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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Information and Content Architecture

Generally, people use the terms “information architecture” and “content architecture” interchangeably. I would say they represent different perspectives on content management.

Professionals working with presentation of content more often use the term information architecture. Professionals working with production of content often use the term content architecture.

Information architecture professionals organize information and navigation mechanisms for document, web sites and other content rich products so that users may find and use information effectively.

The Information architecture work can include:

  • analyze the user experience and requirements
  • organize the information and features into a logical structure of the document, website etc
  • define page structures for individual pages or templates
  • develop search navigation mechanisms to facilitate users' access to information and functionality
  • specify guidelines and standards for information usage

Content architecture professionals organize content and storage mechanisms for documents, web sites and other content rich products so that content creators, editors and managers can produce and deliver content effectively.

The Content architecture work can include:

  • establish an inventory of content repositories and sources
  • describe the content and relationships in a taxonomy or schema
  • identify production processes and content flows
  • explore possibilities to re-use and re-purpose content
  • specify guidelines and standards for content production

In accordance to the above, information architecture and content architecture can be seen as the two sides of the same coin.

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