20. August 2008

When Persuasion can fall short

Dieser Artikel hat Wellen geschlagen: When Information Architecture can fall short. Einige der bekanntesten und anerkanntesten Informationsarchitekten haben den Artikel kommentiert. Diese Kommentare sind wirklich Gold wert.

Terrible article Jeff! [...] You then completely misinterpret what information architecture is about. It’s as if you looked at the field circa 1996, when it was in the early stages of trying to define itself, and assumed that nothing has changed since then.

Your definition of IA is way too narrow for me, and your means of devaluing even that definition is a circular argument.

You described the ancient past and the past of 5 years ago in both your propositions. Your new way of thinking is old hat in the IA community and has been the norm there for 5 to 8 years. The IA community has gone far beyond what you are describing as new and has included the understandings around persuasion for many years.

IA is more than sitemaps, as this article implies. IA is about organizing information, defining relationships, and wayfinding. Persuasion architecture? Really? Sounds like another rebranded, meaningless marketing buzzword.

Mr. Sexton, let me suggest that a site owner has one set of goals and site visitors have very different, goals. Good information architects make sure that both of these sets of these goals are successfully met. That’s because businesses will never achieve their strategic goals until site visitors can achieve their’s.

You have turned a butt-ugly salespitch hypothesis into a linkworthy article - thousands of people are going to link to this with “if you ever write anything like this I will never speak to you again”-style messages.

I’ll just add this: the “marketing problem” you mention with IA is real. I think you overstate it in order to lend credence to your article, but yes — there are a lot of garden-variety folk out there who haven’t gotten beyond rudimentary thinking of what the IA field covers.

First and foremost, the Infomation Architecture Institute offers a really good mentoring program. I’d like to suggest that you consider joining the IAI (www.iainstitute.org) and signing up for the program. Depending upon your goals with IA, the right mentor could be found for you and could really help you grow your knowledge on the topic / in the field.

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