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September 5, 2002

Information Architecture More Important Then Ever: New Edition of the Classic "Information Architecture for the World Wide Web" Released

Sebastopol, CA--Today's web sites have moved far beyond "brochureware." They are larger and more complex, while their users are busier and less forgiving. Designers, information architects, and web site managers are required to juggle vast amounts of information, frequent changes, new technologies, and sometimes even multiple objectives, making some web sites look like a fast-growing but poorly planned city--roads everywhere, but impossible to navigate. Well-planned information architecture has never been as essential as it is now.

The new second edition of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (O'Reilly, $39.95) shows how to blend aesthetics and mechanics for distinctive, cohesive web sites that work. Most books on web development concentrate on either the graphics or the technical issues of a site. This book focuses on the framework that holds the two together.

"We're convinced that everyone--novice and wizard alike--needs to invest considerable time and energy in their web site's information architecture, especially if their goal is to build a large, complex web site or intranet," says coauthor Lou Rosenfeld. "The reality is most novice site developers are so blinded by the Web's exciting technical and graphical possibilities that they don't immediately key in on the intangible value of information architecture."

Rosenfeld and his coauthor, Peter Morville, are convinced that information architecture is as fundamental (if not more so) to web design as color or layout. "Jakob Nielsen has done a wonderful job popularizing the notion of 'usability.' Most business managers who have anything to do with their corporate web site or intranet now understand that poor usability hurts the bottom line," explains Morville. "Over the next several years, these same business managers will come to understand that usability depends on 'findability.' In short, if you can't find it, you can't use it. More and more studies are showing that the number one problem of most web sites is that people can't find what they need. Good information architecture design is essential to findability."

By applying the principles outlined in this completely updated classic, the reader will build web sites and intranets that are easier to navigate and appealing to users, as well as scalable and simple to maintain.

"Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 2nd Edition" explains how to:

  • Develop a strong, cohesive vision for your site that makes it both distinctive and usable.

  • Organize your site's hierarchy in ways that are meaningful to its users and that minimize the need to reengineer the site.

  • Create navigation systems so that users can move through the site without getting lost and frustrated.

  • Label your site's content in the language of the users.

  • Organize your site in a way that supports both searching for specific items and casual browsing.

  • Configure search systems so that users' queries actually retrieve meaningful results.

  • Manage the process of developing information architecture, from selling the concept to research and conceptual design to planning and production.

"Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 2nd Edition" is crammed with ideas and practical advice for anyone involved in building or maintaining a large, complex web site or intranet.

What the critics said:

"It's been well worth the wait! This much expanded second edition provides a holistic perspective on information architecture...I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make their ideas become real, and more importantly, of value to the end user community."
--Mary Lee Kennedy, Microsoft (about this edition)

"In a world crowded with books on designing cool web sites, finally someone has written a book that simply--and clearly--explains how to build a web site that people can find information in. What a concept...I couldn't put it down. Perhaps it's because my job entails running a number of web sites, but the dozens of facts, war stories, and user studies related in this book really struck home. By the time I got off the plane, I had folded down the corners of half a dozen pages, had a list of redesign ideas, and had even come up with a product idea or two. That's the kind of book this is...like so many of O'Reilly's others, this is destined to be an instant classic...If you run a web site of any size over two dozen pages, you will definitely be happy that you bought this book! And get a copy for your boss too."
--David Fiedler, webdeveloper.com (about the first edition)

"This book is one of the only resources that brings the eclectic ideas of web site information architecture together. Rosenfeld and Morville bring to light some theoretically powerful material regarding the planning, design, testing, and maintenance of large scale web sites...The book is certain to be an eye opener for many web site developers."
--John S. Rhodes, Dr. Dobbs Electronic Review of Computer Books (about the first edition)

"What's big and throbbing? Your headache. It's caused by the uncontrollable flood of web pages that you have to deal with, day after day. The pain you feel is the result of a web site that lacks structure and is getting more and more out of control. You want relief? The 2nd Edition of 'Information Architecture for the World Wide Web' is the cure."
--John S. Rhodes, WebWord.com--Industrial Strength Usability (about this edition)

"The world will be a better place when web designers read this book. It's smart, funny, and artfully distills years of the authors' hard-won experience. 'Information Architecture' is unlike any other book on web design I know...Light years ahead of the competition."
--Bonnie Nardi, coauthor of "Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart", MIT Press, 1999 (about this edition)

"An important and useful book."
--Tom McClaren, Software Developer (about the first edition)

"Rosenfeld and Morville get it right. They show how to design manageable sites right the first time, sites built for growth."
--Thom Gillespie, "Library Journal" (about the first edition)

For more reviews of the first edition, see http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/infotecture/reviews.html.

Additional Resources:

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 2nd Edition
Designing Large-Scale Web Sites
By Peter Morville, Louis Rosenfeld
0-596-00035-9, Order Number: 0359
486 pages, $39.95 US, $61.95 CA
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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