Research can be addictive: the more you learn, the more questions you have. This is why doctoral students sometimes take more than a decade to complete their dissertation. Information architects rarely have that luxury. We typically need to move from research to design according to schedules measured in weeks or months rather than years.
The bridge between research and design is an information architecture strategy. It’s critical that you start thinking about how you’re going to build that bridge before research begins, and keep thinking about it throughout the research process. Similarly, as you’re building the bridge, you need to continue your research efforts, continually testing and refining your assumptions.
In short, the line between research and strategy is blurred. It’s not as simple as turning the page from Chapter 10 to Chapter 11. While the process of moving from research to administration is linear at a high level, as shown in Figure 11-1 (also featured in the previous chapter), when you get down into the details this is a highly iterative, interactive process.
Figure 11-1. The process of information architecture development
The information architect must repeatedly switch back and forth, wearing both the researcher’s hat and the strategist’s hat against the backdrop of a budget and schedule. Oh, did we mention there’s some stress involved? There’s no ...