to improve learning
    As information architects we all know how important it is to keep the user in mind. The same is true in teaching IA: we must keep the learner in mind. Learning objectives are one tool to help keep your classes focused on the student. They will also help you develop the syllabus, lesson plans, and assessment methods.

  • Four modes of seeking information and how to design for them
    "I discovered the concepts in this article while preparing material for an introductory information architecture workshop. In the workshop, I thought it important to highlight that one aspect of designing for users was to understand the ways in which they may approach an information task. I was already familiar with the concepts of known-item and exploratory information seeking: they are common in the library and information science literature."
    (Donna Maurer - Boxes and Arrows)

  • From producer logic to user logic: the greatest challenge you may ever have
    "Moving an intranet structure from a producer logic to a user logic is probably the hardest thing an intranet manager will ever have to do, especially in large, complex organisations."
    (Jane McConnell - Globally Local... Locally Global)

  • Future of information architecture
    Results of a recent survey on issues associated with the development of the discipline of information architecture, conducted by the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture
    (Information Architecture Institute).

  • Getting IA done, part 1
    "As we all know, work isn’t just about the big lessons--it's also about the little lessons. For IAs, it's about building experience as designers, and it's also about learning how to be more productive in the software we use most. Therefore, I give you: "Getting IA Done.""
    (Joshua Kaufman)

  • Getting IA done, part II
    "Back in June, I presented my best advice in Getting IA Done, Part I. At the end of the article, I asked Digital Web Magazine readers to send me their favorite tips to publish in Part II. I’ve included most of the submissions in this column."
    (Joshua Kaufman)

  • Good information architecture increases online sales
    The creation of an effective shopping cart--and everything else that's related to the buying experience--poses challenges that are very different from programming the site. These issues can be addressed by applying the basic principles of information architecture, which offer several tools to refine the process and ensure that the overall business objectives of the site are met.

  • Home alone? How content aggregators change navigation and control of content
    Content aggregators change navigation. Despite our long hours and good intentions, content aggregators throw this site-centric idea out the window. They allow users to bypass a large portion of the design, whose sole purpose is to get them to target content. In this way the information architecture the designer envisioned may go unused, with users never clicking on the carefully crafted navigation links, never using the location-specific breadcrumbs, and in some cases never even seeing the much-fretted-over home page.

  • IA trends: survey results and analysis
    Lou Rosenfeld conducted a survey to identify past and future trends in the employment of information architects.

  • Information architecture 2.0
    "The explosion of content and functionality on the Web and the new ways in which we’re making use of Web content has recast the role of the information architect."
    (Dan Brown - UX Matters)

  • Information architecture: a rose by any other name
    The efforts to define our field and our role are understandable by-products of our economic times and of forces in our contexts of practice. What are the pressures behind this quest for definition? What are the options (and potential advantages) of refusing to pigeonhole ourselves?

  • Information architecture as an extension of web design
    "Web designers have been led to believe that they're restricted to doing what they've always done and should leave the information architecture to the information architects. This does not have to happen."
    (Joshua Kaufman)

  • Information architecture: a workshop approach to classification design
    After having completed your classification situation analysis, you will have a long list of potential classifications. Now, you need to choose what the top-level of your classification will be. This is an iterative process that will require substantial feedback and interaction. It should not be rushed.

  • Information architecture: from craft to profession
    Teaching information architecture as a profession is in the process of being born, author and professor, Earl Morrogh, in his new book, "Information Architecture: An Emerging 21st Century Profession" places IA in an historical context analogous to the history of architecture.

  • Information architecture heuristics
    Just finished a brief heuristic evaluation of a client site, basing part of my feedback on a set of questions that I find quite useful for just about every IA-related project. Every information architect should always have a set of favorite questions in their back pocket; they really do come in handy.

  • Information architecture is not usability
    The distinction between information architecture and usability may seem like semantics, but there are significant differences between the two disciplines. Though they are often discussed interchangeably, and practitioners are often well-versed in both, information architecture and usability differ in their scope and areas of focus.

  • Information architecture research
    What do we really know about information architecture? Do we know what works? Can we defend our designs? Are we improving? I revisited the role of research in the design process, and surveyed the literature most relevant to the practice of information architecture.

  • Information architecture success story: the development of www.plainlanguage.gov
    "In Fall 2002 I was working with IA students at Johns Hopkins University who were seeking strategies to “engineer” information to improve human performance. We were studying research-based heuristics from the field and needed a real-life client. The government’s plain language site seemed ripe for reshaping."
    (Thom Haller - ASIS&T)

  • Information layers
    In a wide ranging SIGIA-L discussion on SearchEngine design, ROI, and OPACs, KarlFast presented a layer model of information, which is just a rough model he's been working on and he hopes to refine it.

