Updated: Mar 28
Information architecture emerged in “1970 at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in California, USA. In its early days, it brought together a group of world-class scientists, specialists in information and natural sciences, and entrusted them with the mission of creating an information architecture” (3).
Starting in the 90s, various papers have been written on information architecture. Today, the principal authors are Richard Saul Wurman, the first to use the term “information architects,” Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville, Jesse James Garret, and others. These issue various definitions of the subject, including the following:
Richard Saul Wurman 1996 defines them as: "...people who organize the patterns inherent in the data, who make the complex clear...". "...a person who creates the map or structure of information that enables others to find their path to knowledge..." (4).
Rosenfeld and Morville 1998 assert that it is the activity that: "...clarifies the mission and vision of the site, and balances the needs of the sponsor and the public...", "...determines the content and features that the site will have...", "...specify how users find information by defining their organization, navigation, tagging and search systems...", "...maps how the site will adapt to change and growth over time..." (5).
Jesse James Garret, in “Elements of user experience,” in 2002, states that “information architecture is the structural design of information space to facilitate intuitive access to content.” (6).
Graduate Rodrigo Ronda León, 2008, asserted that Information Architecture is: “the art and the science. According to the needs and characteristics of the users and their environment, it is a question of defining the organizational structures of information. This is done by interacting with users, studying the context, organizing and representing information to achieve a better quality of the information product in the digital context (software, websites, intranet, information systems, etc.). The work contributes to interaction design, information design, graphic design and programming” (7).
The Microsoft Office System team and servers were established in 2009: "The information architecture of Office SharePoint Server is the organization of an organization's information (its documents, lists, websites, and web pages ) to maximize ease of use and information management. Some factors that contribute to proper implementation are: how easy information is to find, how it is stored, retrieved and how users navigate the information. The degree of redundancy or overlap of information. The metadata is available for each type of information. The models used to create information and the effectiveness of information architecture oversight” (8).
When analyzing the definitions given by these authors, one can consider that information architecture is the discipline that provides and determines the information content and the organizational structure of the application, according to the needs and preferences of the public, to contribute to and guarantee the final quality of the product and the complete satisfaction of users. This discipline generates a final result, reports, diagrams, and tables.
(1) Collective of authors. ERP-Summaries. [Document] Havana: s.n., 2003.
(2) Vega Miniet, Yanet engineer. CIG-Definition of the CEDRUX scope. [Document] Havana: s.n., 2010. p.5
(3) Pake, G. E. Research at Xerox PARC: A Founder's Assessment. IEEE Spectrum, October 1985. Cited by Hearst, Marti A. Research in Support of Digital Libraries at Xerox PARC. Part I: The changing social roles of documents. D-Lib Magazine, May 1996.
(4) Saul Wurman, Richard. Information Architects. Los Angeles: Watson-Guptill Pubis, 1997. p. 10.11.
(5) Rosenfeld Louis, Morville Peter. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. 1999. p. 14, 20,21,29,58,65,67,105,105,151,140,141,137.
(6) James Garrett, Jesse. Elements of user experience. New York: New Riders Editions, 2002, p. Eleven.
(7) Ronda Leon, Rodrigue. Not just convenience. Multidisciplinary magazine on interaction design. Information architecture: historical-conceptual analysis. In: No Solo Usability, No. 7. <nosolousabilidad.com>. ISSN 1886-8592. Havana, April 2008.
(8) Servers, Microsoft Office System Equipment and. Office SharePoint Server 2007 planning and architecture, part one. s.l. Microsoft Corporation, 2009. o12ITdx@microsoft.com.