Talk:Information architecture

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Gracezhang15m.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 22:59, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s):

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 00:31, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Difference Between?[edit]

Information architecture concerns "the structural design of shared information environments; the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability..." involving "a model or concept of information that is used and applied to activities which require explicit details of complex information systems."

Information engineering concerns the design and development of information systems.

Informatics "applies the principles of information science to solve problems using data. It involves the practice of information processing and the engineering of information systems. The field considers the interaction between humans and information alongside the construction of interfaces, organisations, technologies and systems.

Information engineering (field) concerns the "generation, distribution, analysis, and use of information, data, and knowledge in systems."

Information systems are "designed to collect, process, store, and distribute information."

It seems that these are all distinct fields in that they all coexist and define their respective fields in the process of self-identifying themselves as communities of practice. But they all deal with the same ideas: designing processes or systems that collect, generate, process, and distribute information. The application of the terms architecture and engineering barrows from their original meanings in the construction industries to describe a systematic approach to design, in this case, the design of information systems.

Is there an actual difference between information architecture, information engineering, and informatics? Are they not all manifestations of a common concept, the design of information systems?

If not, how can we better disambiguate the concepts?

Ryan Close (talk) 19:05, 14 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is Information?[edit]

Information Concepts [RFC/I]


A branch of information science, and of computer science, that focuses on the study of information processing, and particularly as respect to systems integration and human interactions with machines and data/content.


Interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information (Structure). Practitioners within this field study the application and usage of knowledge in organizations, along with the interaction between people, organizations and any existing information systems, with the aim of creating, replacing, improving or understanding information systems (Architecture). Information science is actually an interdisciplinary field that includes diverse fields such as ontology, archival science, cognitive science, commerce, communications, law, library science, museology, management, mathematics, philosophy, public policy, social sciences (Material), and maintained by computer science technologies. Information-Sciences Lifecycle will sustain virtual-material resources for business process applications, and provide information interoperability that delivers Org/Ops Structured Information as a Mission Essential Material. Information Architecture is Structured data/content, Information Technology Architecture is required infrastructure.

Functional Three Areas: 1. Information Material [Structured Reusable Resources] Product, Cargo ... Assets Services / Lifecycle. 2. Information Management [Organization a/o Operational Application] Knowledge Management Processes. 3. Information Technology [Physical/Virtual Architecture] Infrastructure, Telecommunications ... Connection.

NOTE: W3-Services, Internet-Infrastructure, Information-Material; Material justifies economic investments in infrastructure and expenditures for fulfillment services

Authoritative Information is Implicit (factually required) and explicit (expressly required). The authority of the implicit (Science / Engineering) or explicit (Law / Regulation) is the originating source. So, implicit a/o explicit information implies authority.

Three Basic Information Forms:

Data is implicit knowledge, harvested and analyzed with implicit skills and technology science, engineering... tools that can add hypothetical, theoretical, or applied actionable value. Data is reusable information (music-note, temperature, motion, parameter, measure, number...) for automation, which enables the human ability to simulate physics, and represent a/o replicate processes for science, mathematics, engineering, personal, manufacturing, business... development at micro and macro levels. (Nanotech, Pyramid...).

Content is explicit human understandable knowledge for learning and expression. Content is produced for human utilization, assessment, and response. Content is knowledge derived from data-interpretation and aggregation that was formatted to present for human learning and/or entertainment. (symphony, weather, movie, book...) experience.

Metadata (XML, GEIA ... tags) is a labeling method for representing, managing, and retrieving data and content. Metadata supports automation of data/content for organization, aggregation, analysis, sharing... and recycling. Data/Content metadata labeling provides functionality for sharing data and content as community consumable commodities.


Pre-20140917 IMHO, Information is a virtual-material resource; However, Information Technology Architecture is a real-material resource. Information Archaeology/Ontology should not ever be considered a part of Information Technology Architecture. Information Technology/Architecture provides infrastructure for accessing paths to known implicit, explicit, and unknown "INFORMATION."

Information is a culture/social product/resource having value without a need for any information technology.

Limit this article to Information/telecommunication technology, and infrastructure management and architecture to reduce conflicts/confusion.

Information ArchaeOntology would be an interesting applied science major. %~X

Lifecycle Information Design: The Venture Objective where Information Determines Social Change and Technology Application. The Stable Legacy is where Technology Determined Social Change and Information Application.

Adelophilia (talk) 16:23, 18 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What is polymorphism?

Did you read Polymorphism? andy 20:54, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Aaronbrick wrote: (we are not here to criticise semantics, but to illuminate them)

Since when are we afraid to criticize? Isn’t criticism illumination?

