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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,404 ratings  ·  70 reviews
The post-Ajaxian Web 2.0 world of wikis, folksonomies, and mashups makes well-planned information architecture even more essential. How do you present large volumes of information to people who need to find what they're looking for quickly? This classic primer shows information architects, designers, and web site developers how to build large-scale and maintainable web sit...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published December 4th 2006 by O'Reilly Media (first published 1998)
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Don't Make Me Think by Steve KrugThe Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. NormanInformation Architecture for the World Wide Web by Louis RosenfeldWeb Form Design by Luke WroblewskiDesigning Interfaces by Jenifer Tidwell
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Community Reviews

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Murray
Often referred to as 'the Polar Bear book' (because of the polar bear on the cover), or the IA bible. I read a library copy of this book in 2006, and then went through my own copy of the 3rd edition again in 2007. It is a very in-depth book into IA and how it applies to the web. There's a lot of material to cover, so it takes a while to read if you want to absorb it all, especially if you never heard of the ideas before. But it's a very useful book, and also serves as a good as a reference while...more
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Robert
More fanatic than technical -- too much "why the world needs information architecture." More focus on prose than technical communication.
Elizabeth
I'm on the team responsible for a major website redesign at our library, and my particular area of responsibility is the content and organization of the site. In preparation for this massive undertaking, I picked up this book as I was told it's one of THE canonical texts in the area of information architecture. I read the first edition, so some of the specific recommendations were dated, but the general concepts are still very applicable. I'm looking forward to picking up the 2006 edition and se...more
Alper Çugun
Probably interesting enough for the new practicioner or the aspiring librarian but I found this to be an exceptionally dry read (even compared to the admittedly very detailed About Face).

I'd recommend skimming content, skipping chapters and focusing most probably on part III (Process and Methodology) of the book.

Still a must probably in this field, so better just get it over with.

Dan
Over the course of my seven year career as a full stack developer, I've had this book on my bookshelf. I'd tried to get through it a few times and each attempt stuttered out after a few chapters. This in and of itself should stand as evidence of something, at least to me and those who know me, but moving on...

I can't recall why I bought it - or requested it as a gift - but I finally got around to reading it recently. I always had the nagging feeling that there *must* be meat in here, somewhere....more
Rachel
Jan 13, 2009 Rachel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ux
Read this book for an information design class. It was the first time I'd ever heard of IA and I chose this book on a whim, because it looked interesting. Little did I know how hooked I would get on IA. It's a great resource for anyone wanting to learn about IA or get into a usability field.
Dave
A well-balanced and well thought-through introduction to the field of information management. Parts of this book, like how to optimize within-site search engines, aren't important to me right now, but lots of the ideas surrounding information architecture are of extreme interest to me.

Since it is such a new field, a decent amount of the book is about things like how to self-train as an information architect or how to sell the value of investing in information architecture to your corporate mast...more
Mel
One is not really supposed to sit an read an o'reilly book cover to cover, but I started to do this anyway. This was the last book of the "preparatory reading" and was worried that I was going to be in the position that I'd done all the reading for the term before it started, looks like I may indeed be in that boat! As it turns out this is the only book for the data information technologies architecture course, (though lots of e-resources will be used). I did actually stop reading this half way...more
Mishaal M
Great resource (lengthy, yes!) and there are some excellent mentions of other readings that really supplement the topic. Information Architecture is not a "one-person" role or job title, but an extremely important yet overlooked construct that requires a multitude of skill sets, knowledge, and more importantly, organizational buy-in to be used effectively. I was surprised to learn that I've dabbled in IA in my work as a UX designer and business analyst without even recognizing it. The sections o...more
Alma Vētra
The impression I got is that the author and seemingly others in his field are more concerned with defending why their profession is necessary and talking about how complex and valuable it is instead of giving some convenient, insightful knowledge. A book on information architecture yet itself it isn't well structured
Michael Economy
Sep 16, 2009 Michael Economy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who are involved in making websites
Recommended to Michael by: steve krug - don't make me think
Shelves: work-related
Pretty great book about information architecture. If you build websites and don't know what information architecture is, I'd recommend reading it.

Some of the info is really about what to do if you're an information architect, dealing with company politics, budgets, etc. If you only work on very small projects, or if you're the primary decision maker, you could probably skim all of that stuff. Most of the meat of this book is early on.