  • International information architecture
    Connecting people from diverse disciplines, countries and cultures is a strategic imperative for the information architecture community as a whole. Our competitive advantage derives from our very ability to build bridges and span networks.

  • Lost in translation: IA challenges in distributing digital audio
    With each new advancement in digital media come new ways to consume and distribute it, and new and different challenges for information architecture. For example, several new devices on the market are designed to distribute digital audio from a computer to audio systems in other rooms of the house. These devices connect to your home network through a standard Ethernet cable or wi-fi, routing music from your computer to your stereo using standard audio connections. The main challenge facing these devices is how to provide remote access to the music library. While sitting at a computer, you have the benefit of using a keyboard, mouse and screen to interact with software like iTunes or WinAmp. Since network audio devices need to sit on the shelf with your stereo, they do not have a full display, and the only means of interaction is a remote control. In other words, this looks like a job for an information architect!
    (Dan Brown)

  • Making cents from information architecture
    When it comes to web development, everybody has taken short cuts over the years. This holds especially true when working on low budget projects. One of the most costly short cuts is skipping the development of a sound and highly functional information architecture (IA). While this short cut may take several forms, failure to devote enough resources and to document it properly will cost the owner of the website more than just a few cents.

  • Making it findable
    "It is frequently said that navigation is 80% of good usability. I've often wondered what that means. What are the parameters that make a site navigable? What specifically do I need to get right to automatically have it be 80% good?"
    (Kath Straub)

  • Managing 'glue' at the BBC
    "This article looks at the ways in which the BBC uses navigation, search and classification as three different types of glue to bind together the content on bbc.co.uk. It also goes on to examine some prototype and beta services that might well form the BBC's 'glue' of the future."
    (Martin Belam)

  • Mapping an information architecture's scent
    "In this research I use the concept of scent as a framework in which to evaluate an information architecture's usefulness -how well it guides users to the target information. Evaluating an IA's usefulness required an approach for operationalizing scent, mapping multiple scent trails and measuring usefulness."
    (Mark Game)

  • Persuasive architecture: how to get your visitors to take action
    The best constructions out there do more than just arrange space so you can figure out where you can go; they are built to help you go where you need to go – as that is understood both by you and the architect – in a way that appeals and delights.

  • Presentations on enterprise information architecture
    Presentation slides from Lou Rosenfeld. The first condenses some issues related to designing the enterprise information architecture, while the second is a description of an "enterprise information architecture framework" that covers issues which need to be addressed to develop an enterprise IA strategy

  • Rethinking EIA: becoming information ecologists
    "Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA) refers to the process of making information easy to access throughout a discrete entity - in this case, an organization. According to Wikipedia, Information Architecture is, in part, defined simply as 'the practice of structuring information (knowledge or data)'. Note that this simplified definition makes no reference to the Web or information systems of any kind, a la Richard Saul Wurman. This post attempts to rethink EIA and argues that information architecture need not be constrained to designing structures and managing content as it relates to the Web or for any electronic system for that matter. Instead, I argue that an enterprise information architect might also be called, as Thomas Davenport coins it, an 'Information Ecologist.' "
    (Rob Fay - Partial Recall)

  • Schools teaching information architecture
    Many colleges, universities, and companies offer courses in information architecture. From this page you can download listings of institutions worldwide that offer courses and full degree programs dedicated to information architecture.

  • Setting the stage for success: information architecture earns performance kudos from customers
    Information architecture is the process of organising and structuring information so that it is logical in design and presentation. It establishes categories and relationships among different pieces of information. It defines metadata schemes, navigation and search interfaces. Good architecture not only helps users find information, but also facilitates updating content by having clear rules for adding new information. And its effects show up on the bottom line with surprising speed when users can get what they need in just a few clicks.

  • Should you finalize site structure based on card-sorting?
    "The problems with creating structures based on card-sorting... are not really problems with card-sorting. The problems are more with half-baked understanding or usage of the technique."
    (Rashmi Sinha)

  • Site diagrams: mapping an information space
    Site diagrams can be quite helpful in answering all kinds of hard questions. How to create the right diagram became a personal challenge for Jason Withrow. He shares his story through tips and techniques.

