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

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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 sit 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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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 sit 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.

30 review for Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    More fanatic than technical -- too much "why the world needs information architecture." More focus on prose than technical communication.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Murray

    Often referred to as 'the Polar Bear book' (because of the polar bear on the cover), or the IA bible. I read a library copy of this book in 2006, and then went through my own copy of the 3rd edition again in 2007. It is a very in-depth book into IA and how it applies to the web. There's a lot of material to cover, so it takes a while to read if you want to absorb it all, especially if you never heard of the ideas before. But it's a very useful book, and also serves as a good as a reference while Often referred to as 'the Polar Bear book' (because of the polar bear on the cover), or the IA bible. I read a library copy of this book in 2006, and then went through my own copy of the 3rd edition again in 2007. It is a very in-depth book into IA and how it applies to the web. There's a lot of material to cover, so it takes a while to read if you want to absorb it all, especially if you never heard of the ideas before. But it's a very useful book, and also serves as a good as a reference while modelling out large sites. Perhaps less useful for fairly small-scale sites, but still appropriate. (If you haven't been exposed to the material before, it also gives you a greater appreciation for library sciences.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Over the course of my seven year career as a full stack developer, I've had this book on my bookshelf. I'd tried to get through it a few times and each attempt stuttered out after a few chapters. This in and of itself should stand as evidence of something, at least to me and those who know me, but moving on... I can't recall why I bought it - or requested it as a gift - but I finally got around to reading it recently. I always had the nagging feeling that there *must* be meat in here, somewhere. Over the course of my seven year career as a full stack developer, I've had this book on my bookshelf. I'd tried to get through it a few times and each attempt stuttered out after a few chapters. This in and of itself should stand as evidence of something, at least to me and those who know me, but moving on... I can't recall why I bought it - or requested it as a gift - but I finally got around to reading it recently. I always had the nagging feeling that there *must* be meat in here, somewhere. There was, a bit, but it was all spoiled. Let's begin the review with a summation of what I took away regarding what an Information Architect even is: they are a person who is not an engineer, nor a usability expert, but to whom ought to be delegated managerial oversight and the responsibility of 'vision' for a website. Managers who have no hard responsibilities - that is, responsibilities that require a technical expertise to accomplish - are not only epiphytes, they are redundant. Their jobs require nothing more than an average intellect and ability, and they seek to aggrandize themselves with titles and certifications that don't mean anything because they can't actually do anything. This book seeks to aggrandize and justify the information architect in the same tradition as every overrated managerial text in history has sought to do for its own constituency. A hard sales pitch shouldn't take up the first third of the 'biblical' text for a field. The utility of your profession should be demonstrated by its own accomplishments. But IA has no accomplishments to speak of. The internet, it turns out, is not a vast library. The internet is a schema of both information and action, and IA is very bad at understanding the latter. The book is useful as a historical text, a demonstration of how quotidian talent seeks to justify its own existence. That is its only merit.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Book Calendar

