New edition of IA bible in the works

March 3rd, 2006 by

Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville are working on a third edition of the “Polar Bear” book, aka Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (O’Reilly), and in preparation for this they have posted a brief survey.

I filled it out:

Question 1: What’s obviously new in IA? Over the past five years, what major trend(s) have emerged in the field of information architecture?

My answer:

  • tagging (duh, except we used to call it metadata or keywords, so I guess I really mean user-created tags)
  • a greater emphasis on microcontent (as opposed to pages)

Question 2: What’s new in IA that’s not so obvious? Over the past five years, what’s changed in information architecture that hasn’t received the attention it should?

My answer:

  • a more clear division of labor (i.e., a truce) between IAs and graphic designers in the UX realm
  • a subtle shift toward empirical validating and analysis of information architectures (such as via user-acceptance and A/B testing) supplanting the guru-centric intuition-driven approach.

Comments: Anything else you’d like to add or suggest?

My answer:

IAs should be careful not to define the life out of their discipline and not to take themselves so seriously that they forget that the Web is still an incredibly new medium and that we have a great deal more to learn from it.