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

Final 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

Shari Thurow

Greater Chicago, IL, USA

Shari Thurow photo

Shari Thurow has been a practitioner of effective information architecture (IA) and user-centered design (UCD) since 1995.

Since 1999, Shari has been a world-renowned speaker on the topics of search-friendly design, successful site architecture, and SEO & usability. Shari is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Library and Information Sciences with a specialty in human/computer interfaces.

Shari is the founder of Omni Marketing Interactive, a full-service search engine optimization (SEO), website usability, information architecture, and web design firm. She is the author of Search Engine Visibility, which has been translated into French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Polish. The book teaches site owners how to build/optimize a website for people who use search engines.

She is also the co-author of When Search Meets Web Usability, which teaches how to bridge the gap between search results and your website. Guess what that gap is? An effective information architecture.

Spotlight on our Partners


SEGD - Society of Environmental Graphic Design
SEGD, the Society for Environmental Graphic Design, is the more than 1,300 members who work in the planning, design, fabrication, and implementation of communications in the built environment. SEGD is guided by a Board of Directors, which creates policies and programs to grow, enrich, and provide educational resources to the community. A strong network of Chapter Chairs represents SEGD at the local level, providing a vital liaison role between local members and the Board of Directors. A diverse professional staff implements Board initiatives, provides member support, and works to provide new services and resources for the SEGD community. IA Institute members can register for their Xlab conference at SEGD member rates.