Brian Ardinger interviewed me for his Inside Outside Innovation podcast. The focus of our conversation was my book, Living in Information. As part of our conversation, I gave an overview of the discipline of information architecture:
Information architecture is focused on helping make information easier to find and understand. So, think of something like an online store where you maybe are offering your customers a large catalog of goods. There are going to be ways for you to structure that information so that your customers can find what they’re looking for and so that they can do things like compare products to other products or find related products. And establishing those relationships, figuring out what distinctions to enable, is a big part of what information architects do.
A lot of people who are involved with the design of software-based experiences think of design as concerned with the way that things look and how they function. And that is certainly an important component of it. But information architects are concerned with the underlying structures that inform those things. That includes things like categories, navigation systems, the way that search engine search functionality, and such a system is structured and organized. Those are all within the area of concern for information architects.
Now that the pandemic has forced us to move so many of our activities online, the work of structuring information environments is more important than ever. I’m grateful to Brian for giving me an opportunity to share it with folks.