Wednesday, October 13, 2004

End of the page? I don't care!

On the members-only list of AIfIA (the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture) there is currently a debate about the end of the (web) page, and how it affects Information Architects.

This is another reason why I like where I am going: I am trying to specialize more and more into methods, processes and deliverables of IAs. This means I don't really care what medium the end result will be shown in, since the methods, etc. are relatively independent of the medium.

Jorge Arango did pose a relevant statement:
On the one hand, you have a multitude of new devices with different UI capabilities (smart phones, PDAs, RSS readers, etc.), which encourages us to push towards more abstract representations of solutions (eg. wireframes that no longer suggest element positioning in a page, only item hierarchy). On the other hand, the adoption of rich interfaces -- eg, Flash-based sites -- require less abstract (more specific) representations (eg. "wireflows", wireframes plus interaction, animatics, etc.)

We somehow need to reconcile these divergent approaches.

I think this calls for both flexible deliverables that can be mixed and matched, as well as flexible processes, that allow a team to focus on different aspects for different projects. More attention to visual design if the medium is Flash in a kiosk setting, less when the design is for a SMS text alert system.

If flexibility is part of your methodology, you don't care about the end of the page.


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