In parallel, I’ve been experiencing – specially during the IA Summit – a change of perspective in terms of how our skills may be applied in the context of a new economy, supported by new technologies (AKA, Web 2.0).
During the Summit, it became obvious to me that a feeling I had been struggling with, is only natural, that we trully need to let it go and allow people to take charge of their experiences with products. Though I had been agreeing with that notion and reinforcing it, I had been reluctant to admit the real implications on my every-day work because of my traditional formalist attraction to creating structures.
The same way ‘ugly’ can be a visual strategy to achieve success with a particular design, disorderly structures (like, tag clouds, for example), can be just as successful in achieving success. I think it’s hard for information architects to embrace this as an approach, though there seems to be a general agreement on the principle.
Donna Maurer’s presentation during the IA summit on what Lakoff teaches us about basic level categories, as well as Rashmi Sinha’s continous thread about the social implications of categorization systems were the most striking take aways from the summit, because they made me feel more confortable about these “truths” on what organizing information means, outside of ‘categorization’ per se.