The Practice of Information Architecture: It takes a village of practitioners to raise a discipline

11:45 - 12:30pm on Sunday, April 11 2010 in Ellis

The field of information architecture lacks a core set of knowledge that would
justify a discipline of IA. There are no clear paths for advancement and no
accepted perspectives to assess one’s level of “expertise”. To address
this gap, a model, that provides a foundation for practicing information
architecture while fostering the growth of an IA discipline, will be proposed.

After exploring the concepts of practice and discipline, attendees will be
introduced to an IA theory developed by Nathaniel Davis called, Organization
Role Segmentation (ORS). ORS (pronounced “orz”) suggests how to define and
chart unique business functions and role types within any organization. The IA
role types that are correlated through ORS reveal the foundation for shaping an
IA practice of one or many. This formalization of practicing information
architecture offers promising potential for a complimentary discipline to

Attendees to this presentation will be introduced to an interpretation of
primary roles that ORS suggests for a mature IA team or a complex development
scenario. Attendees will be shown how to use ORS to articulate an IA role and
make a clear distinction between information architecture and other disciplines
that operate in the software development environment. Lastly, attendees will be
shown how to better align themselves and/or their IA team for disciplinary
growth, accountability, and discovery.