TAG: Information Architecture

More Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture

How “information architecture” is defined much too broadly, frames design in the wrong way, and suffers from infoprefixation.

One of the more insightful social design books of the last decade is John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid’s The Social Life of Information (ch. 1), in which the authors suggest that we suffer from “tunnel vision” caused by an over-focus on technology. Certainly, the technological explosion of the Web has brought about huge changes, as Brown and Duguid should know: Brown works at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and Duguid works at UC Berkeley, two of the most distinguished technology havens on Earth.

Infoprefixation

One emergent problem Brown and Duguid describe is called “infoprefixation”, or being over-fixated on information instead of focusing on the people who use it to enrich their lives. Here’s how they explain it:

“…you don’t need to look far these days to find much that is familiar in the world redefined as information. Books are portrayed as information containers, libraries as information warehouses, universities as information providers, and learning as information absorption. Organizations are depicted as information coordinators, meetings as information consolidators, talk as information exchange, markets as information-driven stimulus and response”

This tendency to reframe things in terms of information echoes my frustrations with “information architecture”…

Continue Reading: More Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture

Folksonomies in Mac OS X?

Tagging is growing like wildfire on the Web. Maybe it can work on the desktop, too.

Continue Reading: Folksonomies in Mac OS X?

Josh and Jared Show

Jared and I are trying something new: a weekly (or so) podcast on an informal subject that’s making the rounds in the blogosphere. Here’s the first episode: Josh & Jared Show: Episode #1 In this episode we dig further into my so-called “War on Information Architecture”, and tease out some of the larger questions that […]

Continue Reading: Josh and Jared Show

Why Scale Matters in Tagging Systems

Why and how scale in social tagging systems can leverage the Wisdom of Crowds (much like Google does with links) to make the incorrect tags less influential than certain Aristotelians would have us believe. Ok, so I got into hot water for my Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture post… But I’m completely […]

Continue Reading: Why Scale Matters in Tagging Systems

Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture

Editor’s Note: (I have written a follow-up to this piece: More Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture. Since I wrote this piece, I’ve had many conversations with information architects and designers alike, and in the new piece I’ve tried to really outline the problem: IA at its most basic is the wrong frame […]

Continue Reading: Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture

The Del.icio.us Lesson

Personal value precedes network value.

Continue Reading: The Del.icio.us Lesson

Building Bubble-Up Folksonomies

Tom Coates writes up how to build bubble-up folksonomies. It’s an interesting piece, sure to become more useful over time, as systems migrate toward bottoms-up instead of top-down.

Are you thinking of building something like this?

Technorati Tags: What Are They Really?

Round and round we go, where we’ll stop, nobody knows! The crazy game of tags gets crazier. What are Technorati tags really? And should we use them now that categories are being indexed in the same way? Jeff Jarvis has started another good conversation about tagging over at Buzzmachine. (He started another good conversation about […]

Continue Reading: Technorati Tags: What Are They Really?

X-Wing Fighters and Classification Systems

Yesterday Clay Shirky published an amazing article called Ontologies are Overrated. Though he doesn’t mention Star Wars directly, his article has big implications for X-Wing Fighters and Land Speeders…

Continue Reading: X-Wing Fighters and Classification Systems

Do you believe in Mental Models?

Mental models are often used to express what’s going on inside the head of users. The question is, what do they look like? I think that, if anything, they would be task-oriented. What do you think?

Continue Reading: Do you believe in Mental Models?

« Previous Entries |