interesting thread going on over at Peter Merholz’ site following his post, “Thoughts on the definition and community of ‘information architecture’“.
For my part, everything I’ve seen lately about IA suggests that it expands far beyond the range of things that I generally consider IA. In many ways the role as it is currently being defined is what I consider to be the product or project manager’s role. And I don’t think that’s the right way to go. In my work, I absolutely would not want the IA person to have the designer report to her or him. It is precisely the tension between these two related, but different, roles that I think gives the best opportunity of getting it right.
Same goes for content definition. I want the tension between the conflicting ideas of the IA and a site’s editor (assuming it’s a content-rich site you’re working on) to go to work, which if managed properly will produce interesting results.
In my ideal org chart, there is a project manager and reporting to her or him are a) an editor; b) a lead designer; c) a lead programmer/application developer; and, d) an IA. They do their work, each taking the lead on different aspects of the project but working as a team.