Rediscovering Information Architecture

UX Collective’s Fabricio Teixeira and Caio Braga writing in their fifth annual State of UX report:

While last year we the design community reflected on how the experiences we create can impact the world (from enabling tech addiction to influencing democratic elections), this year’s report carries a more positive outlook: 2020 is the year of pragmatic optimism. It is the year for designers to conscientiously improve not only the digital products people use every day, but also our companies and our industry.

The report highlights several possible futures for an improved UX design field. Among them: the rediscovery of information architecture. This section cites the central role of information environments in today’s societies and notes that designing effectively for such environments calls for thinking beneath the surface to the structures that underlie them.

This subject is dear to me, so I was grateful when Caio and Fabricio asked me to contribute some thoughts for the report. I’ll highlight this one since I think it nicely articulates the broad implications of the subject:

As we enter the year 2020, things start to change as information environments become the core of all digital institutions surrounding our lives. “Organizations are stewards of information environments, and information structures are a key strategic concern. Companies, governments, and non-profits must aim for these structures to be useful, usable, and coherent — not just for themselves and their stakeholders, but for society as a whole,” explains Arango. “These factors increase the strategic importance of design in general and information architecture in particular. IA is long overdue for rediscovery and resurgence.”

The whole thing is worth your attention — especially if you’re responsible for the design of digital products or services.

The State of UX in 2020