- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 11, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1565922824
- ISBN-13: 978-1565922822
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 144 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,386,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-scale Web Sites 1st Edition
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In Chapter 6 of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, the authors discuss the details of good search-engine design. In a bitingly humorous segment, they analyze a Web site's search-page results: "Let's say you're interested in knowing what the New Jersey sales tax is.... So you go to the State of New Jersey web site and search on sales tax. The 20 results are scored at either 84% or 82% relevant. Why does each document receive only one of two scores?... And what the heck makes a document 2% more relevant than another?"
With a swift and convincing stroke, the authors of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web tear down many entrenched ideas about Web design. Flashy animations are cool, they agree, as long as they don't aggravate the viewer. Nifty clickable icons are nice, but are their meanings universal? Is the search engine providing results that are useful and relevant? This book acts as a mirror and with careful questioning causes the reader to think through all the elements and decisions required for well-crafted Web design. --Jennifer Buckendorff
From Library Journal
Saul Wurman first used the term Information Architecture in his book of the same name. His book was mostly lots of really pretty pictures of media and webs compiled from a graphic design perspective; they were beautiful but never really dealt with the information end of things. Rosenfeld and Morville get it right. They show how to design manageable sites right the first time, sites built for growth. They discuss ideas of organization, navigation, labeling, searching, research, and conceptual design. This is almost common sense, which is often overlooked in the rush for cascading style sheets and XML. Essential reading for librarians and information managers who deal with the World Wide Web in any parts of their jobs.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
After reading the first two chapters I was convinced that the authors were on the right track. with web development in its infancy there are no standards for development of web sites that one can go by. This book, while in no way attempting to set or define any standards, attempts to list the principles and approach that an information architect should be taking when starting out on a web design project.
I found the fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters to be the very best. These chapters touch upon Navigation, Labelling, and Searching systems. The chapter on navigation systems was a relevation. Many a time navigations systems make absolutely no sense on even some of the more reputed web sites.
The chapter on Navigation systems is followed by the one on Labeling Systems. The relevation that emerges from this chapter is 'Know your target audience, and be consistent!'.
If I like this book, why don't I give this book 5 stars? Because I feel that because the authors do such a great job of explaing what 'Information Architecture' I was very disappointed by the lack of detailed examples in the book. There is one chapter at the end that deals with a real world example, but that is not enough. Something like the entire layout of a real world web site (or a hypothetical example even) that set out that web site's labelling system, the navigation system, the Searching system, etc.. would have made this book worth its weight in cybergold!
Hence the 4 stars. But still a must read, must have.
Overall, it is a good book for a beginner. But don't forget to also pick up some books focusing on task-based webstie information architecture.
The book describes basic theories of IA in general (i.e. book indexes and tables of contents, libraries, etc.) and the pros and cons of different organization, labeling, and navigation systems. Then Rosenfeld advises on presenting IA to management, etc., managing expectations (yours and others), and gives detailed examples of IA strategies online.
Because it covers a lot of ground, its not necessarily a how-to guide book, but rather is more of a deep introspective of what information architecture (IA) is, as an academic discipline. In that regard, it is quite insightful and offers many good resources of how the field evolved, and where its at today, and what role it plays in the ever changing business community.
If anything, as a result of reading this book, I found that I now have a deeper appreciation for what it takes to create a systems-wide approach towards the organization of information. In particular, an appreciation for what it takes to design information for users to help them find the information that they need.
The third edition keeps the book pretty up-to-date. Other than some random old school Netscape screenshots, all the content is totally applicable in today's world.