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Architecture for the World Wide Web by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld This book is an introductory text on information architecture for the internet. The information in this book clarified and defined many ideas from this emerging profession. It is quite relevant to librarians. According to this book 40% of information architects come from a library science background. Many of the concepts that were being described came right out of library school. I remember reading about search engines, inde Architecture for the World Wide Web by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld This book is an introductory text on information architecture for the internet. The information in this book clarified and defined many ideas from this emerging profession. It is quite relevant to librarians. According to this book 40% of information architects come from a library science background. Many of the concepts that were being described came right out of library school. I remember reading about search engines, indexes, and classification in my cataloging class. This book takes it one step further and describes how information on the web is turned into metadata, controlled vocabularies, and labeling systems. It also describes how indexes and search engines are designed. It is more than just information systems, it is also the language of the nonvisible parts of websites. It describes things which a chief information officer or a senior developer might talk about; web blueprints, taxonomy, wireframes, and content maps. This is the planned architecture of enterprise websites. The reader also learns the vocabulary and professional interests in education, strategy, and selling the profession. Reading this was eye opening. It gave me a description of how enterprise websites are created like evolt.org or the MSWeb intranet. After reading this, I am beginning to get a context of how complex websites are put together. There is the content strategist who puts in all the different kinds of content in the site, and the information architect who creates the framework on which an enterprise website is built.. This was an incredibly useful book. It helped me understand the internet in ways which I had not done before. I would highly recommend this to people who are interested in technology.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I'm on the team responsible for a major website redesign at our library, and my particular area of responsibility is the content and organization of the site. In preparation for this massive undertaking, I picked up this book as I was told it's one of THE canonical texts in the area of information architecture. I read the first edition, so some of the specific recommendations were dated, but the general concepts are still very applicable. I'm looking forward to picking up the 2006 edition and se I'm on the team responsible for a major website redesign at our library, and my particular area of responsibility is the content and organization of the site. In preparation for this massive undertaking, I picked up this book as I was told it's one of THE canonical texts in the area of information architecture. I read the first edition, so some of the specific recommendations were dated, but the general concepts are still very applicable. I'm looking forward to picking up the 2006 edition and seeing how the authors adapt their principles to new user-driven technologies.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Peters

    Read this book for an information design class. It was the first time I'd ever heard of IA and I chose this book on a whim, because it looked interesting. Little did I know how hooked I would get on IA. It's a great resource for anyone wanting to learn about IA or get into a usability field.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    This book was interesting, but so dense. Couldn't read through it, so skimmed a few times over the years and then put it down. Lots of great advice.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I read the fifth edition of this book. I've seen some reviews about this book that say it doesn't go as in depth into methodologies as it could but rather focuses on the implications of IA and promotes it as a concept. I actually really like this aspect, and I think that teaching the fundamentals of "why" and "what can be done" have much bigger implications to the audience than being about a framework to "learn IA". Some of the first few chapters go into such great detail about the concepts arou I read the fifth edition of this book. I've seen some reviews about this book that say it doesn't go as in depth into methodologies as it could but rather focuses on the implications of IA and promotes it as a concept. I actually really like this aspect, and I think that teaching the fundamentals of "why" and "what can be done" have much bigger implications to the audience than being about a framework to "learn IA". Some of the first few chapters go into such great detail about the concepts around what is conceptualized information and how it can be organized, referenced and manipulated - approaching a project with this in mind is essential for success. I think that you can learn Information Architecture methodologies from any Medium article, but if you want to really gain a firm understanding on what you're doing in your next IA workshop - please read this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Economy

    Pretty great book about information architecture. If you build websites and don't know what information architecture is, I'd recommend reading it. Some of the info is really about what to do if you're an information architect, dealing with company politics, budgets, etc. If you only work on very small projects, or if you're the primary decision maker, you could probably skim all of that stuff. Most of the meat of this book is early on. The only reason I'm not gonna give this book 5 stars is becaus Pretty great book about information architecture. If you build websites and don't know what information architecture is, I'd recommend reading it. Some of the info is really about what to do if you're an information architect, dealing with company politics, budgets, etc. If you only work on very small projects, or if you're the primary decision maker, you could probably skim all of that stuff. Most of the meat of this book is early on. The only reason I'm not gonna give this book 5 stars is because is not as brief as it could be, but i guess thats not really what its for. While nearly anyone who does websites should be able to pick up this book and take a lot away from it, it's targeted to a much smaller audience - budding information architects.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mishaal

    Great resource (lengthy, yes!) and there are some excellent resources provided to compliment the topic. I was surprised to learn that I had already been dabbling in IA in my work as a UX designer and business analyst without even realizing it. The sections on Search, Thesauri, and Part III (research, strategy, and design) of the book are quite informative, regardless of your role at your organization. The case studies presented are timeless, particularly surrounding pitfalls in the design stages Great resource (lengthy, yes!) and there are some excellent resources provided to compliment the topic. I was surprised to learn that I had already been dabbling in IA in my work as a UX designer and business analyst without even realizing it. The sections on Search, Thesauri, and Part III (research, strategy, and design) of the book are quite informative, regardless of your role at your organization. The case studies presented are timeless, particularly surrounding pitfalls in the design stages, and how IA can help guide your business strategy. Must read - yes, but the material may be a bit overwhelming if read cover-to-cover.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alper Çuğun

