So, you’re probably wondering what squirrels have to do with Information Architecture (IA). On the surface, the point that our header image conveys is that like things need to be categorized appropriately. Squirrels should be placed in The Squirrel Room. However, if we delve deeper, information can be thought of as being like the way squirrels behave. There’s a lot of chatter and noise that can be hard to decipher. They tend to run around alone or together. They might chase one another. Suddenly, they might stand perfectly still and blend into the environment making them difficult to see or identify. As technical communicators who do information architecture as a part of our work, we have to try to wrangle information into meaningful categories, groupings, clusters, or constellations. In doing so, we present this information in a meaningful and information-rich way that helps readers, viewers, or users make use of that information to get things done. But, if we have an errant squirrel running around (i.e., a misplaced or invisible piece of information in our otherwise well-designed website or document), it might prevent our audiences from finding the information that they need to accomplish a task. Therefore, the overarching theme of our class this semester is to always put your squirrels in The Squirrel Room!
For today’s class:
- Review Syllabus
- Make Introductions
- Close Reading Exercise of the Information Architecture Wikipedia Page
- Reminder about readings to complete before next week’s class.