Information Architecture and User Experience Design

An essential metaphor of Information Architecture (IA) evokes the enclosure of physical space – an awareness that people inhabit a world of information. Another conceptual basis of IA is found within hierarchical structures of library science. As sophisticated functionality has become pervasive, a deep understanding of end-user perspectives remains vital.

Physical Designs

Simple Beginnings

Early enclosures were simple and functional. Architecture constantly evolved in physical sophistication and evocative aesthetics.

image: page of Braille

In the 19th Century, as technology made new and larger structures possible, dramatic changes in both function and in appearance occurred.

Complex Structures

User-Centered Design

What is the alternative to User-Centered Design?

Examples of bad design proliferate – creations of adept technologists who were trying to do a good job. They may have added too many features; they may have been much more sophisticated than the intended audience; they may have not consulted with someone with a sense of aesthetics… Most likely, they did not ask users about goals and preferences.

image: self-centered user

The methodologies of User-Centered Design have been developed to create good design and maximum usefulness. And, to insure that Release 3.0 is significantly better than Release 2.9 – not merely more complex.

In the 21st Century, as interactive technology makes complex interrelated systems inevitable, dramatic changes in both function and in appearance require thoughtful design.