SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] unemployed?
Re: [Sigia-l] unemployed?
From: Andrew Hinton (ahinton_at_symetri.com)
Date: Thu Jun 06 2002 - 13:09:01 EDT
This hasn't gone through on the mailing list as far as I can tell. Here it
is again, sorry if it's a duplicate!!
::ZiyaOz_at_earthlink.net::wrote on 6/5/02 7:18 PM:
> But what's to prevent designers
> and developers to 'extend' their services and skill sets to cover the new
> 'pull'? Not all of it, of course, but a significant enough portion so that a
> discreet IA position becomes not a necessity but a 'luxury' in many
Doesn't threaten me at all. I've been *trying* to get our designers to take
on these very responsibilities for years. I'll be glad the day that I don't
have to worry about the more tedious workings of the "usability" portion of
a project and can trust designer(s) to handle it, with me as an occasional
That'll give me more time to figure out deeper architectures for shared
information environments. Time which I need desperately as our jobs get more
complex and ambitious.
We have a freelancer who has spent a year at a top NY design school already
(home for the summer). I gave him some usability feedback on a design he's
working on, and he said "man, I'm sorry...I suck at IA." And I *cringed*.
But I understood his situation...nobody had told him any different. I just
explained that all I was talking about was interface design, which he needs
to learn to be a "designer"... IA is manifested in what's *behind* the
interface. One is meaningless without the other, yes, but they are different
areas of expertise.
Architects need excellent interior designers who know how to pick and
utilize the right materials for the job. (Just as film directors need
kick-ass cinematographers.) But somebody has to shape the big picture.
Now, on smaller jobs, my more capable designers are more than able to
handle a great deal of the IA responsibilities, because they're articulate,
intelligent people who can make good judgments about how to structure some
information, and they know how to get user feedback on that. That's fine...
It means I can conserve my energy for researching, pushing the envelope on
new, more complex and challenging architectures for other clients with more
I like calling myself an Information Architect because I have this romantic
notion of what an Architect actually does -- create relevant people-centered
Architecture as this ideal is a great picture of IA for me... But the more I
hear about how it's done in the real world, the more disappointed I am in
Anyway, another analogue I recently thought of was this:
To me, interaction design / usability is to IA as syntax is to plot. You
really can't separate them. But there are a lot of terrific writers who need
:: s y m e t r i ::
andrew.hinton ÷ information.architecture ÷ ahinton_at_symetri.com
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:18 EST