ironclad's blog

Why someone should be in charge of your website

Gerry McGovern makes a case for clear management structure and putting someone in the hotseat, rather than letting it fall to a committee.

If your website is important to your business it needs to be managed professionally. Unfortunately, websites are often designed and managed by committees. Everyone is in charge which means that nobody has control. This results in content that is of uneven style, tone and quality, and an information architecture that is muddled and inconsistent.

User-centric content organization

Sabin Densmore writes a brief intro of an important IA goal.

In order for a website to be useful, the content must be organized towards a user's ability to understand, search and find the information within it. A website must be contextual to the audience's pyschology and state of mind.

CMS Market to boom

Content and Document Management Services Market to Reach $24.4 Billion by 2006 says IDC

The content and document management services market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44% to reach approximately $24.4 billion in 2006 a new study from IDC reveals. IDC defines the content and document management services market as formalized services including planning and design, implementation, operations, training, and support that are provided to clients to help achieve effective enterprise content management.

... but then don't most of these research consultancies overstate the possibilities. Read it with a grain of salt.

NEC models the web: Zipf power law thrown a curve

A Web modelling project funded by NEC, looking at how links are distributed...

NEC researchers discovered that the degree of "rich get richer" or "winners take all" behavior varies in different categories and may be significantly less than previously thought. A new model has been developed which can be used to predict and analyze competition and diversity in different communities on the web.

Herman Miller RED - case study

via DesignWritings:

Really interesting case study for the Herman Miller RED site design. Lots of details about the work Nathan Shedroff did as IA on the project. Tons of work diagrams and wireframes as well as screens of the finished product. Looks like it was a really interesting problem to architect.


Eric Scheid has been gathering some notes and thoughts on applying the theories and principles of Emergence within the field of Information Architecture.

Read about it here: IAwiki:EmergentArchitecture

Innovation Architecture

Peter Morville has a new article up: Innovation Architecture

As a vocal proponent of hierarchical classification schemes and controlled vocabularies, I've been accused of favoring structure over flexibility. And indeed, I do believe most sites have much to gain from the ordered approaches of library and information science.
We can't tap the distributed creativity of our customers, employees and partners without building some trust and freedom into our online communities and marketplaces.

Perhaps what we need is a new model for thinking about the practice of information architecture and the systems that we design.

Wherein he writes of Complex Adaptive Systems, Post-Modern IA, Artifacts from the Future, and Emergent IA.

Link Feedback

see and show where your visitors come from!

So one of the assertions in Stephen Johnson's excellent book Emergence is that the web alone doesn't show any self-organizing behavior because it's missing feedback, i.e., all the links are one-way.

Anyways. I thought it'd be fun to do an experiment. I put together a very simple set of links that you can insert into your pages to automatically track incoming links and echo them back to people who visit your site. Basically it's automated link-exchanging, but hopefully with more interesting results. There are two steps...

Very cool stuff - I've added the tracer.gif onto the IAwiki already, and hacked a static display page to show that it works. I'll be incorporating this into the site design somehow, I just know it.

XML feed