SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Information Architecture 3.0
Re: [Sigia-l] Information Architecture 3.0
IA : typography as IxD: graphic design
That's what I mean. That better. :)
But seriously, Richard, you are saying that IA considers time, but
there is no theory or method I have seen in IA to deal with time as a
component of its practice.
But this to me isn't even to the point.
Let's go back to the beginning.
I have a really hard time with the concept of a multi-disciplinary
discipline? Practice, yes. Discipline? that just doesn't make sense.
And if it is indeed a multi-disciplinary practice, than what is the
difference between IA and UX? Now, I do believe there is a difference,
b/c I do believe that IA is a discipline of its own theoretically and
methodologically; but the only way you can do this is to concentrate
on it as a narrow discipline.
Being trained as an anthropologist, I lived and breathed this issue
because my studies crossed-over Anthro, Sociology, Linguinstics and
Psychology. NONE of these disciplines would ever consider themselves
"multi-disciplinary" yet there is some HUGE overlap between all of
them. Even Poli Sci, Economics, and History can all easily be thrown
in this mix. But then you have a program like "Cultural Studies" to
come to life, where you take courses from all of the above and throw
in literature, art history, etc. It is not a new discipline, but
rather a multi-disciplinary "program" ...
So the more this conversation goes on, the more entrenched, I feel I'm
becoming in my understanding of IA as a discipline, a narrow
discipline with HUGE value for a host of problem sets across digital,
spatial, and temporal environments (and mixes there in), but IA at its
core is not the basis for moving into strategy all by itself. You need
more. You need Info Design, you need IxD, you need Writing, HCI, etc.
Oh! and you need to understand business & management theory and
practice, let alone technology.
Strategy should never belong to someone who only understands a single
narrow discipline, but everyone has to start from some place. Look at
classical advertising. The classic creative team has visual and copy
working together on a project, under the direction of a creative
director. Not a Visual Design Director or a Copy Manager, but a
"Creative Director". This person most likely came from either Visual
or Copy, but now manages them both. While there is no guarantee that
one starting point will lead to the director role more than the other,
what is clear is that by working in this partnership the person to be
promoted learns the other's role enough to direct it (not do it, just
director it). (Oy! this brings up a whole other axis which is "craft";
so that makes it role, practice, discipline, community and now
"craft"!). In fact, surprising to many is how many CDs come from the
writing side. Why is that? B/c CDs need to understand narrative, as
brand design and advertising is 100% about story telling, and who
tells stories better? writers or graphic designers?
So to my point, which is that, it doesn't matter which community you
are a part of. In the end, you will get promoted on your strength in
bridging the disciplines enough to direct all of them. This is why
while I do think there is a powerful need for more people to
understand the discipline of IxD, I am here to learn (and sometimes
teach) IA theory and practice, so I can better direct around those
aspects of my projects that require this.
I find it funny that most IAs are still "stuck" doing "web stuff" b/c
most information management has almost nothing to do with the web.
Information problems are about the creation, collection, manipulation,
presentation, flow, and consumption of information in spaces that
might use a "web browser", but have almost nothing to do with the
I also find it interesting that people feel that trying to narrow a
definition of IA means denigrating the community. I think it will
empower it. Instead of having a blunt instrument that is over-used and
mismanaged, we can have a sharp scalpel with which to slice with like
a surgeon, making it harder for people to repeat our work because it
requires such depth of understanding and such practice of craft that
few can just step in our shoes. Right now, any BA or Product Manager
feels they can "do IA" b/c they see IA as a sitemap and a wireframe.
Visio + PPT and I'm an IA. But we all know the discipline is much
deeper and any big "D" designer worth their salt will have to dive
into that depth in order to reach the levels of understanding that
many of us have achieved or are well on the path towards achieving.
What difference does it make if IA is in IxD or visa versa. What makes
a difference is what is IA!!!! and what is IxD. Relationships can only
be formed after you have defined yourself onto yourself. We should not
be defining ourselves as a comparison to some other. What is IA for
On 12/3/06, richard_dalton_at_vanguard.com <richard_dalton_at_vanguard.com> wrote:
> Anyone reading this would think that you consider IA and IxD to be equal
> siblings rather than IA just a smaller part of IxD and I must admit to a
> certain confusion myself. I don't buy the "IA doesn't take into account
> time" theory - of course it does - how can you help someone find something
> (for example) only considering a single point in time? I firmly believe
> that JJG's first elements diagram with IA and IxD occupying the same
> "structure" plane depending on the context of use (application vs
> hypertext system) is the most valid one.
> > Just like there is Typography, iconography which are their own
> > disciplines but have deep overlap with graphic design, so is IA and
> > IxD and even Graphic Design all distinct disciplines with strong
> > bodies of knowledge.
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When replying, please *trim your post* as much as possible.
*Plain text, please; NO Attachments
Searchable Archive at http://www.info-arch.org/lists/sigia-l/
Most presentations/papers and posters have been loaded to the IA Summit 06 website:
Sigia-l mailing list -- post to: Sigia-l_at_asis.org
Changes to subscription: http://mail.asis.org/mailman/listinfo/sigia-l
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: Sun Dec 03 2006 - 23:11:55 EST