IA is everywhere and accidental

IA is an activity that people do all the time without realizing it. In these examples, we can see:

  • Structuring
    • Things being identified
    • Information about those things being chosen
    • Metaphors being used to describe relationships
  • Organizing
    • Things being chosen (what’s in/what’s out)
    • Things being arranged in a sequence
    • Things being sorted into categories
  • Labeling
    • Categories being named

Two different representations of information will tell different stories because they are created for different purposes.

All those choices are information architecture. All the biases, agendas, and goals, are transmitted into the structures that information architects create. They’re also data visualization or statistics or graphic design or many other things. Rarely is IA only IA.