"Information architecture is the art and science of expressing a model or concept for information. Information Architecture is utilized in web development, user interactions, database development, programming, technical writing, enterprise architecture, and other activities that require expressions of complex systems. Information architecture has somewhat different meanings in these different branches of what might be called IS and/or IT architecture. Most definitions have common qualities: a structural design of shared environments, methods of organizing and labeling Web sites, intranets, and online communities, and ways of bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.
Information Architecture (often abbreviated "IA") is defined by the Information Architecture Institute as:
The term information architecture describes a specialized skill set which relates to the interpretation of information and expression of distinctions between signs and systems of signs. It has some degree of origin in the library sciences. Many library schools teach information architecture.
- The structural design of shared information environments.
- The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and search engine friendliness.
- An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.
In the context of information system design, information architecture refers to the analysis and design of the data stored by information systems, concentrating on entities, their attributes and their interrelationships. It refers to the modeling of data for an individual database and to the corporate data models an enterprise uses to coordinate the definition of data in several (perhaps scores or hundreds) of distinct databases. Recently, the "canonical data model" is applied to integration technologies as a definition for specific data passed between the systems of an enterprise. At a higher level of abstraction, it may refer also the definition of data stores."