A lot of confusion and misunderstanding surrounds the term ‘information architecture’. The multitude of activities that can be labelled with these two words span a vast variety of people, skills and situations.
If you ask for an information architecture, what exactly are you going to receive in return?
Similarly, if someone tells you they are going to provide you with an information architecture, for a website or intranet for example, what exactly does that mean?
A primer, not a dictionary
This paper aims to explain the many faces of information architecture.
A precise definition of each term would be difficult, as there is still much debate even among the professionals who practice in this field, and that is not the objective here.
What is needed is a primer to help ordinary humans weave their way through the various labels that might be used to describe work related to information architecture.
To engage consultants or contractors, it is useful to understand the variety of terminology and be able to identify the area (or areas) in which you need assistance.
Similarly, consultants should find it helpful to be able to express, with a fair degree of certainty and precision, what area (or areas) they are able to provide services in.
[December KM Column written by Patrick Kennedy, read the full article]