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Information Architecture: Designing Information Environments for Purpose



The advent of the computer has facilitated an exponential growth in the tools and techniques for manipulating information. Much of the development has been ad-hoc, driven by general management practises of gaining productivity and efficiency through the greater use of computers. Little attention has been paid to the broader issues of coherence and co-ordination of the information increasingly used to drive modern organizations.
This book addresses these broader issues. It starts from the perception that information systems and sources need to be designed within a framework, an architecture, which requires a detailed understanding of the roles of the information and the tools to manipulate it, within the organization. The different elements of the architecture are described and analysed and the necessity to undertake detailed and continuous research into developments in computer hardware, software and in information management is emphasised. In addition, the roles of the various parties, general management, computing personnel and information professionals as joint owners of the information architecture are analysed.
Chapters include:

  • overview of information architecture;
  • hardware, networks and software;
  • the need to plan IT environments;
  • working with IT personnel;
  • the software environment;
  • knowledge representation: taxonomies; classification; thesauri;
  • interoperability: the semantic web; role of Markup; ontologies;
  • the user interface; designing for users.

Readership: The primary audience is senior and middle managers in the information profession: this will include all professionals in the corporate information sector, including knowledge managers. The book will also be of great interest to all students of information and knowledge management and also on business and IT-related courses.

A brief history of information architecture - Peter Morville Introduction - Barry Mahon and Alan Gilchrist
1. Developing an information model for information- and knowledge-based organizations - Mike Fisher 2. Document, information, data, content: How to model information? - Catherine Leloup 3. Developing a scalable information architecture for a cross-sectoral, distributed citizen's information system: The Seamless UK experience - Mary Rowlatt with Cathy Day, Jo Morris and Rob Davies
4. Specifying and procuring software - Bob Wiggins 5. The care and feeding of software vendors for IA environments - John Gregory 6. A flexible architecture for managing current awareness - Sabine Kruse and Manfred Hauer
7. Why and when would you use XML in text-based systems? - Derek Sturdy 8. Topic maps: Indexing in 3-D - Bob Bater 9. A devolved architecture for public sector interoperability - Stella G. Dextre Clarke 10. Identifiers and interoperability - Elizabeth Scott-Wilson 11. Information architecture and vocabularies for browse and search - Amy J. Warner 12. The taxonomy: A mechanism, rather than a tool, that needs a strategy for development and application - Alan Gilchrist 13. From architecture to construction: The electronic records management programme at the DTI - Liz MacLachlan 14. Building a business taxonomy: A work in progress - Ruth McLaughlin and Angela Greenwood
PART 4 THE USER INTERFACE 15. Interfaces: Expressions of IA - Janice Fraser 16. Guru interview - Marylaine Block interviews - Genie Tyburski 17. Designing a worldwide experience for PeopleSoft - Janice Fraser and Camille Sobalvarro

Alan Gilchrist CMC MIMC HonFCLIP and Barry Mahon MSc are both Associate Consultants with TFPL Ltd, the leading international organization providing specialist consultancy, research, recruitment, training and conferences for the information and knowledge sector.

"This important book both catches and perpetuates the wave of interest that appears to be building in Europe over Information Architecture."

Information World Review

"Librarians interested in staying on the cutting edge of technology, specifically web site design, will welcome this volume."

Library Journal

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