Over the past decade or so, the nature of information has changed and continues to change in many ways. As practicing information architects, we need to understand these and how to change our skills sets and consulting practice to deliver new kinds of value. Here are some of the changes we will discuss in this course:
1. The basic unit of information has changed. It used to be a web page. Now it is useful to consider smaller levels of granularity, such as a news headline or an office location, that might be useful in their own right.
2. There are larger units of information that are getting named, described and classified into patterns, for example, “blog”. We can leverage existing patterns to fast-track our work. We can also challenge them, break them, and take what is useful for our own distinctive solutions. We will look at some powerful ones.
3, Interactivity has increased. Formerly static web pages now can be richly interactive, to expose and hide more information on the same page, and we need some rational bases for choosing one pattern of interactivity over another.
4. Information can be repurposed more than ever. Yes, we know that in web content management systems, information created once may show up in several places on our intranet. But it can be launched into the larger information ecosystem, and we need to know how to give it a fighting chance to survive.
5. Information and its presentation can be sourced from multiple authorities. There is large amount of structured web accessible information out there, and we will have to know when to source and integrate these resources rather than creating and designing them ourselves.
We hope that this material will help you professionally, and will make the world a better place by delivering high quality, useful, well presented information.