SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] So, how did you become a[Information Architect|UsabilityEngineer|Interface Designer|etc.]?
Re: [Sigia-l] So, how did you become a[Information Architect|UsabilityEngineer|Interface Designer|etc.]?
On 6/27/05, Peter Van Dijck <peter_at_poorbuthappy.com> wrote:
> Why have IA's done better at selling their field than, say, "Knowledge
> managers", or the much maligned "webmasters"?
> I have a pet theory about why IA as a field has been successful enough
> for many companies to now say "I need an IA". Basically: we're great at
> creating boundary objects (creating things that have different meanings
> for different groups of people, like wireframes). Which is exactly what
> web teams need.
Also, I think the title, when Richard Saul Wurman first came up with
it, was a master stroke. His context was off-course a little
Just think of it. "Information Architect" conveys just the right blend
seriousness and expertise. It has a different connotation than
"Interaction Designer" or "Usability Engineer" although we well know
that you could be doing the same work and be called all of these.
The field itself has really been successful because it gives us tools
and methods to deal with the developing interfaces (we could debate
that too but this is good enough to go on). One can argue for time to
come about what exactly constitutes IA. Same thing for ID or UE. But
we all agree on what a 'wireframe' is or a process flow looks like. A
site map is a site map (a visual/textual representation of
hierarchical content relationships; a view of the organization of a
system). And we might all have different ways of doing 'task-analysis'
but we all agree that it's neccessary.
That said, are titles needed?
If you are a consultant you're probably used to selling yourself many
different ways and so might feel that they're irrelevant. You might
also have some rancor because you often deal with other's 'titled'
messes. Please remember that competence is not ensured by a 'title'.
If you are an employee however, you might feel that people need some
way to refer to you or the work that you do. Just as we refer to a
'plumber' or 'electrician' when the need arises.
Our field is also one in transition. Imagine how our jobs would change
if there is a technological advance and someone comes up with a
computer that has a more human interface and you can 'tell it' what to
do. Will the 'boundary objects' still apply? Probably not . But I'm
sure that even then we will evolve methodologies to deal with
designing interaction. I can see IAs in that future.
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: Mon Jun 27 2005 - 13:43:56 EDT