    Probably interesting enough for the new practicioner or the aspiring librarian but I found this to be an exceptionally dry read (even compared to the admittedly very detailed About Face).I'd recommend skimming content, skipping chapters and focusing most probably on part III (Process and Methodology) of the book.Still a must probably in this field, so better just get it over with.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eva Ebert

    A great book for everyone with an interest in information architecture as it pertains to web design, but also works great as an introduction to a lot to do with information handling an librarianship. The last part has a lot of practical advice on how to use the knowledge gained in the first parts of the book to actually get to work building the information architecture. I'm not currently about to do that, so I can't vouch for how useful it in reality, but I appreciate them getting into the detail A great book for everyone with an interest in information architecture as it pertains to web design, but also works great as an introduction to a lot to do with information handling an librarianship. The last part has a lot of practical advice on how to use the knowledge gained in the first parts of the book to actually get to work building the information architecture. I'm not currently about to do that, so I can't vouch for how useful it in reality, but I appreciate them getting into the details of how to get buy-in from colleagues and bosses and how to get feedback from the end users. And it doesn't shy away from saying things like "in our experience, three people working together is much better than a large group of ten, which is only a good size for brainstorming session". A minor quibble is that there are many screenshots of web-pages with explanations of what they do well or not so good (and thank you for that) but they are so small that many of them are kinda hard to read. I wonder if this is better if you get an ebook version instead. The style is relaxed and chatty, occasionally funny, without trying to hard. And there's lots of sources and recommendations for further reading.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I really appreciated the depth of technical detail in this book. While dense, it's a great resource for an IA or UX practitioner with existing knowledge of the theoretical. The third part especially is incredibly useful, with real life tips and examples for "Getting IA Done," including research, strategy and, my personal favorite, documentation. If I was reading this again, I would start with that last section for immediate impact to my work, and then go back into the more detailed explorations I really appreciated the depth of technical detail in this book. While dense, it's a great resource for an IA or UX practitioner with existing knowledge of the theoretical. The third part especially is incredibly useful, with real life tips and examples for "Getting IA Done," including research, strategy and, my personal favorite, documentation. If I was reading this again, I would start with that last section for immediate impact to my work, and then go back into the more detailed explorations of basic principles (Part 2) as needed/relevant. Bottom line, I'm putting this book down with excitement to apply some of the specific suggestions to my work, and it will be taking its place on my desk as part of my resource collection.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    As a technical writer, I'm great with details, but terrible with vision and planning. After reading Information Architecture, I feel like I have a better foothold on that side of things. I really appreciate the authors' Research > Strategy > Design model, and plan on putting it into practice. It's no small undertaking, but I think will be well worth the effort. I read through this book with a discussion group at work. All of us had different applications in mind, but it was helpful to bounc As a technical writer, I'm great with details, but terrible with vision and planning. After reading Information Architecture, I feel like I have a better foothold on that side of things. I really appreciate the authors' Research > Strategy > Design model, and plan on putting it into practice. It's no small undertaking, but I think will be well worth the effort. I read through this book with a discussion group at work. All of us had different applications in mind, but it was helpful to bounce ideas off of each other. While the book mostly discusses web site architecture, I think the same concepts can apply to almost any information delivery system.

