Top critical review
30 people found this helpful
Lots of evangelism, theory and very little practice
on 13 May 2007
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 IA...so, 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!
(iv) Next, read chapter 9. (It contains key info that is constantly refered-to throughout the earlier chapters).
(v) Then carry on reading from chapter 4 - Where you actually start learning about actual "stuff" of IA.
This book is 'OK'. It would be so much better if they had structured the information within it a bit better and stripped out about two thirds of the content.