About the Information Architecture Institute
The Information Architecture Institute is a 501(c)6 professional organization, operated by a dedicated, multi-national group of people who are dedicated to promoting the concept, craft and community of information architecture.
We live in exciting times. As the information age rolls forward, our businesses, markets and societies are being transformed into adaptive, connected networks. The Internet of today only hints at the ubiquitous communication infrastructure of tomorrow. The construction of this brave new world requires a new kind of architecture, focused on digital structures of information and software rather than physical structures of bricks and mortar. As we spend more time working and playing in these shared information spaces, people will need and demand better search, navigation and collaboration systems.
Volunteering our own resources, we aspire to collaborate within our community and build bridges to related disciplines and organizations. We invite you to join us in advancing the state of information architecture through research, education, advocacy and community service.
The IA Institute Framework
We aim to facilitate the following relationships and the people and groups they serve:
- Mentors/Institutions and Apprentices/Students
This is the relationship of induction, education, training and professional development. It is about bringing people into the practice of information architecture and strengthening their acumen.
- Researchers and Practitioners
This is the relationship of reconciling theory with practice. It is about getting important research out into the field, as well as getting feedback from the field about which research is important.
- Project Teams and Volunteers
This is the relationship of service. It is about providing the infrastructure for motivated people, whose time we recognize as valuable, to perform effectively and achieve results in the endeavours of the organization.
- Vendors and Customers
This is the relationship of commerce. It is about enabling our members to trade the products and services that make them more effective at the practice of information architecture.
- Workers/Consultants and Employers/Clients
This is the relationship of work. It is about connecting information architects with the projects and organizations that make their skills useful to the outside world.
In addition to these mediating relationships, there are the relationships the Institute itself forges directly:
- Business Decision-Makers
This is the relationship of outreach. It is about explaining to business leaders the value of information architecture and how it fits into their organizations.
- Other Organizations
This is the relationship of alliance. It is about adding further definition to the Institute by situating it among a broader community of similar, but different organizations.
Read our Annual Report (2014) (PDF) to find out what we accomplished in our tenth year of operation.
Spotlight on our People
Hi there, you probably haven't heard of me and I can all but guarantee you we haven't met.
That's because I've never written a book and never been to the typical conferences (yet, in both cases). And that is because up until very recently my business card has read "developer" at a bunch of companies that are defunct or close to it. Specifically I wrote hosted, enterprise and infrastructure software, the most dismal, plodding and paranoid kind.
What prompted my change in career was noticing a set of common characteristics in the kind of software I wrote. First, it was of critical value to the business. Second, the non-redundant nugget of original functionality was actually surprisingly small. Third, to achieve that nugget, an absurd amount of resources get spent. Fourth and finally, it is equally likely that an absurd amount of resources will be spent anyway, with very little to show for it.
I reasoned that if we made clarity a priority and had better methods of achieving it, we wouldn't fumble as much, or at the very least the fumbling we did wouldn't be so expensive. Any software is a long and precise incantation of a business process, either one that came before it or one made possible because of it. It is language with behaviour.
Software is capable of directly impacting peoples' lives for better or for worse, and its influence will only increase. It has become my professional mission to unmuddy software, both in the process of its acquisition and its results, and enable people to make it work effectively for them.
Spotlight on our Partners
The Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) program at Kent State University provides opportunities for study in user experience design, knowledge management, and health informatics. Students may study through a Master of Science, graduate certificate program or individual courses as continuing study. Kent State is an original collaborator on the Education Curriculum initiative.
The UXconnect speaker series is a joint program of Kent State and the IA Institute, providing free monthly webinars on a variety of information architecture topics. Check our calendar for listings.