IA Column: Information Architecture
What happens when architectural questions are not asked?
Article first published online: 19 APR 2012
Copyright © 2012 American Society for Information Science and Technology
Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 52–53, April/May 2012
How to Cite
Haller, T. (2012), What happens when architectural questions are not asked?. Bul. Am. Soc. Info. Sci. Tech., 38: 52–53. doi: 10.1002/bult.2012.1720380414
- Issue published online: 19 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2012
A mysterious change in the background information architecture of Facebook resulted in the author apparently going silent. His disappearance was traced back to a wrong choice among the revised privacy options. The classification labels were ambiguous, not clearly differentiated, and offering no definition, leaving the user uncertain which to use. The labels All and Public were open to misinterpretation, and the distinction between two option groups was similarly vague. The example illustrates problems that arise when information architects fail to fully consider the implications of clustering certain kinds of information, the relationships between clusters and the appropriateness of labels to reflect the content. The example illustrates information architects' unending challenge to make the complex clear.