SIGIA-L Mail Archives: SIGIA-L: unfortunate use of term IA
SIGIA-L: unfortunate use of term IA
From: Karl Fast (karl.fast_at_pobox.com)
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 09:29:44 EST
There's an interesting article at The Standard today about urban
plannning and "The Sims," by JC Herz (author of Joystick Nation).
Unfortunately the article starts with a rather misleading definition
of information architecture and hints that IA is a reddish herring.
Learning From The Sims
A sleeper software hit shows how customers help build better businesses.
by J.C. Herz
March 19, 2001, The Standard
In the first flush of Internet excitement, companies spent a lot
of money on "information architecture." Architecture, after all,
was a great metaphor, full of modernist language about structure
and engineering, clarity and navigation, form and function - and
it allowed executives to play out their Fountainhead fantasies
with bits instead of bulldozers. Sites went up, as
indistinguishable from each other as Bauhaus buildings. Spurred by
advertising, visitors showed up, dabbled, perhaps staying long
enough to spend a few bucks. But most didn't put down roots.
This was not an architectural problem. This was an urban planning
problem. How do you convince people to move somewhere, commit
time, energy and money, and cluster their activities around
property you control? Once you've convinced them to move there,
how do you keep the population spending freely without going
bankrupt yourself? These are urban planning issues.
As everyone here knows, people did not spend on IA during the "first
flush of Internet excitement." Few people knew what it was prior to
'98 and even today many are reluctant to spend on it.
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