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Information architecture Summary. Natalia Shatokhina CS575 Spring 2010. Understanding IA.

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information architecture summary

Information architectureSummary

Natalia Shatokhina


Spring 2010

understanding ia
Understanding IA
  • Information architecture (IA) is a boundary, multidisciplinary field which borrows from architecture, library and information science, industrial design, and the social and cognitive sciences to design information spaces
  • IA has been defined in different ways, often in relation to Web design as the art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability.
  • More recently the field started encompassing environmental design. Pervasive IA concept gains popularity.
information ecology concept
“Information ecology” concept

“Information ecology” concept illustrates complex dependencies that exists between users, content and context

Business goals, funding, politics, culture, technology, resources


Audience, tasks, needs,info-seeking behavior, experience

Document/data types, content objects, volume, existing structure




information architecture as a discipline
Information architecture as a discipline

Main components of IA for WWW:

  • Organization systems (how we categorize information)
  • Navigation systems (how we browse or move through information)
  • Searching systems (executing a search query against an index)
  • Labeling systems (how we represent the information)
  • Metadata, controlled vocabulary, classification schemas

IA process:

  • Research
  • Strategy
  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Administration
designing for pervasive information environments
Designing for pervasive information environments
  • Pervasive architecture - a new view on the architecture of information and human-information interaction.

- it is the information architecture for a pervasive environment, where user interacts with cross-media.

  • Cross-media
    • Concept: parts of a single good or service are distributed among different devices, media, or environments, and require the user to move across two or more complementary, non-alternative, domains.
  • Example: Design of an environment in a public library


The challenge for HCI professionals: to shift from designing computing devices to designing information (Design of information space is more important then the design of objects that interact with that space)

example carnegie library in pittsburgh
Example: Carnegie library in Pittsburgh

The environment comprised physical spaces (buildings, rooms, materials), organizers (classification schemes, online catalog) and human beings (customers , librarians and staff)

  • Research
    • Talked to stakeholders, interviewed librarians and customers, observed customers interactions with the library systems
  • Analysis
    • Defined basic components of IA, created personas walking through scenarios, created diagrams mapping difficulties customers encounter when moving between organizers, communicated the understanding of the system to stakeholders
  • Design (work in progress)
    • developed directions: improve customers’ wayfinding experience, help them transition gracefully from one organizer to another
  • Refinement & Implementation (work in progress)
    • refined IA for physical space (redesigned signage and wayfinding mechanisms) and categorization schemes, proposed a surface for displaying of information of general interest in several areas as pervasive architecture element