Information architecture became a key communicological technique in the context of a new form of social organization in which information generation, processing and transmission are in the centre of the scene.
In this specific form of decentralized social organization that produces intangible goods and in which interpersonal relationships have a new option menu in which less people work face-to-face and where there is a growing number of networks of all kinds that re-organize the interactions, Information Architecture finds its strategic value by providing multiple links in the organization of information organization.
The term "Information Architecture" started being used long ago. The first use of the term Architecture together with the term Information had place around 1959 when IBM conceptualized it as “the conceptual structure and functional behavior, distinguishing the organization of data flows and controls, logical design, and physical implementation” (Amdahl, Blaauw, Brooks 1964).
A few years later, in 1970, at the Xerox Research Center, a group of scientists specialized in Information Science and Natural Science got together to develop technology which could support the “architecture of information”. This group was responsible for a number of important contributions, including the first personal computer with a user-friendly interface, laser printing, and the first WYSIWYG text editor.
Richard Wurman (an American architect and graphic designer who is considered a pioneer in the use of this term) defined it as the art and science of organizing and labeling information as a previous step to make information visibly understandable for users. In 1976 Wurmanproposed Information Architecture as the central theme at the National Conference of the American Institute of Architects, describing it as an emerging profession of the XXI century.
From the mid 1980s, several writers referred to Information Architecture as a tool for the design and creation of information systems.
Even though Information Architecture is mainly associated with the design of web sites; according to us, Information Architecture should be a technique applied to any content regardless of the support as we are constantly exploring forms of organizing contents in order to make information more accessible for readers and users.
For example, when designing a publication (magazines, newspapers newsletters, etc) besides planning the contents, the distribution of the contents as well as the layout: typography, images, texts, etc. should be taken into account to organize and facilitate the access to the readers and surfers in all the sites where information may be found.
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