At it’s highest level, Information Architecture is described by Wikipedia as the art of expressing a model or concept of information. In laymans terms, and within my day-to-day work as a Digital Project Manager, it is methods of organising and labelling websites and applications.
Information Archiecture improves user interaction and experience by making content easy to find because of it’s nomenclature and grouping.
Information architecture (IA) is the art of expressing a model or concept of information used in activities that require explicit details of complex systems. - Wikipedia
These days, whether people realise it or not, Information Architecture is actually performed by a lot more people, on-the-fly, every day!
Modern smart phones including Android, iPhone, Blackberryor even Nokia allow users to manage and group the content on their phones. This of course stems from the introduction of downloadable applications. People can simply drag and drop (or select and move) their applications into groups on different screens. For example, I have screens set up for the following:
- Popular Items
- Social Applications
- Phone settings and search
These theoretical groups allow me to manage the contents and applications within my phone into more manageable screens. If I can remember the rough subject of each screen then I’m sure to find other applications nearby.
Simply having the ability to rearrange the icons on my android phone makes me want to arrange them into groups, categorizing what they are to make them easier to find.
So, more and more people are performing the art of Information Architecture, without even realising it!