Information Architects[edit]

I think there should be a seperate page for Information Architect. At the moment this page redirects to Information Architecture. My suggestion for Information Architect headlines are: Roles and responsibilities, Training and certifications. Mahanchian, 11:33, 27 January 2006 (GMT)

I agree, Mahanchian. But even now in 2011, we haven't reached a consensus on the definition of IA and the role of an information architect. And the role will continue to change with changing technologies. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't post some current definitions, based on the type of information system being designed, the organization to which it belongs, the academic institution that provides the education, etc. My concern is that every school and job position describes the qualification and responsibilities of an IA differently. SilvrWings (talk) 08:03, 31 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I let the criticism slide for three reasons: First, nothing in the article is currently referenced. Second, it's a legitimate criticism. Third, though it may be hard to find a reference for it, that applies to almost every statement in the entire article. There's not much to information architecture once you get past all the promotion. It's much more just the use of the granfalloon technique than it is a profession. --Ronz 18:52, 13 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

im interested in becoming an architect but.....[edit]

i cant find any information on any website about the schooling and what courses i need its very complicated! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:17, 9 March 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Suggestion: First learn to capitalize the personal pronoun ("I") and the difference between "its" and "it's". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 12 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, it is complicated to become a good information architect! The formal education is not even half of it, after that you have to tackle real-world problems which tend not to be as clear-cut as those you encountered in your studies.

Be as it may, please realize that your request will never be taken seriously unless you communicate it in a professional manner. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 24 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

About the concept of IA[edit]

Really the IA) 21:09, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Good question. You can see this article (sorry, only in spanish): Arquitectura de la Información: Análisis histórico-conceptual. Use GoogleTranslator for translate I think that the Information Architecture should be a Science but today we can't said that it's a science. Questions for reflection:

  • How can we measure the IA of a site or information space?
  • Exist a standard terminology for IA?
  • Exist an international glossary about IA?
  • Exist a controlled vocabulary?
  • What are the methodologies of IA?
  • Exist a big corpus of scientific articles about IA and their methodologies?
  • Exist specialized training and studies about IA?
  • Exist university education about IA?

These are excellent questions... and a great Spanish article. I disagree with your statement, I don't think IA is a science; I agree with Andrew Dillon (cited in the article), IA is a craft but shares many similarities with science. But I strongly agree with you that this needs to be specified: is IA a science, an applied science, a discipline, a craft, a skill set or a design process (etc)? SilvrWings (talk) 08:12, 31 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

About my recent edits[edit]

I recently made a few edits to this page that hopefully improve this article. I added a number of references to uncited sentences. I also reworked a few awkwardly worded sentences and phrases. I deleted the etymology section, since I felt that it did not add anything to this article. I also took out a sentence about 'structural engineering' as it seemed irrelevant. I added a few pieces of information, such as the fact that Wurman coined the term around 1975 (sources differ on whether it was '75 or '76 - I cited one that says '75).

I hope this community approves of my changes. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:21, 8 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I put back in a reference to RS Wurman —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 8 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

peacock terms?[edit]

Which are the peacock terms on this page? I see "Many schools with library [...]" but what else? I'm happy to go chase down references etc (talk) 11:37, 24 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can't find any "peacock terms" on the page, so am deleting that tag. Is that the correct procedure? If you do find some peacock terms, please comment here as to what they are so they can be cleaned up. (talk) 00:04, 21 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Human Trust Experience" - what is this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 18 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There are a number of conferences held around the world specifically addressing the information architecture field: ASIS&T IA Summit, EuroIA, Italian IA Summit, German IA Conference, Oz-IA. There are also other web industry conferences which often have tracks specific to IA. Would it be appropriate to mention them here? I'm thinking doing so would go some way to address the peacock terms criticisms (ie. show, don't tell). (talk) 12:21, 24 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

These are links to the conferences, they all have 2009 events planned (talk) 07:06, 1 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"critique" : original research and unverified claims[edit]

Except maybe the "Icebear" book by Morville there is little widely recognized literature out there, particularily as it concerns structured/unstructured data. Many of the coferences listed above show presentations by practioners and consultants. These conferences are not in all aspects comparable to e.g. established academic conferences and their proceedings. Giving a source with the source itself not (scientifically) verifiable does not add value other than pointing out one is not alone to say this (which doesn't necessarily make it true). (talk) 14:44, 8 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IA & Semiotics[edit]

It seems unjustified to say that IA and semiotics are unrelated. If semiotics involves understanding how a sign will be interpreted, then surely a good information architect would leverage this information in order to make sure their classification system is understandable by their users.

Some philosophy—e.g. about the nature of categorization, the question of universals, etc—could also be relevant to IA.

The following two paragraphs from this article imply that, at least, there is probably more going on here than the current entry gives IA credit for:

As David Weinberger described in Everything is Miscellaneous, ancient philosophers generally believed that the world was inherently categorized. Humanity’s endeavor was to find and label those categories. Recent developments in cognitive science show that classification is much more complex, and much less absolute. We establish categories for things based on what we already know and what we expect. In short, information architecture requires designing structures sensitive to these observations about human cognition.

