What happened to information architecture and design

Subject: What happened to information architecture and design
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 23:05:53 +0000

Just wanted to insert something here amid all the talk of tools, the field, upgrades, etc.

One thing I don't see much of anymore is discussion of what to me is the heart and soul of technical writing/technical communication, which is (arguably) information design and information architecture.

Has anyone seen or come across any good articles that discuss topics that go further along the paths carved out by Robert Horn (visual mapping, visual language, information mapping) and Richard Saul Wurman (information architecture - he coined the term - and information design)?

I'm not talking about Edward Tufte-type stuff, although that is wonderful. That relies too much on graphic design talents that might not be available to the average tech writer.

Visuals are very important, so I'm not at all ruling that out, in fact it's critical to the overall message of a piece, so I'm including it from the standpoint of Horn's integration of text, icons (graphics?), and symbols.

I'm looking for really good, really cool examples of technical communication that blends these ideas. And by the way, the "infographics" of today, as has often been said, even here, are ridiculous from that standpoint because they're usually nothing more than showpieces, or portfolio pieces, for graphic artists, who just want to "express" themselves. I *rarely* see an infographic that has the kinds of info architecture/design qualities that I'm thinking about when I'm thinking of Horn, Wurman, and even Tufte. But I've seen enough about Tufte. Why has nobody carried the ball on these other two?



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