You’ve done it! You’ve reached the end of Information Architecture: For the Web and Beyond. Well, not quite. Before we sign off, we’d like to look back to how we got here, recap what we’ve learned in this edition of the book, and look to what’s coming next.

Putting the Arc in Information Architecture

When the first edition of this book came out, the Web was but a few years old. That edition’s readers were part of the first generation that had to deal with designing for this new medium. Given the Web’s immensity, potential, and radical ways of publishing and navigating information, new approaches were required to make it easy to use and understand. We had few shoulders to stand on. We were all learning—and in many ways, making it up—as we went along. We were like wide-eyed toddlers, inexperienced but optimistic, full of energy, and excited at the prospects of a vast new world before us, waiting to be explored.

By the time the second edition came out, things had seemingly settled down. Within the circles of web designers, information architecture had become a “thing”: there were conferences, professional organizations, and passionate people with solid work in their portfolios. These folks were also starting to deal with solving information architecture challenges within the context of existing systems with histories of use. We were like children that were starting to mature—but our voices hadn’t broken yet.

When the third edition came out, we were starting to deal with the ...

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