Information Architecture and Information Architects


I’ve often come short in finding a title for what I do. I work with semantic web, knowledge management, ontologies, the semantics of information, metadata and how information should be represented to be searchable and retrievable. My question is if the title Information Architect is appropriate for what I do?

In a recent blog post Peter Morville of Semantic Studios discuss the definition of Information Architecture . He starts out with a definition from Polar Bear 3.0 that goes like this

  1. The structural design of shared information environments.
  2. The combination of organization, labeling, search, and navigation systems within web sites and intranets.
  3. The art and science of shaping information products and experiences to support usability and findability.
  4. An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

As Peter Morville points out, this definition does not include much user interaction design. People working in this field tend to call them selves information architects. As he also points out, the term “information architecture” is worth five times more in Google adwords…

Based on this I believe I can call myself an information architect, at least until someone changes the definition once again, come up with a better one, or it is used by everyone… Or maybe I should just call myself a consultant.

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One thought on “Information Architecture and Information Architects

  1. Lars Marius Garshol

    Information architect used to be someone who works with SGML, typically designing SGML DTDs for publishing houses and technical documentation.

    Then it was taken by the people who work on the conceptual design of web sites, and today that seems to be the most common use of the term.

    Maybe you are a knowledge architect? Maybe I am, too, come to that…

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