Studip101 (talk) 04:39, 15 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Such a statement is seems to me to be entirely unjustified. See: the semantic web. Information Architects deal with the semantic web and metadata such as CSS & XML. Semiotics deals also with semantics and representation of information (e.g. metadata). Finally google "semantic web and semiotics" or semiotic web. Clearly there is some overlap between semiotics and Information Architecture. -- (talk) 17:45, 31 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Data or Information Architectures
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Cecil.Somerton (talkcontribs) 13:08, 12 August 2011 (UTC) I have been using the notion of semiotics to distinguish between information and data as concepts to separate the concerns around their architectures. The ISO/IEC 2382-1 Information technology - Vocabulary - part 1:Fundamental Terms supports the distinction with their definitions;Reply[reply]

01.01.01 information (in information processing) Knowledge concerning objects, such as facts, events, things, processes, or ideas, including concepts, that within a certain context has a particular meaning.

01.0l.02 data A reinterpretable representation of information in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing.

From this perspective structural aspects appear to be encompassed in the data architecture. The information architecture on the other hand determines who, when, where, how and why the data structures (information representations) are transformed (human to machine to machine to human) and distributed throughout a system. In this sense much of this article is about structures - definition structures, signs, naming structures, navigation structures, representation classification, integration, models, bits and bytes and so forth. Information on creating some of these these structures ISO 704, 1087, 860, 19115 ...

One of the things that is missing from the discussion is the notion of metatdata or if you will the relationship between the data representation and its reinterpretation mechanisms. Quality information transmission requires quality representation and reinterpretation capacity. These are a major part of the architectures. There is likely a discussion to be had around what part of the reinterpretation mechanisms belong to the information or data architectures but I think a distinction can be made. The point is that both semiotics and metadata are important parts of the narrative and that data and information architectures need to be clearly distinguished from each other.

Data Architecture

--Cecil.Somerton (talk) 13:06, 12 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Concentric and Chaotic structures mentioned are too vague[edit]

The concentric and chaotic structures are mentioned but not defined enough in the article to know what the author is talking about. ~jonrgrover

The Debate Section[edit]

I felt that it was important to include a section on 'debate' or something along those lines (controversy, etc) because the definition of IA is not only ambiguous depending on the context but also debatable within a context, namely in online information systems (webdesign). I recently read an article by Andrew Dillon that named the debate the "big IA-little IA debate", referring to how narrowly or broadly the term is defined. This is my first major wikipedia edit and it's part of a school assignment (see notice at the top of the page) so please be aware of that; I am here to learn and to try to become a part of the wikipedia community. SilvrWings (talk) 08:35, 31 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Under the definition section, there were two definitions that were presented in different paragraphs but I thought should be merged into one so that it doesn't seem separate and potentially contradictory. One sentence says IA is a "specialized skill set that interprets information and expresses distinctions between signs and systems of signs"; and the other says it "involves the categorization of information into a concrete structure...". So what I did was I said the second sentence was defining IA more concretely, and put them together into one paragraph. SilvrWings (talk) 08:40, 31 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Legal ramifications of using the title of architect[edit]

Discussion at Talk:Enterprise_architect#Architect --Ronz (talk) 18:33, 5 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Who decides who is a "notable"?[edit]

There seems to have been a furious series of edits around who should be "notable". Many of the names are orphans (not linked to existing Wikipedia pages) and have no verifiable citations as to their credentials if any. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:32, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agree that this list feels arbitrary, lacking references or any clear rationale for who's included. Wurman/Rosenfeld/Morville did write foundational books on the subject, so their inclusion feels warranted. Wodtke, Arango, Reiss, Resmini and Covert also have published books on the subject. Klyn has an established academic platform at the University of Michigan and is currently president of the IA Institute. It's less clear why the other names in this list warrant inclusion over any number of other IA practitioners. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:25, 16 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Linear Navigation[edit]

The "Linear Navigation" page has been deleted and redirected to this "Information Architecture" page, but there is no reference to "linear navigation" in this page. It seems that someone has not just moved Linear Navigation, but deleted its definition from Wikipedia altogether.

Hard to read introduction[edit]

The introduction is difficult to understand (in my opinion). I was about to link to wikipedia to introduce the topic to a customer, but I think it’s more useful to link to an easier to read document.

Here’s the intro as it is today. I have bolded out the elements I think are most distracting, although I think a complete rewrite would be best.

«Information architecture (IA) is the structural design of shared information environments; the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability; and an emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.[1] Typically, it involves a model or concept of information that is used and applied to activities which require explicit details of complex information systems. These activities include library systems and database development

Here’s the intro from the article I will link to instead:

«Information architecture (IA) focuses on organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way. The goal is to help users find information and complete tasks. To do this, you need to understand how the pieces fit together to create the larger picture, how items relate to each other within the system.»

Wikipedia’s introductions should be easy to read, and even more so when the topic touches on usability. So I would welcome a rewrite. Bjornte (talk) 13:18, 31 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Wikipedia Ambassador Program course assignment[edit]

Wikipedia-Ambassador-Program-Logo.png This article is the subject of an educational assignment at University of Wikipedia supported by WikiProject Wikipedia and the Wikipedia Ambassador Program during the 2011 Q3 term. Further details are available on the course page.

The above message was substituted from {{WAP assignment}} by PrimeBOT (talk) on 15:54, 2 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A very good site to find information. And many things to learn about different subjects. thanks to WikipediA. (talk) 11:07, 8 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]