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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites Paperback – 7 Dec 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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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: 17.5 x 2.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 409,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

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.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
My approach to this book was perfectly summed up by a quote from the chapter on Information Architecture (IA) Education. "We regularly meet with people who have no interest in becoming information architects but want to learn about information architecture."

As a website designer and someone who works on a large scale website, one of the essential skills I felt I needed to develop was an understanding of information architecture. This book was a great introduction to the various aspects. In general, it was accessible and easy to read. Chapters were kept short enough to easily digest. IA concepts were well explained in plain and understandable language. However, there were a few exceptions. The chapters on Search Systems and Thesauri, Controlled Vocabularies and Metadata were, perhaps unavoidably, heavy and hard going. The book also loses a little focus in the later chapters but even these chapters are still educational and informative.

Overall, the book is a great introduction to the IA field. If, like me, this is all you need then it is worth a read. If you want to become an information architect then it is worth spending a little more time studying the concepts and following up on some of the other sources it references.
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