- Paperback: 174 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1.0 edition (November 4, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1500615994
- ISBN-13: 978-1500615994
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 72 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody 1.0 Edition
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From the Author
Who is the book for?
I wrote this book for anyone making anything. And vague as I admit that to be, I believe it to be most useful framed that way.
Because in my opinion, the same advice could be given to someone organizing a bake sale as someone organizing a global cross-channel campaign. I also think the same high-level process and consideration set could apply to a student making their first website as a major corporation redesigning their digital ecosystem.
We have spent the last thousand years inventing ever-stronger ways to transport messages from one point to another. But along the way, we haven't spent as much time considering how our messages will be interpreted and how that might impact the way people understand and use the information that our messages contain.
We spend most of the time talking about the practical and predictable parts of our world. The steps we will take, the deliverables we will produce, the thing we are making, even the value we will be creating by doing so, the organization of teams and projects to get us there -- but we spend much less time (if any at all) talking about the perceived meaning of choices we make, the impact language has on our communication's effectiveness, or playing with structures that would best serve our intent before we start to layer on the details of design and execution. I wanted to write a book that taught those lessons.
About the Author
Abby Covert specializes in delivering a highly collaborative information architecture process and teaching those that she works with along the way. Abby speaks and writes under the pseudonym Abby the IA, focusing on sharing information architecture content with those working within the design and technology communities. She teaches information architecture at The School of Visual Arts, Parsons: the New School and General Assembly NYC. Abby prides herself on being an active organizer and mentor within the IA community. She currently serves as the president of the Information Architecture Institute and as an advisor for the Information Architecture Summit. She holds credit for inventing World Information Architecture Day, a free annual conference held simultaneously in dozens of locations across the globe. Now in its fourth year, World IA Day has been held in 50+ cites. Thirty eight more locations have been added for 2015. After ten years of practicing information architecture for clients and writing about it on the web, Abby saw that too few people knew how to practice it for themselves. She decided that the best way to help would be to teach this important practice. And, after two years of teaching without a textbook, Abby told her students that she intended to write the book that was missing: a book about information architecture for everybody. This is that book. In developing this book, Abby wrote more than 75,000 words, clarified the contextual meaning of more than 100 terms, and tested three distinctively different prototypes with readers.
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Top customer reviews
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Both when it comes to content and abstraction level, it is all over the place. Sometimes, the book feels like a philosophical book, discussing properties of empty space, and the subjectivity of information. At other times, it's concrete - like trying to explain what a Venn diagram is (and miraculously failing at that). Other times again, it feels like a short introduction to agile or HCI.
The disconnected change of abstraction level makes it feel pretentious.
Still giving it 3 stars, as it contains lots of useful information - at least for readers that are relatively new to the various topics covered.
As someone who works with IA all the time in the software development space - I had hoped this book would give me something deeper or connect things in new and interesting ways and was left a little disappointed.
It's easy to think of this book as "too simple" or "too obvious", but that's kind of the point. This book is very concise and it makes its point by being the very thing it attempts to describe.
This is an essential read for knowledge workers because it is the essence of what knowledge workers do. We don't all need to be IA professionals, but if you do something like engineering or computer programming, this book is part of the "soft skills" we all talk about.