An information architect does for websites what a regular architect does for buildings. He or she plans the building, taking into account how the client wants to use it and what sort of statement the client wants to make and what sort of budget is available. The architect then works with the builder and the client to make sure that the job is done right.
On the web, an information architect does much the same thing. He or she designs the architecture of a site (though a graphic designer will often handle the look and feel). The architect, in particular, designs the link structure of the site so that that site will be meaningful to its intended users.
Many organizational sites fail because they are designed from the inside out, that is they only make sense to people who are already in the organization. An information architect's job is to make sure that never happens.
There are three big issues that all information architects must examine:
- Who are your primary readers and why are they visiting your site?
- What link names and link categories will make sense to your primary reader?
- How can you group links that have a similar purpose and a similar level of generality together?
Some Sites to think about
- The pub unit (student project)
- Glenn Elementary (student project)
Information Architecture Links