The Architecture of Information

Yesterday I launched a new website, The Architecture of Information. I describe it as a collection of “intriguing information structures from the web and beyond.” In other words, the site showcases examples of information architectures spotted in the wild.

While the site is new, much of its content isn’t. I’ve posted examples of good/bad/intriguing information architecture on my personal blog over the past three years, using the tag TAOI (the architecture of information.) I’ve copied those posts to the new website, where they can have a life of their own.

Why am I doing this? There are lots of sites that feature examples of user interface design, but few (none?) that focus on information architecture. People are drawn to snazzy screenshots and clever animations. Good navigation systems and clear conceptual models aren’t as obvious or immediately appealing.

Yet good IA is essential. As I’ve said so many times before, the structural layer of websites/apps/digital things changes more slowly than look-and-feel. Information structures have a critical influence on the effectiveness of digital products over time. So, we need to pay more heed to what’s happening beneath the surface of these things.

I hope The Architecture of Information helps shed some light. If you have ideas for interesting information structures you’d like me to feature, please get in touch. And also check out the new site — I’d love your feedback.