Friday, February 18, 2005

Tastes Great! Less Filling!

A splendid response from Peter Boersma to my IA Lite? post explores the issue far better than I did—and offers lots of links worth perusing. In particular, Peter's Big IA is now UX is spot-on.

Peter does a better job of defining IA Lite than I (who dodged the issue) when he writes: "IA Lite focusses on these shallow subjects, like navigation, labeling and layout." Put another way, you'll find IA Lite wherever IA intersects with other disciplines such as visual design, content creation, interaction design, etc. That, by the way, is the heart of Big IA is now UX. (Have I mentioned that you should read that?) Peter also suggests that IA Lite is akin to Jakob Nielsen's famous Guerilla Usability—and deftly adapts Nielsen's definition to suit IA.

In that spirit, let me say that I have nothing against IA Lite or Guerilla IA insofar as it stays within its bounds. I even teach IA Lite in my seminars, where my objective is to give non-IAs some simple tools so that they can do a little Guerilla IA when necessary. What would trouble me would be (1) attempts to equate IA Lite with IA in its fullness and (2) practitioners of IA Lite passing themselves off as "real" IAs. And because IAs themselves could be accused of practicing "Visual Design Lite" or "Guerilla Branding," I don't want to call the kettle black.

Finally, I thought of several books that offer guerilla training. Try these on for size (camoflauge patterns available upon request): Each offers a great introduction to their disciplines but on their own would not qualify a reader as an IA, usability tester or Web writer.


Blogger beep said...

Alright, alright, I'll get you that beer at the IA Summit! :-)

12:43 AM  

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