The term “information architecture” was first introduced by Richard Saul Wurman. It was an evolution of his ideas—as chairman of the national convention of the American Institute of Architects—around the “architecture of information” that he originated in 1975. His primary interest, at the time, addressed the presentation of complex ideas and informational relationships in two- and three-dimensional representations. Today’s approaches to informational graphics—such as maps and medical diagrams, or any instructional drawing—owe credit to Wurman’s explorations to simplify the communication of complex ideas -- “making the complex clear”.
In 1998, with the publication of “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web”, Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld were responsible for today’s more popular adaptation of the information architecture concept. They used a library science perspective to successfully apply methods that confronted how large amounts of information could be organized and presented for “findability” in the context of human-to-computer interactions (HCI). While others were taking similar approaches, Morville and Rosenfeld emerged as thought-leaders in the infancy of this new area of interest that extended the range of Wurman’s initial ideas.
Why Information Architecture Matters