What is Information Architecture?

Rosenfeld's (Argus Associates) definition:

"Information Architecture involves the design of organization, labeling, navigation and search systems to help people find and manage information more successfully."

1) Technology

low end:
  • hardware
  • networking
  • operating system
  • web server
  • additional software for the server (scripting languages etc)

    medium end:

  • regular back-ups of the site
  • monitor error logs and access logs
  • keep up with Internet/WWW trends (www.w3c.org)
  • search engine and sitemap
  • site security
  • site functionality (HTML validity, links checkers, etc)
  • site statistics

    2) Content

  • creativity
  • writing skills
  • graphic design skills
  • conceptual organizing and structuring skills

    planning: (this info will often be provided by marketing department)

  • mission, vision, plan
  • marketing, promotion
  • analysis of company's goals
  • analysis of target audience

    content organization: (content itself is usually provided by someone else)

  • conceptual organization (hierarchy, time-line, etc)
  • content architecture (navigation, frames, etc)


  • HTML, Javascript, CGI, Php, Flash, Director, etc
  • graphic design (clip-art, video, audio etc)

    standards and basic functionality:

  • adherence to policies (of company) and protocols (WWW)
  • cross-platform compatibility
  • usability of site
  • accessibility of site
  • basic checks: spell-check, HTML validity, vocabulary etc
  • dealing with time sensitive content (updates, calendar, etc)

    3) People skills

  • negotiate with administrators
  • talk to promotion/marketing department
  • staff training and support
  • user support (and education)
  • identify software/tutorials for staff/users (authoring tools etc)
  • create FAQs for the site