  • Succeeding at IA in the enterprise
    "This article explores some of the approaches needed to ensure that we are successful at implementing IA within organisations, with the goal being to encourage further discussion in the community about these issues."
    (James Robertson - Boxes and Arrows)

  • Tag sorting: another tool in an information architect's toolbox
    "Card sorting is used as method for understanding user mental models. Prior to asking users to sort cards, you need to generate a list of relevant items for the exercise. We often use free-listing at this stage. In case this is the first time you are hearing about free-listing, it's a light-weight technique to understand what lies within a domain. Tags bear an uncanny resemblance to freelisting data. Navigating by tags is remarkably like looking through free-listing data."
    (Rashmi Sinha)

  • Teaching information architecture to the design student
    What the design student needs is a design course that stresses usability, human factors, and clarity, instead of the typical branding and interpretation problems they usually encounter in their other design classes. James Spahr recounts a year of teaching at Pratt Institute that attempts to cross those boundaries.

  • The ABCs of the BBC: a case study and checklist
    "Can A-Z indexes hold their own against other popular navigational elements like search and sitemaps? Helen Lippell guides us through how the BBC online, a site with over two million pages, handled their own A-Z index."
    (Helen Lippell - Boxes and Arrows)

  • The business of understanding
    "Effective information architects make the complex clear; they make the information understandable to other human beings. If they succeed in doing that, they're good information architects. If they fail, they're not."
    (Richard S Wurman - informit.com)

  • The document triangle: the interdependence of the structure, information and presentation dimensions
    Every paper and digital document shares three basic dimensions: structure, information and presentation. Although these dimensions are always interwoven, some people in the digital world mostly focus on document structures (e.g. information architects), some on the information they contain (e.g. marketers and writers/editors) while others specialise in the (interactive) presentation aspects (e.g. visual designers and Flash developers). The mutual dependence and interaction of these dimensions is the next level of design and does not regularly get the proper attention. In order to better understand the relationship between these dimensions, we need to look at each of them seperately, and how they inter-relate.

  • The IA of things: twenty years of lessons learned
    "It's the dawn of an age where interactive functionality and information is available and intertwined everywhere. The past two decades have been a pre-dawn period where products, software, environments, functionality, and interaction with information have gradually converged. What lessons have been learned within a single consulting design career during this period, pursuing from the beginning, convergence in these areas?"
    (James Leftwich)

  • The information architect: a missing link?
    Computing professionals today suffer many problems related to their education and background. The most important of them, in our opinion, are: over-specialisation, misunderstanding of the real world, and lack of communication abilities. One of the causes for these problems is what we teach to our students. Motivated but many of the problems faced by computing professionals and what we teach, we propose a framework for designing curricula related to technology. In particular, by using this framework, we argue that a new professional, which we call the information architect, is needed.

  • The myth of user-centered information architecture
    At its core, information architecture is a balance between user needs and business requirements. While the increased visibility of web usability has taught us to focus on the visitor, it has overshadowed the fact that there are business needs that need to be addressed. By matching user needs and business objectives it is possible to produce a system that is useable and useful but also meets the needs of the sponsoring party.

  • The sociobiology of information architecture
    Long before anyone was looking for "godfathers" of information architecture, our fellow species were wrestling with some of the same problems we face today. The real godfathers of information architecture, as it turns out, emerged a very long time ago with the earliest origins of life on this planet.

  • The web, information architecture and interaction design
    " The impact of digital technology in all facets of our lives has meant a proliferation of terms for the work people do to define digital products and services. In this article, interaction designer Jonathan Korman unpacks some of these distinctions to help product teams assign the right people to the right jobs."
    (Jonathan Korman)

  • Three lessons from Tufte: special deliverable #6
    Held up as a trio of 'must have' books for the information architect, Tufte's books are the quintessential resource for information design. But many IAs may wonder how Tufte's principles can be applied to their daily work. Dan Brown offers three lessons from Tufte.

  • Topic map design patterns for information architecture
    Software design patterns give programmers a high level language for discussing the design of software applications. For topic maps to achieve widespread adoption and improved interoperability, a set of topic map design patterns are needed to codify existing practices and make them available to a wider audience. Combining structured descriptions of design patterns with Published Subject Identifiers would enable not only the reuse of design approaches but also encourage the use of common sets of PSIs. This paper presents the arguments for developing and publishing topic map design patterns and a proposed notation for diagramming design patterns based on UML. Finally, by way of examples, the paper presents some design patterns for representation of traditional classification schemes such as thesauri, hierarchical and faceted classification.

