Top positive review
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Do Not Pass this Book
on August 19, 2000
I picked up this book because of two reasons: it's an O'Reilly book (which I think are some of the best written books on computing), and because it was thin enough to look inviting!
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.