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What Is Information Architecture?

Performing usability testing of conceptual platforms helps website interface designers ensure their projects are in line with best IA practices. Information architecture, by comparison, focuses more on the meaning and usability of the data. A best-in-class data architecture implements data governance processes with supporting data quality and master data management initiatives.

what does an information architect do

The term originated from architect and graphic designer, Richard Waulman. This career requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, math, physics, or a related field. Most employers information architecture web design prefer an individual with several years of experience in software development. In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job.


The good news, though, is that you can both study and control the environment. To drill the point home once more, all IAs are built for change. Products evolve, designs change, users adapt, and the cycle continues, over and over. Don’t take it too seriously and know that there will always be room for improvement. Even though the IA in the UX process is for user interactions, every step of the way has to make sense.

what does an information architect do

When a content strategist begins separating content and dividing it into categories, she is practicing information architecture. When a designer sketches a top level menu to help users understand where they are on a site, he is also practicing information architecture. An information architect who works along with a UX designer can concentrate solely on information architecture design, while a UX designer devotes more time to research. In this case, an architect creates a number of deliverables, which we will describe in the section on the steps of IA development.

What data architects do

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of an information architect is $126,000 per year, with most jobs ranging from $100,000 to $162,000 per year. Finally, good information architecture design should also ensure that, if a user previously found something on the site, they can easily find it again. Because so many businesses have or want to have a digital marketing presence, the workplaces of information architects are wide and varied. Here is just a sampling of the sectors where information architecture is pivotal to consumer engagement. The relatively new status of the information architect job makes it somewhat difficult to provide a definitive answer to this question.

what does an information architect do

Test out some of the tools listed above, and get more information by following some of the most influential people in the IA industry. Professional organizations and associations bring together information technology professionals to connect, collaborate, and build communities. Through online and face-to-face interactions, professional organizations and associations build networks of IT architects.

A Brief History of Information Architecture

These professionals oversee the creation of new security systems and architecture, ensure regulatory compliance, and conduct risk assessments. Information technology architects manage and design businesses’ technological components. Discover this career’s typical duties, required skills and education, and similar specializations. Understanding what to expect from the person performing the IA function is important to making sure the trains inevitably run on time (sorry…).

what does an information architect do

To create a sitemap, you need to have content, which is grouped and labeled, and then presented in a diagram. Information architecture isn’t really visible to the visitors, but it presents a backbone of the website, and can be visually presented in spreadsheets and different types of diagrams and is then called a sitemap. Before you can create sitemap and navigation, your IA needs to be defined. The navigation is most of the times just the tip of the iceberg. This approach gives us the least information, but it’s quicker and simpler. We focus on determining how useful, accurate, and overall how effective the content is.

Print Designer Job Description

Members receive access to on-demand webinars and job board information. The highest number of information technology architects work in the computer systems design and telecommunications industries. These IT architects earn salaries exceeding the annual median wage. With high levels of information technology activity, California and Texas employ the largest groups of IT professionals. This page provides an idea of what to expect from an information technology architect career, including typical duties, average salaries, and overall job outlook. Discover the education and skills needed to become an IT architect.

  • For example, in hierarchical navigation, users navigate from top to bottom.
  • Dan Brown, an expert with more than twenty years in the field, has laid out eight principles of IA that provides a theoretical framework into what it takes to build an effective IA for any project.
  • People in this field should know several basic programming languages, and you should be able to work with metadata networks.
  • This simple phrase lets shoppers know that once they click the link they will see the most popular products on the site.
  • IBM was one of the first companies to use information technology architecture processes and methods.

This comes back to the original question of when to use a specialist and when to subsume the design responsibility into another role. This is less of a question of role and more a question of skill, approach and experience, as well as project scope and ultimate business purpose of the solution. The problem starts with confusion between data and information. Data is numbers, characters or other digital formats collected, updated and deleted in applications, business processes and devices. Without context, a raw number is meaningless, but with it, that number could represent the sales amount of a takeout order, a temperature reading or a student’s test score.

An Excellent Beginner’s Guide to Information Architecture

Learn about the typical experience, education, and skills to become an information technology architect. The goal of an Information Architect is to reduce the possibility of usability and navigation problems. Having a well-planned and formatted information architecture can help save money and time. The Information Architect takes the data gathered to date, considers the direction the site map is taking, and encapsulates the nascent design elements into screen mockups to demonstrate functionality and hierarchy. This can not only be frustrating for everyone involved, it’s bound to be more expensive in both time and resources.

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