Book: A Practical Guide to Information Architecture


At the beginning of the year I took a few days to review a book about Information Architecture (IA). I’m certainly not a technical reviewer having no experience of IA but reading the drafts in enough detail to be useful to the author was an enjoyable experience. I picked up a lot more than I normally would. I’d definitely recommend others to try it, if your willing to put the time in. It’s now available to buy, published by Five Simple Steps.

Who’s the Author and what is IA…
(from the books website)

“Donna’s a freelance information architect, interaction designer and writer. That’s a fancy way of saying she plans how to present the things you see on your computer screen, so that they’re easy to understand, engaging and compelling. Things like the navigation, forms, categories and words on intranets, websites, web applications and business systems.”

The book assumes no previous knowledge other than knowing what a website is. It’s a very gentle introduction to a hard topic. The writing style is relaxed and definitely not heavy going. It breaks the topics down and makes a good reference for when you actually need to do some IA work. Although I understood everything being talked about I won’t really appreciate it until I’ve actually tried doing it. This is a subject that takes skill on top of knowledge and I suspect it’ll take time to acquire that skill. So, I admit I’m biased having spent so long going over the drafts but it was good fun. I recommend this as an excellent starting place for your IA learning or even to pick up some new tricks if your already a practitioner.

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