As of January, 2012, this site is no longer being updated, due to work and health issues
SearchTools.com: Background Topics
Information Architecture is the art and science of organizing information.
Large web sites and Intranets need to practice this discipline or their data
will become unmanageable. Well-organized information with good metadata and
labels makes a search engine significantly more useful. While search engines
provide basic access to badly-organized data, they also expose the architectural
problems to user view.
Links to useful articles, conferences and other resources.
- Flamenco Project
UC Berkeley professor Marti Hearst is investigating how faceted metadata can
provide a dynamic information-architecture context for browsing and searching
on web sites. For an example, see the Epicurious Kid-Friendly
recipes page, where users can drill down according to main ingredient
(Beans, Beef, Berries...) or view by a different facet, such as "season
/ occasion". Usability tests indicate that this approach is much more
valuable than a simple text search engine. Additional research continues with
and image database and scaling up with very large and complex medical research
Articles & Books
- Taking a Content
Inventory Web Techniques, October 2001 by Janice Crotty Fraser
Describes a common situation of decentralized and chaotic web sites, and an
approach to reviewing the content so that it can be organized. Recommends
using surveys, detailed audits and content maps to track this information,
with suggestions for metadata to track.
Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites Lou
Rosenfeld and Peter Morville, O'Reilly, 1998
A fantastic book that covers web site architecture and site design as
well as search tools. You can buy it online from Amazon
online bookstore, and we'll get an affiliate fee.
Crash Course in Information Architecture Webmonkey
Covers the basics, including a lot of guidance in defining the scope and
purpose of the site, competitive analysis, planning site content and technical
functionality, organizing data, site organization and navigation, and finally
layout and design.
Page Updated 2002-05-24