Information Architecture (IA) and Web Design
ICS 616 (Spring 2017)

This page is still being updated (specially the reading material)

Course Description
Information Architecture is a field dealing with the human centered design of web sites. As architects and engineers prepare blueprints of the building they construct, information architects build a sketch of a website based on users requirements and combine functionality, aesthetic, findability and usability elements.

Although there is no consensus about the scope and boundary of the information architect's job, it is considered that the information architect "clarifies the mission and vision of the site, balancing the needs of its sponsoring organization and the needs of its audience; determines what content and functionality the site will contain; specifies how users will find information in the site by defining its organization, navigation, labeling, and searching systems; maps out how the site will accommodate change and growth over time". (Rosenfeld Loius & Peter Morville, IA for the WWW, O'Reilly, 1st edition 1998, chapter 2).
Intended Audience
Information architects work in interdisciplinary groups whose members have a background in areas such as information organization, database systems, web development, interactive interfaces, design of searching and browsing systems, indexing and abstracting, development of taxonomies and classification schemes, system analysis, marketing, editorial and technical writing, and graphical design. The different skills of these team members are combined for the production of effective websites.
Course Structure

In this course you will learn about the main job of an information architect, the contributions and roles of different disciplines and professionals in web site development, the skills and techniques they have to develop in order to create organizational and navigational structures that help people to find pertinent information in a timely manner.


Both books are available as e-books from the Safari serie, through the electronic resource services of UH libraries

Topics Covered Projects
Main component of the course is a project (e.g. building a prototype of the website required by an institution, working on personal home pages, conducting research on a topic related to IA).

Note that the course will not focus on web programming but on website planning, conceptual design, management, prototyping and evaluation.
Prerequisites: none. LIS students might find useful to take this course after or concurrently with LIS 670 Introduction to Information Science & Technology and LIS 605 Introduction to Cataloguing & Classification. Basic knowledge of database system helps.
For more information, go to