Information Architect Job Description
Information Architects design and build the layout, mapping and user-interfaces for web, desktop and mobile applications to make the information displayed clearer and easier to use. Information Architects use analytical thinking and creativity to develop, communicate and implement technology architecture for organizations. They design how users experience websites and applications. Information Architects usually work with a team of designers, researchers, and developers
Information Architects are in high demand for their highly technical skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment for all Computer Network Architects, including Information Architects, to grow by 9 percent through 2024.
Information Architect Duties and Responsibilities
In designing and building the architecture of systems and technologies, Information Architects perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core Information Architects duties and responsibilities.
Information Architects assess existing sites and systems to evaluate their usability, usefulness, visual design, content, and branding. They look for efficiency and evaluate what the user-experience is and where it might be improved/
Research and Interview to Gather Data
Information Architects conduct stakeholder interviews and do research on users to determine requirements and inform interface design. They must work closely with the stakeholders to understand key requirements for a project, and may host behavioral trials to gather information on user-perspective.
Identify Opportunities for Improvement
Based on an analysis of stakeholder requirements and user research, the Information Architect identifies opportunities to improve the user experience and build value. From a user-experience perspective, they come up with ideas and site planning strategies to meet clients’ business needs.
The Information Architect develops a model or map to demonstrate design improvements to present their findings to stakeholders. They may use wireframes, user flows, scenarios, site maps or prototypes to communicate the design and recommendations to stakeholders.
Implement Site Improvements
Information Architects collaborate with marketing, design, development, and account departments to implement their design strategies into sites and applications. They then monitor user-interaction with the changes and make refinements as needed.
Information Architect Skills
Creative and analytical thinkers, successful Information Architects revel in finding solutions to challenging problems and creating excellent user-interfaces. They work well as part of a team on collaborative projects. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are seeking Information Architect candidates with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Information Architects with these core skills. If you want to work as an Information Architect focus on the following.
- Demonstrated experience in creating interfaces, large-scale websites, and applications.
- Understanding of user experience, web design and development processes, methods and principles
- Experience in business process improvement and knowledge of business intelligence tool-sets
- Experience developing or working with architectural concepts, strategies, roadmaps, reference architectures, architectural patterns, frameworks and principles
- Strong visualization skills with the ability to clearly communicate, in writing and orally
- Aware of current trends and new technologies in information architecture and design.
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Information Architect toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Experience with team leadership
- Experience interacting with business and technology stakeholders
- Experience in data modeling
Information Architect Resources
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as an Information Architect. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
UX Booth – Articles and recent updates on information architecture and User Experience.
ElegantHack – A blog by Christina Wodtke, a co-founder of the Information Architecture Institute with an impressive information architecture background.
Explaining Information Architecture – A quick and informative video from a veteran Information Architect on what the job exactly entails.
Information Architect, IA – A group with over 5,000 members for discussing information Architecture issues or to find posted jobs.
User Experience – This group, with over 115,000 members, is for all those involved in designing and improving User Experiences, including Information Architects.
The Information Architecture Institute – The IA Institute has a huge digital resource library and links to find local IA communities near you.
Information Architecture Community Group – An online community where users can engage with other Information Architects on an online forum.
Information Architect Books
Information Architecture: For the Web and Beyond – The foremost guide on Information Architecture, this guide provides the concepts, methods, and techniques of digital design.
Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become – This book dives into the concepts underlying Information Architecture and why it matter.
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