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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites [Paperback]

Peter Morville , Louis Rosenfeld
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Dec 2006

The post-Ajaxian Web 2.0 world of wikis, folksonomies, and mashups makes well-planned information architecture even more essential. How do you present large volumes of information to people who need to find what they're looking for quickly? This classic primer shows information architects, designers, and web site developers how to build large-scale and maintainable web sites that are appealing and easy to navigate.

The new edition is thoroughly updated to address emerging technologies -- with recent examples, new scenarios, and information on best practices -- while maintaining its focus on fundamentals. With topics that range from aesthetics to mechanics, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web explains how to create interfaces that users can understand right away. Inside, you'll find:

  • An overview of information architecture for both newcomers and experienced practitioners

  • The fundamental components of an architecture, illustrating the interconnected nature of these systems. Updated, with updates for tagging, folksonomies, social classification, and guided navigation

  • Tools, techniques, and methods that take you from research to strategy and design to implementation. This edition discusses blueprints, wireframes and the role of diagrams in the design phase

  • A series of short essays that provide practical tips and philosophical advice for those who work on information architecture

  • The business context of practicing and promoting information architecture, including recent lessons on how to handle enterprise architecture

  • Case studies on the evolution of two large and very different information architectures, illustrating best practices along the way

How do you document the rich interfaces of web applications? How do you design for multiple platforms and mobile devices? With emphasis on goals and approaches over tactics or technologies, this enormously popular book gives you knowledge about information architecture with a framework that allows you to learn new approaches -- and unlearn outmoded ones.

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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites + Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability + Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences (Smashing Magazine Book Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (7 Dec 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527341
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description

From the Publisher

In the past, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
has helped developers and designers establish consistent and usable
structures for their sites and their information. This edition of the
classic primer on web site design and navigation is updated with recent
examples, new scenarios, and new information on best practices.

About the Author

Peter Morville is president of Semantic Studios, an information architecture, user experience, and findability consultancy. For over a decade, he has advised such clients as AT&T, IBM, Microsoft, Harvard Business School, Internet2, Procter & Gamble, Vanguard, and Yahoo. Peter is best known as a founding father of information architecture, having co-authored the field's best-selling book, "Information Architecture for the World Wide Web". Peter serves on the faculty at the University of Michigan's School of Information and on the advisory board of the Information Architecture Institute. He delivers keynotes and seminars at international events, and his work has been featured in major publications including Business Week, The Economist, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal.

Lou Rosenfeld is an independent information architecture consultant. He has been instrumental in helping establish the field of information architecture, and in articulating the role and value of librarianship within the field. Lou played a leading role in organizing and programming the first three information architecture conferences (both ASIS&T Summits and IA 2000). He also presents and moderates at such venues as CHI, COMDEX, Intranets, and the web design conferences produced by Miller Freeman, C|net and Thunder Lizard. He teaches tutorials as part of the Nielsen Norman Group User Experience Conference.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good but the next edition is due 29 Nov 2009
I'm currently doing a degree in Web Design and Information Architecture is a 2nd year module. This is the essential book for the module. If covers all the main areas and has helped me do write-ups, giving me the background information for the lectures and tutorials. It is however feeling it's age. There are tools and websites, and new information around now that simply didn't exist in 2006 when this 3rd edition was published. The internet is so fast moving, previous editions have 4 year gaps so I would expect a new 4th edition for 2010. That said this book is the "daddy" and if you need to get the full width and scope of this subject then there is no better book. This is my sixth O'Reilly text book plus I own 4 from their Head First range, so I like them alot. They are all well used and paid for themselves many times over.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Theory, practice, and a little evangelism too 19 Feb 2007
When I first told people I was reviewing this book, there was often a blank look. When I explained what information architecture was, then there was invariably a look of pity that passed across their faces. It appears that many people haven't a clue what information architecture actually is, and when they find out, wish they still didn't.

Well, this book has shown me the light. And I'm here to share it with you. Hallelujah, and so forth.

Information is all around us, and thankfully for much of it we have had plenty of time to work out a sensible way or organising it. When you look at a map, you understand the conventions, you know north is going to be up, you know there will be a scale, and so on. So much so, that when those conventions aren't there, if, for example, you are looking at a mappa mundi, you are completely thrown.

A bigger example is that of libraries. We are all used to some form of organisation in libraries - we know that related subjects will be near each other, that we can look this up and go straight to the shelf we want.

This is all well and good, and librarians, such as the authors of this book, have had many years to improve this system, to impose some sort of order on the chaos of so much information. The problem comes, however, when we consider the new sources of information that have exploded over the last 20 years or so. These electronic systems, and the greatest of these is of course the internet, provide completely new challenges - challenges we can start to try and tackle using principles and lessons learnt from other methods of organisation that have been developed elsewhere, but which will ultimately need to be solved in ways we cannot yet fully grasp.

This is where this book comes in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible for information specialists 24 Dec 2010
If you're a designer, creator or manager of 'information spaces', and a lot of us are these days, then this is the book for you. That's not to say there aren't other great books available that cover similar ground, there are, but this is the only book that really does have it all in one place. The 3rd edition (2007) covers social classification and tagging which, in the public domain, are growing in importance all the time so it's worth getting this latest edition.

After a beautifully clear and thoroughly readable introduction to information architecture (and don't be put off by the rather grand term `architecture' as you'll soon understand why that particular term is used), the book presents the nuts and bolts of information work; namely: organising, labelling, navigating, searching, naming and categorising. This section is clearly built upon the ideas and work of previous information theorists and practitioners and sets out the core principles of the discipline lucidly and honestly. The text is crystal clear and very enjoyable to read. It's a great example of how all books like this should be written. It's my guess that, even if you're not directly connected to the `industry' but are simply curious about what goes into making a good information system, you'll enjoy reading this.

For me, as a practitioner, the section on process and methodology is essential reading. This section begins with that all important but often overlooked stage of research. How many information projects have failed due to inadequate research? Yet this is a area which is often seen as time consuming and is usually glossed over. But this is an essential part of any information project as it explains the discovery process necessary to create a foundation of understanding.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
As a, self-taught, one-man-band website owner/designer/coder/developer I was surprised to realise, upon reading the book, that I was not the 'target audience' for it. I think its more for the middle-men and consultants of big organisations who want to plan a project to the nth degree before a big budget is blown on it.

Because of my hands-on experience, I found that this book merely gave me formal names for many of the processes and aspects of Information Architecture (IA) that I had been implementing already. Despite this, however, I learned a lot from this book. It rounded-off aspects of the topic that I had previously overlooked. It filled some holes and inspired me to make many changes to the information structure of my website.

Unfortunately these gems of knowledge were buried within a lot of waffle. Furthermore, the whole of the first section is pure waffle - which is very frustrating for someone who is eager to learn new practices.

THIS IS AN 'OK BOOK' and you can avoid some of the waffle that I suffered by making the following modifications:

(i) Remove Chapter One (you don't need to read these 15 pages that include waffle on "Why Information Architecture Matters" and two & a half pages on "What Isn't Information Archicture" etc.),

(ii) Remove Chapter Two. It, for example, includes a page titled "Do We Need Information Architects?". It then follows on with 4 more,pointless, pages that provide a thorough list of professions and skills that are related IA! This chapter ends with the message "Now it's time to delve into the guts of, roll up your sleeves and dig in". The next one starts with "...but before we jump into the actual "stuff" of IA..." -AAARGH!

(iii) So rip out chapter 3 or you'll rip out your hair!
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