  15. 4 out of 5

    John

    A worthwhile companion covering the broad range of topics typically associate with Information Architecture. Will likely be returning to this one for years to come as a solid resource. Grateful for the edition updates as well, keeping the material fresh and applicable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andres Moreira

    Interesting book. However there is a lot of know stuff if you are a developer, and maybe just a internet citizenship. Don't take me wrong, i like it and there are very good chapters, overall I don't think is a book I would rather buy again.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hillarie

    I read this book for a class. I wish I could say it was a great experience, but this book is about a hundred pages too long. Get. To. The. Point.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sam Frentzel-Beyme

    Clear and well-written overview A great book that provides a clear foundation around the key frameworks and terminology. Worth having on the bookshelf as a reference.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michel Mello

    A must-read for all folks who build digital information environments.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Polina Kabakova

    I would really recommend this book to anyone studying UX. It is not only useful but is also written in a very easy-to-read language.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Werner

    This is where it all started for me back in the day. :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    If def makes you think twice about designing a small website and scaling into a bigger site.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Frödin

    I had this book as a part of my litterature for a collage course called Information Architecture. I actually thought it was pretty good and found part 1 and 2 as the most interesting. Knowing the fundamentals of Information Architecture could be pretty cool in all areas of life. The book actually enlightened a spark in me for to study for a Liberian (I will most probably not do it, but still).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sean Fishlock

    The book gives some great insight into the fundamentals of information architecture, with plenty of great visual models and illustrations. Experienced IA professionals may feel short changed, as it does tend to linger on the basics and has a bit of an evangelical style. Although updated in each edition, sections of the book remain with outdated concepts. It is hard to tell whether their inclusion was or wasn’t intentional. There is certainly a bit of nostalgia between the pages. The new material The book gives some great insight into the fundamentals of information architecture, with plenty of great visual models and illustrations. Experienced IA professionals may feel short changed, as it does tend to linger on the basics and has a bit of an evangelical style. Although updated in each edition, sections of the book remain with outdated concepts. It is hard to tell whether their inclusion was or wasn’t intentional. There is certainly a bit of nostalgia between the pages. The new material, when it makes an appearance, does seem to have been written with sufficient insight to be of some value. While other books promise to increase website traffic or drive new sales, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web focuses a lot on what goes on behind the scenes, areas where there are really no measures of success. Instead, much time is spent justifying the discipline and establishing the scientific and artistic aspects, which are still areas of ongoing research and debate in the Internet community. Nevertheless, I didn’t feel totally ripped off. It is never a bad idea to return to the grass roots to see how the industry has evolved and how these new concepts fit into the broader scheme of things. While it is no “IA for Dummies”, and does assume some knowledge of the web, I would still recommend it to those new to information architecture. This is because it does a good job promoting good website navigation and content structure. It is really aimed at consultants and intellectuals. Public relations and IT managers may also find this book useful, much moreso than marketing and sales people.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    One is not really supposed to sit an read an o'reilly book cover to cover, but I started to do this anyway. This was the last book of the "preparatory reading" and was worried that I was going to be in the position that I'd done all the reading for the term before it started, looks like I may indeed be in that boat! As it turns out this is the only book for the data information technologies architecture course, (though lots of e-resources will be used). I did actually stop reading this half way One is not really supposed to sit an read an o'reilly book cover to cover, but I started to do this anyway. This was the last book of the "preparatory reading" and was worried that I was going to be in the position that I'd done all the reading for the term before it started, looks like I may indeed be in that boat! As it turns out this is the only book for the data information technologies architecture course, (though lots of e-resources will be used). I did actually stop reading this half way through, as when I discovered I could read my course description online, they said that parts 4 and 5 weren't very useful. The rest of the book though I did find quite interesting. It gave me a good idea of what information architecture is, which I had no idea when i started. It talked about what made good and bad organisation of web pages, and information on web pages. While I don't think that this level of web design is something I really want to pursue it'll be useful to be able to evaluate stuff and possibly will end up utilising some of this information in relation to digital libraries at some point in the future.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    A well-balanced and well thought-through introduction to the field of information management. Parts of this book, like how to optimize within-site search engines, aren't important to me right now, but lots of the ideas surrounding information architecture are of extreme interest to me. Since it is such a new field, a decent amount of the book is about things like how to self-train as an information architect or how to sell the value of investing in information architecture to your corporate mast A well-balanced and well thought-through introduction to the field of information management. Parts of this book, like how to optimize within-site search engines, aren't important to me right now, but lots of the ideas surrounding information architecture are of extreme interest to me. Since it is such a new field, a decent amount of the book is about things like how to self-train as an information architect or how to sell the value of investing in information architecture to your corporate masters. What is of more interest to me personally are things like how to do knowledge management across an enterprise to facilitate information sharing and collaborative thinking. Since my perspective is that of a software developer, I wished there had been some more attention paid to algorithms, database structures, and relational computing. That is well outside the expertise of the authors however, and so instead I had to satisfy myself with the theories that might guide the design of such things. Still, it got me thinking and that is what I was hoping for.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robert Bogue

