Introduction to IA

Taught at: Information architecture summit 2007. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Workshop date:

This half-day pre-conference workshop will provide participants with an introduction to information architecture. As a stand-alone workshop it provides a high level understanding of information architecture, outlining the fundamentals and some of the current information architecture issues and challenges. As an accompanying workshop for the main conference, it will also allow participants to get more out of the conference sessions, having learned the fundamentals.

This workshop will cover:

  • What is information architecture, and how does it relate to other user experience disciplines
  • Core IA techniques – analysing content, conducting user research, card sorting and more
  • What is metadata and how do I use it?
  • IA structures – hierarchies, database structures & topic maps
  • Putting it together in an IA project – designing structure and navigation
  • Current issues in IA

Topics will be at the level of an ‘advanced intro’ – they will cover the basics and also explore key challenges and issues. The format will be a combination of short lectures, group discussion and hands-on activities. As there is a lot to cover in a half day, most topics will not be covered in depth, but resources will be provided for further personal exploration. At the beginning of the workshop, we will discuss which topics are of most interest to participants and will cover these in as much depth as time allows.

At the end of the workshop, we will spend some time looking through the Summit timetable. The types of sessions that participants may not have encountered (5-minute madness, IA Slam etc) will be explained and participants will be able to find out what sessions (and social events) will be of most use for their areas of interest.

This workshop has been presented at the last 2 IA Summits and is continually improved based on attendee feedback from it and other workshops.