IA: The Road to Everywhere
I’ll admit that I was as trepidatious as I was excited about starting the IA module of UX Academy. My boss from my last job had come from an Information Architecture background, and while she was always quick to share and explain her knowledge, it seemed that IA was a huge field made up of many different ideas and components.
Turns out she was right.
There was, however, a silver lining in that while the act of perfecting these skills takes time, the idea of IA seems simple enough. Organize information in a way that makes the _________ as easy to use as it can be. As a novice to this though, I am realizing that without actually using these concepts in the real world you are never really going to understand them. That’s the scariest thing, for me at least. Especially when you realize that it is going to be a new road, in essence, for every product/service/website/app you are working on.
I say scary, but perhaps it’s exciting too. Experience always yields knowledge (but not always without struggle), and while I am of a very “fake-it-til-you-make-it” mentality, knowledge doesn’t come without experience. But enough about my doom and gloom…
"Information architecture is the thoughtful contriving of ontology, taxonomy and choreography in the service of utility and delight. Making the complex clear.”
– Dan Klyn
Dan Klyn’s four minute video was very helpful, as was this simple Venn diagram that explains IA. The heuristics reading was very explanatory and I liked all the questions that went along with each principle. The serve as a helpful guide to use when on a project, as rules to go by and/or suggestions of where to go or what to try when you’re stuck on something. I also appreciated the “real world” example that accompanied each one.
In terms of the deliverables I can easily see how they are useful, and had a really good time with them for the Good Market product we are working on. I look forward to exploring more of them, especially others listed in Christina Wodtke’s article for Sitepoint. I plan on using task analysis and user flows in the future.
So in conclusion, I am happy to be one step further on the UX road, and am excited to take this knowledge forward, both in the class and at future jobs. I do look forward to the day though, when I have all this down and can confidently rattle off plans for IA to clients as if I have been doing it for years. I’m also very much looking forward to where this field is heading and what is further down the road.