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Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe.

Where have all the Information Architects gone?

Lis Hubert wrote a thought-provoking piece for UX Magazine called The De-Evolution of UX Design. The link-bait title put me off a bit, but I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s a well-written article that you won’t be ambivalent about – you’ll either agree strongly, or disagree strongly. In essence, Hubert laments the decline of the Information Architecture function in UX:

It’s been seven years since I took that first step into IA, and, sadly, it seems that the practice of understanding and prioritizing information before designing the interface has been abandoned. And because of that, we are facing a huge problem in the world of UX, which is, simply put, that we are devolving.

She goes over the problems of skipping the IA phase, and then offers some solutions. Her point is in line with the thoughts I shared in my World IA Day talk called A lack of UX purpose (and what we can do about it):

It seems that ther’s unfortunately plenty of UX work out there that jumps straight into wireframes without first understanding the design problem, as well as the purpose of the solution. Purpose ““ the reason for which something is done or created ““ often appears to be missing. And this is where I believe Information Architecture can come to the rescue.

So, needless to say, I’m in the strongly agree camp on Hubert’s article. But maybe you won’t be, so definitely give it a read.