May 07, 2002

Why I’m not calling myself an Information Architect anymore
David Heller makes some good points in a Boxes and Arrows piece on IA as a title:

"Information Architecture is not the same as interaction design or user experience design. The line is very clear and the only reason we allow it be blurred is because early adopters from different disciplines within the field coopted the term and have applied it to a broad swath of responsibilities."

"I know I am not an Information Architect because I know what Information Architecture is, and I respect those that can do it. I also want to make sure that those who can do it, aren’t obscured by those that can’t."

"So respectfully, I remain a member of this community, but I revoke (retroactively) all titles I ever held that included Information Architecture in them."

I've received a number of comments on my chosen title, "User Experience Architect" -- it's a new title that few people have used before. Here's my explanation of it: “User Experience Architect” is a title that insufficiently seeks to describe a role focused primarily on user-centered design, but borrowing from many other disciplines like information architecture, systems design, project management, marketing, and cat herding. I also don't call myself an IA -- for many of the same reasons David cited in his article. "Usability engineer/specialist" is too narrow a definition, and brings too many preconceived notions since many UE's only conduct usability tests.

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