The only reason I'm not gonna give this book 5 stars is becaus...more
David Parmelee
The "polar bear book" is a useful introduction to information architecture, with a good background on its ties to library science. It was usually pretty easy to follow. It also had good insight from a technical perspective on blogs and forums. I was reading the 3rd edition, published in 2007, and in 2014 it is now starting to show its age. I found it a bit odd that the book does address LinkedIn but not Facebook or Twitter. The authors' description of their ideal IA team was insightful, but I wo...more
Brian
This book is well written, insightful, and logically organized. It helps web design professionals cover all the bases, and inspires new ideas for research. I appreciate the open attitude the authors take toward their subject matter. They do not fall into the trap of presenting themselves as authorities declaring that Information Architecture is now fully understood. They acknowledge that the field, the profession, and the tasks involved are still being defined. The book just works and it's a gre...more
Hilary
It seemed a bit dated. Good overview of what IA as from the authors' perspective; however, in my extensive professional experience, IA is a term that can mean different things at each company where it is applied. For example, the IA Strategy document is a good idea -- but I've never heard of anyplace that uses it! Also, the documents they refer to as blueprints, I've more often heard referred to as sitemaps and flows (though I have heard of them as blueprints too -- maybe it is the more general...more
Dhuaine
I read this book in order to achieve a basic level of understanding information architecture for usability and SEO purposes. It certainly contains very useful information, but is presented in rather boring way - too wordy and yet still dry. It's also targeted at people aspiring to become information architects or at least develop large-scale websites - Section IV and V were rather irrelevant for someone who dabbles in information architecture as side effect or side job.
Kathy Bateman
Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Louis Rosenfeld is a very dense book. If IA is your job or you want to throw yourself into it head-first, this is the book for you. It contains many examples and detailed information about integrating IA practices into your website design and maintenance process. You'll find applicable information for new sites as well as for existing sites, including a whole chapter on enterprise solutions.
Eric Brown
The standard on usability and information architecture. Those in web development should have a copy.
Lvccgd
Книга написана в академическом стиле, т.е. теоретических представлений больше практических обоснований. Есть противоречивые рекомендации... В книге заложено много, но чтобы вытянуть что-то нужно читать от А до Я. Короче книга для обучения, если для практики то только для уже состоявшихся архитекторов. В любом случае в своей нише книга дает исчерпывающие ответы, так что прочтение не пройдет зря.
Craig Cecil
So, you know how to create web pages, maybe even an entire web site. But do you really know how? Do you understand how to create a site that is massively scalable from a content and navigational perspective? This book will show you how. If you read any book about site design, this should be the first, the foundation. Already a classic. And under 200 pages.
James
Provides a welcome structure for the challenge of organizing content for the web. Toward the end, though, it veers more into the strict business side of being an information architect. The information there is still somewhat useful for those of us in other fields who are forced to dabble, but the first half of the book is the essential reading.
Scott
The Information Architect's bible!

A must read!!
Yuki
Sep 13, 2008 Yuki rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: schoolreads
What a bunch of bs! is my opinion of this book. It reads like a dictionary, constantly defining something that exists, stuff you see on web pages all the time. I mean, I don't care what is it called... tell me something more insightful than just giving it some lame name. What a waste of time.
Sarah
A good mid-range book to give you the basics but not overwhelm you.
Chris Allison
Big. Dry. Fairly Helpful. The main point is that you should take into consideration the questions users are trying to find the answers to when they come to your site. Make it easy for them to find the answer. Also consider that users do not always know the questions themselves.
Debbie
This book is geared to those developing larger websites than I typically build, but I still found it quite useful. The sections on navigation and organization systems for your site were very good. The book also helped me refine my site-mapping and wireframing processes.
Luís Gouveia
Um clássico quando se fala de arquitectura de informação
Desde 2000, um livro que recomendava em cursos de gestão da informação, mesmo numa perspectiva da organização da informação para a Web.

Escrito por bibliotecários, é um excelente texto sobre Ciência da Informação.

Jason Hare
Dec 07, 2012 Jason Hare rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Web Managers making the case for a reasonable navigation system
Louis Rosenfeld takes on the web as a paradigm for information design and walks the reader through step by step with various examples and case studies. Want to know about site hierarchical structures and how they will ipmact your visitors?

Another fine O'Rielly Book.
Dave Emmett
This book was hugely helpful to me as I begin a career in Information Architecture. The only downside to it is that, because it's so comprehensive, it goes on a bit too long. But it had a good mix of theory combined with practical advice, which is always nice.
Jim Morris
A career-changing book for me, Rosenfeld and Morville supplied the bridge that took my librarian background and applied it to the web covering the basics of content management, metadata design, taxonomies, and essential interface design principles.
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