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RE: Information Architecture seems quite similar to Technical Writing
Subject:RE: Information Architecture seems quite similar to Technical Writing From:<mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com> To:"'TechWhirl'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Sun, 14 Feb 2016 12:45:35 -0500
What it should be, though, is neither of these things. In the paper world, authors were responsible for the organization and connectivity of information within a book and librarians were responsible for finding books on shelves. No one was responsible for the overall organization and connectivity of an organization's information as a whole because there was not effective technological means to organize and connect that much information into an integrated and navigable whole.
In the digital world, the technological means exists, and reader's expectations have changed to expect that kind of integration and connectivity and the one-stop information shopping that comes with it.
Unfortunately, our authoring processes and tools, and our traditions of information design, have not kept up and largely do not fit with that model. Information architecture should be about changing all that. What we see too often though is that people create the job title but don't change their tools or their design habits to match. Many of the tool changes that people are making today are more about doing the old thing for less money than about doing the new thing. All of which, I think, contributes to a lack of clarity about what the role of an information architect is or should be.
In short, it is not enough to give someone the title of information architect. You actually need to build an information architecture. But what many organizations are building is not an information architecture, but a content assembly line.
From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of David Farbey
Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2016 9:37 AM
To: TechWhirl (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com)
Subject: Re: Information Architecture seems quite similar to Technical Writing
While I've seen Information Architect used as a synonym for the sort of planning work that a senior tech writer or a doc manager may do, I have also seen it used for the job of designing data structures and other back-end features of web sites and systems.
I've also noticed that information architects appear to be better paid than technical writers...