Collaborate or feel the consequences

After reading this article I was somewhat saddened and the also transported back to a time 7 years ago when I was a lowly web designer working for an information architect who headed up our design team.

She was of the opinion that the surface design was all we were good for, our thoughts concerning interaction of the user with the interface was little more than icing on the cake that she had lovingly baked. She was frustrating, she ring-fenced her domain, no colleague or client could get into her information utopia. DonĀ“t get me wrong, we respected and admired her courage and stubbornness. She usually got her way but she never got user centred design.

Back in the room….yes 7 years on and the old problems seem to still be there. There appears to be a disconnect in IA from a UCD approach. Even in the Polar Bear book we have overtones of how UCD is the poor relation to information organisation. I would like to propose we drop this outlook and the reasons are clear. As more people with different ideas contribute to the information mix we will have to embrace the user, put them at the centre of everything we do and allow their behaviour to permeate through our taxonomies. Let our taxonomies become Persona led and multi-faceted.

Just as IA is reaching its highest point it is in danger of falling flat on its face. I emplore it as a discipline to embrace interaction and interface design. Collaboration is the key to its success as we are on the threshold of implementing processes that are solid and enduring.

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