Special issue No. 41 “Information Architecture: a useful and operational concept?”
Coordinated by: Ghislaine Chartron (DICEN, CNAM-INTD), Stéphane Chaudiron (GERiiCO, University of Lille 3) and Madjid Ihadjadene (Paragraphe, University of Paris 8).
In 1976, graphic designer Richard Saul Wurman introduced the concept of “Information architecture” in response to the ever-increasing quantity of information produced and exchanged in contemporary society : « I thought the explosion of data needed an architecture, needed a series of systems, needed systemic design, a series of performance criteria to measure it ». In 1986, James C. Brancheau and James C. Wetherbe published “Information architectures : Methods and practice” in the journal Information Processing & Management. The authors use the concept to refer to a profile of corporate information categories, used to assess organizational information needs. In 1996, Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville published “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web” and became the pioneers in the field of organizing information in websites, intranets and software applications to help users fulfill their needs.
The concepts of information architecture and information architect are therefore not new. These concepts have been modified and adapted over the past several decades, and today there is renewed interest in the field of information architecture, especially in North America, where information architects have created an association, the IA Institute (IAI). In information architecture, three types of competencies seem to stand out: technical design, content organization and web design, which has been particularly emphasized in recent years.
By analogy with the physical architecture of buildings designed in the real world, information architecture concerns the spatial and temporal organization of information, content structuring, content interaction design and information design. Information architecture thus refers to the underlying organizational structure of a content system (text, image, video). Information architecture, while primarily used in web-based systems, can be applied to any complex informational ecosystem, in particular mobile devices such as smartphones, e-books, video games or serious games. The issue of information architecture has also been raised within the area of digital humanities, particularly with regard to digital art and culture, digital museography, the representation and staging of archeological objects…
Any information system conceived as a form of knowledge mediation raises the question of information architecture, which revolves around several main elements: systems of representation and storage, content representation methods (metadata, visual representations…), information access tools and interfaces (catalogs, bibliographic tools, browsing, search functions…) and processing functions.
Information architecture can be considered from a wide variety of perspectives (visualization, computer programming, ergonomics, semiotics, linguistics, etc.) but the particularity of the Information-Communication Science approach is its holistic view of these approaches. This special issue of Etudes de Communication aims to address the operational dimension of the concept of “information architecture”. More than a presentation of design methods and their results, this issue seeks to analyze the scientific relevance of the concept of information architecture, in a critical perspective.
We solicit proposals in the following areas:
The theoretical foundations of information architecture,
Information architecture methods and techniques,
Cultural issues in information architecture,
Development of information architecture in organizations,
Differentiated architecture design for different media (websites, mobile devices, graphic tablets…),
Digital content structuring and editing and content strategies,
Organization, representation and mediation of information content,
Interface design and information design (conception, contextualization, evaluation, appropriation),
Information access, “findability”, “usability”
Information architecture and cognitive transformations,
User-centered conception and evaluation methods
Inge Alberts, Université d'Ottawa, Canada
Thierry Baccino, Lutin UserLab, Cité des Sciences et de l’industrie
Évelyne Broudoux, CNAM-INTD
Stefano Bussolon, Information Architect - Interaction Designer, Italie
Stéphane Caro Dambreville, Université de Bordeaux 3
Benoît Habert, ENS Lyon
Seth van Hooland, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgique
Yves Jeanneret, Université de Paris Sorbonne
Dan Klyn, Information Architect, The Understanding Group, USA
Yves Marcoux, EBSI, Université de Montréal, Canada
Jean-Guy Meunier, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
Sylvie Leleu-Merviel, Université de Valenciennes
Sophie Pène, Université Paris Descartes, ENSCI
Bernhard Rieder, University of Amsderdam, Pays-Bas
Jean-Michel Salaün, ENS Lyon
Emmanuel Sander, Université de Paris 8
Joachim Schöpfel, Université de Lille 3
Ismaïl Timimi, Université de Lille 3
Elaine Toms, University of Sheffield, Royaume-Uni
All submissions will go through a two-part review process:
Submission of a 1500-2000 word abstract which should include a presentation of objectives and principle arguments, explain the originality of the paper and provide key bibliographical references,
For accepted abstracts, a second evaluation will take place for final papers (30 000 characters including spaces).
Papers will be peer-reviewed by at least two anonymous referees. Instructions for authors are available at the journal homepage http://edc.revues.org/
Abstracts should be submitted in Word (.doc) or PDF and sent to the following email addresses:
Abstract submissions may be made in French or English. The final article should be written in French.
January 7 2013: Extended deadline for Abstract submission
December 15 2012: Abstract submission deadline
January 15 2013: Notification of acceptance
May 15 2013: Preliminary version of the papers
May 15, 2013: Final version of accepted articles due
December 2013: Publication date (paper and digital)