  • Translating taxonomies and categories
    What happens when you run a site in multiple languages/locales and need to manage the information architecture of that site? Can you just translate a taxonomy from one language to another?
    (Peter van Dijck)

  • Understanding information taxonomy helps build better apps
    Taxonomy represents the foundation upon which information architecture stands, and all well-rounded developers should have at least a basic understanding of taxonomy to ensure that they can create organised, logical applications.

  • Understanding the personal info cloud: using the Model of Attraction
    The Model of Attraction (MoA) is a framework to think about the relationship between information and its users. In this presentation, Thomas Vander Wal shows how the model can be used to understand and focus on the user and their information use cycle.

  • Updated enterprise information architecture roadmap
    "A diagram that helps information architects and other designers make their enterprise's content easier to find regardless of which department maintains it. The goal is to integrate content from across departmental "silos" in ways that make sense to users."
    (Lou Rosenfeld)

  • User experience: the next step for IAs?
    "IA’s have always wondered how to define information architecture in relation to other fields. Starting with the early days of library science, through the 'discovery' of other fields and the times when experienced IA’s called themselves Big IA’s, to modern days of business design and experience design, the borders have been fuzzy. I hope to show that, despite the fact that most of us are proud to wear the label Information Architect, we are all User Experience practitioners who practice IA from time to time. Finally, I would like to show the next steps for IAs, which includes a call for international networks, and national events. "
    (Peter Boersma)

  • We are all connected: the path from architecture to information architecture
    We've all seen blueprints--formally known as contract documents--which architects produce and builders use to construct. No one person knows all the details of the design; the end result is entirely a product of teamwork. But there is one axiom: architects do not build.

  • What is information architecture?
    "Organising functionality and content into a structure that people are able to navigate intuitively doesn't happen by chance. Organisations must recognise the importance of information architecture or else they run the risk of creating great content and functionality that no one can ever find. This article provides an introduction to information architecture, discusses the evolution of the discipline and provides a 9-step guide for how to create an effective information architecture."
    (Iain Barker)

  • Why categorise?
    As collections of information have grown, it has become imperative to figure out how to improve information finding. And that is why you see the ferment of activity today that surrounds taxonomy building, categorisation and faceted navigation. Classification and categorisation projects, however, come with some significant costs attached to them. Therefore, it is important to understand why you need to categorise before you undertake a major project.

  • Why you shouldn't start IA with a content inventory
    "I get the feeling that there are some people out there who think that one of the first things you want to do, when starting an Information Architecture project, is a detailed Content Inventory. Not only is it the fastest way to lose enthusiasm for a project (hey, you don’t do a Content Inventory for fun… they’re really the most tedious work that an IA has to do). It is also the best way to ensure that you’re not taking a fresh approach to how the content might be structured and related."
    (Leisa Reichelt)

Research articles

  • Information seeking research needs extension towards tasks and technology
    This paper discusses the research into information seeking and its directions at a general level. We approach this topic by analysis and argumentation based on past research in the domain. We begin by presenting a general model of information seeking and retrieval which is used to derive nine broad dimensions that are needed to analyze information seeking and retrieval. Past research is then contrasted with the dimensions and shown not to cover the dimensions sufficiently. Based on an analysis of the goals of information seeking research, and a view on human task performance augmentation, it is then shown that information seeking is intimately associated with, and dependent on, other aspects of work; tasks and technology included. This leads to a discussion on design and evaluation frameworks for information seeking and retrieval, based on which two action lines are proposed: information retrieval research needs extension toward more context and information seeking research needs extension towards tasks and technology.

  • On the web at home: information seeking and web searching in the home environment (PDF)
    "As more people gain at-home access to the Internet, information seeking on the Web has become embedded in everyday life. The objective of this study was to characterize the home as an information use environment and to identify a range of information seeking and Websearch behaviors at home."
    (Soo Young Rieh)

  • The connectivity sonar: detecting site functionality by structural patterns
    This research argues that sites of similar role exhibit similar structural patterns, as the functionality of a site naturally induces a typical hyperlinked structure and typical connectivity patterns to and from the rest of the web. Thus, the functionality of websites is reflected in a set of structural and connectivity-based features that form a typical signature. In this paper, we automatically categorise sites into eight distinct functional classes, and highlight several search-engine related applications that could make immediate use of such technology.

  • When a better interface and easy navigation aren't enough
    Humans are a conservative bunch. The moment they learn a skill using a particular piece of software, they're loathe to switch to a newer alternative no matter how attractive or easy to learn it might be. That at least is the finding of this interesting study on acceptance of a new crime information system by members of the Southwest Police Department.

