IA Melissa Weaver recently wrote Counterpoint: RDAP2: Need for IA and LIS Expertise a Noticeable Theme in the June/July 2011 issue of the ASIS&T Bulletin. After attending the RDAP Summit hosted by ASIS&T, Melissa noted the crossovers between data repository managers and content managers who need metada-driven data.
More features that illustrate good IA from Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug (New Riders, 2006)
Steve Krug’s “The Trunk Test”
At the IA Summit 2011 in Denver, Andrea Resmini, Andrew Hinton and Jorge Arango presented More Than a Metaphor: Making Places with Information. This session discussed the relationship between information and architecture and IA's as designers of information spaces that people spend a significant amount of time in.
Andrew Hinton discussed architect Julia Morgan who designed the Asilomar Conference Center (birthplace of the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (AIfIA) which then became the Information Architecture Institute). Julia Morgan noted that "the design of the Asilomar Conference Center doesn't engineer the behavior of its inhabitants. It encourages and accommodates their behavior." In terms on IA, you don't design the user experience. You make the site accommodate what the user needs. It's not about controlling, it's about enhancing, empowering and enjoying the space. (See Vivienne's picture with Andrew Hinton at the IA Summit on ASIST@DU)
Andrea Resmini described space as not homogeneous. All references happen within a subjective system. It is a space of relationships, built with connections and how we perceive those connections. See Andrea Resmini's new book, Pervasive Architecture: Designing Cross-Channel User Experiences and Andrew Hinton's reprint of his contribution to the book.
Jorge Arango discussed being a "Digital Placemaker" and doing for the client's online digital properties what architects do for their physical properties.
See photos of Andrea Resmini and Jorge Arango at IA Summit 2011
The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. ~ Archilocus
As quoted in The Hedgehog and the Fox (1953) by Isaiah Berlin
Are you a Fox or a Hedgehog? Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com, keynote speaker at the IA Summit 2011, discusses the differences between Foxes and Hedgehogs in terms of IA. See Conference Reviews on UXMatters.com:
FOXES (good for IA practitioners)
admits to errors
HEDGEHOGS ( good for business owners)
In my Information Architecture class, we learned about the resources available on Usability.gov. For example, the Questions to Ask at Kick-Off Meetings is an excellent guide for clients to determine the purpose, vision and goals for the site along with the resources and timeline to launching the site. Check out all the Templates available on Usability.gov including for:
I recently created my first heuristic evaluation video for the USGS Photography Library IA Project. My project partner, Angela Waalkes, and I worked on the IA features and improvements for a new USGS Photo Library site over 10 weeks during Spring Quarter for Alex Martinez’s IA class. The Chief Librarian, Keith Van Cleave, was super helpful and so forthcoming with documentation and assistance. We were very lucky to work with him. The website includes links to our deliverables and the heuristic video.
Talk about the stars aligning. This quarter, I'm taking an Information Architecture course being taught by Alex Martinez in my MLIS Program at the University of Denver. Several of us in the ASIST DU Student Group were fortunate enough to attend the 2011 IA Summit for FREE in exchange for volunteering. Thank you to ASIST for making this possible.
The IA Summit was INCREDIBLE! View the presentations on slideshare and some pics on the ASIST DU Groupsite. There are two of my Polar Bear book autographed by Louis Rosenfeld! And one of me with Andrew Hinton whose article, The Machineries of Context, had a huge impact on me and I blogged about earlier this year.
See photos from IA Summit 2011
I'm super excited that I'll get to volunteer at the 2011 IA Summit. The ASIS&T @ DU Student Chapter at the University of Denver was fortunate enough to secure volunteer positions through ASIS&T. Shameless plug for our student group's new ASIS&T @ DU Groupsite. Please join us!!
The Program starts with Pre-Conferences on Wed 3/30 and Thur 3/31, the Annual Membership Meeting on Thurs night followed by a karaoke party at Wynkoop Brewing Company and then the Main Conference from Friday to Sunday. See you there!
Andrew Hinton wrote an eye-opening article in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Information Architecture in the Spring of 2009 entitled, "The Machineries of Context: New Architectures for a New Dimension" that provides a new perspective on what IA is about. IA has "less to do with organizing content and more to do with organizing the contextual conditions that best empower users."
Hinton notes that when we collectively agree on the meaning of something then it has "contextual relevance" and that all the information that maps to it reinforce that meaning. The hyperlink allowed information to transcend being linear and transformed the internet because information located in a space and place could be accessed from anywhere and from any point. Hinton provides the example of a photograph which used to be more "real" when it was printed and displayed in a frame. Now, photos are more "real" when they're published on the web. That is, "If you want a picture to matter, you put it in a place where the most possible people might see it: on the web."
Some thoughts on the article...
The greater the number of people that not only have exposure to and access to but also have referenced a hyperlink, then the greater relevance that piece of information has. If something has more relevance, then it also has more importance and value to users since they have chosen to link to it. Every additional link adds contextual meaning and solidifies its existence and makes it even more real. We measure relevance in Google search results, the number of citations in Google Scholar, the number of friends in Facebook, the number of followers and re-tweets in Twitter, connections in LinkedIn, comments on blogs, the number of "Like It's", etc. IA serves users by creating "structures and mechanisms" that help users to be able to go to the spaces and places on the web that have meaning to them.
Hinton, A. (Spring, 2009). The Machineries of Context: New architectures for a new dimension. Journal of Information Architecture, 1(1), 37-47.
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