:: urbansheep (urbansheep) wrote,
:: urbansheep
urbansheep

[ Q ] [ L ] Programming for Information Architects

Programming for Information Architects

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Have you ever been sitting in a meeting that takes a sudden turn for the incomprehensible? “I’ll subclass the DataProvider class to add an array of names, then you can override the sort method on that.” Yep, that’s a programmer talking. Nothing to do with information architecture, right? Well, not really.

You might have more in common with programmers than you think. Both programming and IA are mindsets oriented towards abstraction. We both generally want to find patterns and rules that describe and predict. We both appreciate the value of modular parts and components. We both are often concerned with handling structured content and metadata. But more often than not, IAs don’t know what’s going on with code. In this article, I’ll introduce you to some of the basic building blocks of programming.

I should make it clear right away that I’m not proposing a new method of doing IA or a better way of thinking about content, users, or context. But a better understanding of the programmers’ work might inspire your own. It’s important to focus on users during research and design, but to explain our ideas, IAs need to be able to create design documents that show some awareness of systems, programs, and other nuts and bolts. And of course, shared vocabularies and common understandings can go a long way in fostering better team communication.

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