Columns

  • Boxes and Arrows
    A peer-written journal dedicated to discussing, improving and promoting the work of the information architecture community, through the sharing of exemplary technique, innovation and informed opinion.

Bibliographies

Glossaries

  • Information architecture glossary
    This glossary is intended to foster development of a shared vocabulary within the new and rapidly evolving field of information architecture. It should serve as a valuable reference for anyone involved with or interested in the design of information architectures for web sites, intranets and other information systems.

Templates

  • Graffletopia
    "As a web designer, I've been using OmniGraffle for years. It's fantastic for designing interfaces — miles better than Adobe Illustrator for most tasks. Stencils are a big part of why Graffle is great. So, hopefully, this website will make it easier to find cool stencils."
    (Patrick Crowley)

  • IA stencils for Omnigraffle
    These stencils--includes flow map and block diagram shapes--are free for download and use have been created for use with Omnigraffle.

  • IA tools
    Document templates, process map posters, wireframe templates and other tools for information architects from AIFIA.

Books and book reviews

Organisations

  • Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (AIfIA)
    AIfIA is a non-profit volunteer organisation dedicated to advancing and promoting information architecture. Founded in 2002, AIfIA has over 400 members in 30 countries. Its website provides information and resources for the IA community.

Interviews

  • An interview with Peter Merholz and Nathan Shedroff on user-centered design
    An interview by Meryl K. Evans for Digital Web Magazine.

  • An interview with Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld
    An interview on 'little' and 'big' IA, IA as design, and the role and tasks involved in IA in the web development process.

  • Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture: The V-2 interview
    Confusion, as well as excitement, greeted the announcement last year of this professional advocacy group for IAs. Adam Greenfield interviews two of the founders of the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture in an attempt to clarify some of the issues surrounding the setting up of AIFIA.

  • A visit with a digital architect
    An interview with Matt Jones, an information architect who has been building spaces for news online since 1995.

  • Information architecture meets usability
    Lou Rosenfeld is an information architecture consultant and coauthor of O'Reilly's Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 2nd Edition. Steve Krug is a web usability expert and the author of Don't Make Me Think. They both lead seminars in their respective fields, and recently decided to pair-up to offer back-to-back sessions of their symposiums. We spoke with both Lou and Steve about the advantages of their joint seminars, the common pitfalls of web usability and information architecture, and the state of the web industry today.

  • Louis Rosenfeld: the InfoDesign interview
    Dirk Knemeyer interviews Louis Rosenfeld who helped create the profession of information architecture, co-authored its leading text, was president of its best-known consulting firm for seven years, and is now a director and co-founder of the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture.

  • Lou Rosenfeld and Steve Krug on the user experience consulting experience
    Lou Rosenfeld and Steve Krug have authored best-selling books and both now speak together on a new tour in the U.S. We talked to this unlikely couple about the new all-encompassing rubric "User Experience Design" to find out more from the front lines.

  • Peoplewatch: Lou Rosenfeld
    Lou Rosenfeld is an independent information architecture consultant. He has been instrumental in helping establish the field of information architecture, serving as president of Argus Associates consulting firm from 1994-2001. Here, he is interviewed by CMSWatch on the relationship between information architecture and content management.

  • Richard Saul Wurman: the InfoDesign interview
    Dirk Knemeyer interviews Richard Saul Wurman who coined the term 'information architecture' almost 30 years ago. While 'information architecture' has a different connotation today, for the purposes of this interview, it is treated as synonymous with 'information design'.

  • The visual vocabulary three years later: an interview with Jesse James Garrett
    In October 2000, Jesse James Garrett introduced a site architecture documentation standard called the Visual Vocabulary. Since then, it has become widely adopted among information architects and user experience professionals. Boxes and Arrows interviews Jesse to see how he think the visual vocabulary is faring, three years on.

Resource collections

  • Findability.org
    A project of information architect, Peter Morville, findability.org brings together a range of information science resources relevant to the broad topic of findability.

  • IAwiki
    A collaborative effort by information architects to produce an IA information resource.

  • Information architecture resources
    A huge collection of resources--books, articles, online resources--on topics in information architecture.

  • Information architecture references
    A collection of resources covering overviews, tutorials, methods and articles on information architecture.

  • Information architecture tools
    The Information Architecture Institute's Tools project aims to disseminate new IA tools from the community in order to learn from each other. On this page you will find document templsates, process map posters and other tools to help you in your practice. The documents have been donated by the community, by people just like you.