Jakob Nielsen just published his latest Alertbox, this week on Intranet Information Architecture. I feel he is slightly behind the curve of IA's big wave, but he says some interesting things nevertheless.
Why do I say he's behind the curve? Well, IA is a bit 2005, 2006-ish. These days it's all about interaction design and especially user experience. Of course, I may be wrong, and in fact, there is some evidence that IA is still on the rise. The recent UPA Salary Survey results show (although I can't find them; maybe it was the-list-that-shall-not-be-named where this was discussed?) that IAs make the most money of all the professions in the UX field. Then again, our own IAI Salary Survey (results to be posted soon) indicated that in 2007 less people called themselves Information Architect than in 2006 (30% vs. 50%) but that may also be a sign of the distribution of IA responsibilities over more people. Ugh, now I'm confused.
This all may sound strange coming from someone who just got elected to the Board of Directors of the Information Architecture Institute, I realize that. Let's say I am trying hard to bring back those fine IA days...
And why is Jakob's article still interesting?
- where he says "Given a little training in the most important IA principles [..] teams can certainly achieve great IA results without full-time, dedicated information architects" he copies my idea of Guerilla IA which nicely completes the circle, because I stole that term from him.
- like I proposed at EuroIA this year, he combines processes with patterns in his research, if I go by the sentence "We initiated an effort to document intranet IA processes and the resulting designs".
- he takes Information Architecture serious, and doesn't call it 99% bad.