Information Architecture Institute

Just over six months ago I signed up to be a member of the Information Architecture Institute. It only cost me US $40 for the year and since I already have “Information Architect” in my job title I thought … it couldn’t hurt to be a member!

There are a number of benefits to being a member, such as

  • networking opportunities
  • the opportunity to collaborate on IAI projects
  • post and view jobs
  • access the IA Library
  • get involved in the mentoring programme
  • free monthly newsletter

But the thing that I appreciate most from it is the email discussion group. Usually about once a week I trawl through the 200+ emails that I get from the IAI group and I’m never disappointed with some of the gems that it unearths.

The discussion is interesting, relevant and up-to-date. Quite often I’ve been made aware of recent developments out there in Web-land before they go live, or hear from the IAs and designers of particular sites as to why they chose a particular design strategy or UI element.

I posted a question asking if anyone could tell me what the difference was between editions 2 and 3 of the O’Reilly published book Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. Within half-an-hour I had two replies. From the authors themselves! Seemingly the third edition was simply to raise cash for their kids’ college funds! 😉

Kidding!

I’m sure there’s more that I could be doing with the Institute, there’s probably more that I could be getting out of the website, but to be honest the quality of the email posts alone is worth the annual subscription fee.

If you’re involved in information architecture

[The Information Architecture Institute] define information architecture as the art and science of organizing and labeling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability.

then you too many benefit. I thoroughly recommend it.

Gareth J M Saunders @ St Andrews

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