    Sometimes the obvious isn’t obvious. The “Polar Bear” book is a classic work for Information Architecture. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld was written in 2006 but is often cited at the book to read for Information Architecture. Be sure it’s a good book and — to counter an argument raised for another review I did – it’s still mostly relevant today. Sure some sections are long in the tooth in terms of the exampl Sometimes the obvious isn’t obvious. The “Polar Bear” book is a classic work for Information Architecture. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld was written in 2006 but is often cited at the book to read for Information Architecture. Be sure it’s a good book and — to counter an argument raised for another review I did – it’s still mostly relevant today. Sure some sections are long in the tooth in terms of the examples used or the perspective on search, however, you have to look at the book for what is does cover well – which is quite a bit. Click here to read the full review

  28. 5 out of 5

    David Parmelee

    The "polar bear book" is a useful introduction to information architecture, with a good background on its ties to library science. It was usually pretty easy to follow. It also had good insight from a technical perspective on blogs and forums. I was reading the 3rd edition, published in 2007, and in 2014 it is now starting to show its age. I found it a bit odd that the book does address LinkedIn but not Facebook or Twitter. The authors' description of their ideal IA team was insightful, but I wo The "polar bear book" is a useful introduction to information architecture, with a good background on its ties to library science. It was usually pretty easy to follow. It also had good insight from a technical perspective on blogs and forums. I was reading the 3rd edition, published in 2007, and in 2014 it is now starting to show its age. I found it a bit odd that the book does address LinkedIn but not Facebook or Twitter. The authors' description of their ideal IA team was insightful, but I would like to know what they think now that many UX-related job descriptions ask practitioners for a more generalized skill set.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tugrul Yuksel

    You know how when you're reading a book, you find one sentence that feels bigger than all the others? I think it was where Morville and Rosenfeld mentioned the relationship between IA and UX as "the small IA (findability) and the big IA (UX)". The former gives you an immediate idea about heuristics, so and so forth, right? The other good thing about this book is that introduces the reader to controlled vocabularies and metadata dictionaries in general. In certain settings (e.g. eCommerce), both c You know how when you're reading a book, you find one sentence that feels bigger than all the others? I think it was where Morville and Rosenfeld mentioned the relationship between IA and UX as "the small IA (findability) and the big IA (UX)". The former gives you an immediate idea about heuristics, so and so forth, right? The other good thing about this book is that introduces the reader to controlled vocabularies and metadata dictionaries in general. In certain settings (e.g. eCommerce), both can be very lucrative, if turned into meaningful products.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This book is well written, insightful, and logically organized. It helps web design professionals cover all the bases, and inspires new ideas for research. I appreciate the open attitude the authors take toward their subject matter. They do not fall into the trap of presenting themselves as authorities declaring that Information Architecture is now fully understood. They acknowledge that the field, the profession, and the tasks involved are still being defined. The book just works and it's a gre This book is well written, insightful, and logically organized. It helps web design professionals cover all the bases, and inspires new ideas for research. I appreciate the open attitude the authors take toward their subject matter. They do not fall into the trap of presenting themselves as authorities declaring that Information Architecture is now fully understood. They acknowledge that the field, the profession, and the tasks involved are still being defined. The book just works and it's a great learning tool. Assigned for SLIS 5960 - Information Architecture.

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