Information architects are the professionals in software - and, especially, web application and development - who help refine and improve the user experience (UX in industry terms). The information architect works to create site maps and interface functionality that improve the interface and user interaction. A primary piece of an information architect's job is the categorization of data. Before the architect can best point users to the data they seek, he or she needs to know how or why the user is seeking that information in the first place. The information architect then uses that base categorization model to create the site structure of a website or the interface for an information application.
In most cases, an information architect carefully monitors site metrics to look for bottlenecks and areas that seem to put up unnecessary blocks for users. The information architect should expect to frequently revisit the site or application infrastructure in his or her design to continue to work on it to improve the user experience. Information architects also help define the parameters of content for the website, which may involve working out which pieces of information fit with the overall design and which are best left out.
Information architects typically possess at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or engineering, or some sort of technical school programming background. The architect normally needs to have industry-specific certifications in the field (such as from the IASA, an industry association) to be considered for most positions at larger companies. An information architect typically works in an office environment during regular business hours.
Information Architect Tasks
- Design organization, labelling, and navigation of schemes within an information system.
- Structure and classify web sites and intranets to help people find and manage information.
- Design an information space to facilitate task completion and intuitive access to content.