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

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3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  2,515 Ratings  ·  87 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Murray
May 04, 2010 Murray rated it it was amazing
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
Robert
Oct 02, 2008 Robert rated it it was ok
More fanatic than technical -- too much "why the world needs information architecture." More focus on prose than technical communication.
Dan
Jun 18, 2014 Dan rated it it was ok
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
Book Calendar
Jan 11, 2011 Book Calendar rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
Oct 13, 2007 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel
Jan 13, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing
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.
Michael Economy
Jul 10, 2008 Michael Economy rated it really liked it
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
Mishaal M
Jun 21, 2013 Mishaal M rated it liked it
Great resource (lengthy, yes!) and there are some excellent resources provided to compliment the topic. I was surprised to learn that I had already been dabbling in IA in my work as a UX designer and business analyst without even realizing it. The sections on Search, Thesauri, and Part III (research, strategy, and design) of the book are quite informative, regardless of your role at your organization. The case studies presented are timeless, particularly surrounding pitfalls in the design stages ...more
Alper Çuğun
Apr 12, 2012 Alper Çuğun rated it really liked it
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.

Lvccgd
May 25, 2011 Lvccgd rated it liked it
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.
Matt Vuk
Mar 15, 2017 Matt Vuk rated it it was amazing
I read the fifth edition of this book. I've seen some reviews about this book that say it doesn't go as in depth into methodologies as it could but rather focuses on the implications of IA and promotes it as a concept. I actually really like this aspect, and I think that teaching the fundamentals of "why" and "what can be done" have much bigger implications to the audience than being about a framework to "learn IA". Some of the first few chapters go into such great detail about the concepts arou ...more
Mitchell Wakefield
Feb 17, 2017 Mitchell Wakefield rated it it was amazing
A timeless classic!
Sean Fishlock
The book gives some great insight into the fundamentals of information architecture, with plenty of great visual models and illustrations. Experienced IA professionals may feel short changed, as it does tend to linger on the basics and has a bit of an evangelical style. Although updated in each edition, sections of the book remain with outdated concepts. It is hard to tell whether their inclusion was or wasn’t intentional. There is certainly a bit of nostalgia between the pages. The new material ...more
Mel
Dec 17, 2012 Mel rated it liked it
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
Dave
Jan 16, 2009 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technical
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
David Parmelee
Feb 13, 2014 David Parmelee rated it really liked it
Shelves: ux
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
May 03, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it
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
Atugruly
Dec 02, 2016 Atugruly rated it really liked it
Shelves: ux
You know how when you're reading a book, you find one sentence that feels bigger than all the others?

I think it was where Morville and Rosenfeld mentioned the relationship between IA and UX as "the small IA (findability) and the big IA (UX)". The former gives you an immediate idea about heuristics, so and so forth, right?

The other good thing about this book is that introduces the reader to controlled vocabularies and metadata dictionaries in general. In certain settings (e.g. eCommerce), both c
...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
Bryan Sebesta
Jan 26, 2016 Bryan Sebesta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design-ux
I had just finished reading Donna Spencer's introductory book on IA published by UX Mastery, and while it was good, I still left feeling like I didn't quite understand IA like I was supposed to. This book was a godsend. As an introduction to Information Architecture, it was comprehensive, clear, and accessible without overwhelming me. I filled it with notes and highlights and will be referencing it again and again in the coming years, I'm sure.
Kathryn Downing
Apr 23, 2016 Kathryn Downing rated it really liked it
I just finished the fourth edition of this book in ebook format, and I read it cover-to-cover. I think most people will get good use of using it as a reference book when needed. I might even buy a hard-copy for that purpose. Although it was a bit tedious to get through, there's a lot of great information that I will put to use right away. I especially like the documentation examples towards the end. The writing style is clear and concise -- not overly academic.
Dhuaine
Nov 30, 2009 Dhuaine rated it liked it
Shelves: tech
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
Jun 24, 2013 Kathy Bateman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ux
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.
Faisal
Dec 31, 2014 Faisal added it
This book contains a great knowledge for anyone new to web development or even people with experience. It has a lot of the "real world" scenarios that you will encounter. I recommend it to anyone in web development/design, it provides good core methodology for many of the processes you'll encounter regularly.
Alma Vētra
Apr 22, 2014 Alma Vētra rated it it was ok
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
Craig Cecil
Feb 24, 2012 Craig Cecil rated it it was amazing
Shelves: computers
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
Jun 24, 2012 James rated it really liked it
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.
Jim Morris
Oct 30, 2013 Jim Morris rated it it was amazing
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.
Debbie
Aug 18, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: web-design
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
Oct 28, 2012 Luís Gouveia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informação
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.

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Peter Morville is a pioneer of the fields of information architecture and user experience. He advises such clients as AT&T, Cisco, Harvard, IBM, Macy's, the Library of Congress, and the National Cancer Institute. He has delivered conference keynotes in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His work has been covered by Business Week, The Economist, NPR, and The Wall Street ...more
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“And yet, unlearn we must, for technology relentlessly transforms the playing field, changing not just the answers but the questions as well.” 3 likes
“A minister was walking by a construction project and saw two men laying bricks. “What are you doing?” he asked the first. “I’m laying bricks,” he answered gruffly. “And you?’’ he asked the other. “I’m building a cathedral,” came the happy reply. The minister was agreeably impressed with this man’s idealism and sense of participation in God’s Grand Plan. He composed a sermon on the subject, and returned the next day to speak to the inspired bricklayer. Only the first man was at work. “Where’s your friend?” asked the minister. “He got fired.” “How terrible. Why?” “He thought we were building a cathedral, but we’re building a garage.”9 So ask yourself: am I designing a cathedral or a garage? The difference between the two is important, and it’s often hard to tell them apart when your focus is on laying bricks. Sometimes” 0 likes
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