One title to rule them all, one title to bind them....

Well, over on Beth Mazur's IDblog Dirk Knemeyer suggests that information design should assume a director role over all the other disciplines in a project and that IA isn't a discipline, but a tactical practice. Hope he wore asbestos undies ;-)

Seriously, I'm not sure that one can argue for ID, IA, or interaction design as the 'director' without also making the case for the other two disciplines. Experience Architecture or Design seems a better fit for said director role. I've said more to that effect in the comments on Beth's blog.

(thanks Gunnar)

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Is it worth it?

This discussion is much like the "Defining the damn thing".

I believe that Information Architecture has so much coming to it in the near future, that fighting for the title "Director" is not worth it.

Experience Design, Information Design and Interaction Design is predominately occupied with the user experience - as I understand it.

Information Architecture has more of its attention directed towards the "Engine" of it all.

These areas overlap yes - but if you look at it this way, you'll find plenty of promising development for instance in syndication, ontologies, topic maps, the semantic web and such.

The work ahead - to build the semantic web - is tremendous, and it will pay off.

Is it more "cool" to do webdesign as a "User Experience Designer"? Sure. It's probably a better pick up line: "I'm a User Experience Director...".

But "I'm an Information Architect" will prompt the question: What?
And then you can go on: "I build the foundation of the new millenium", "I define the future".... and so on...

In my eyes THAT's cool. But then again - I'm a family man, and I don't need pick up lines.


Gunnar Langemark
Langemarks Cafe

Definitely agree, but hate the semantics

I agree with the comments generally, but I wish everyone would stop getting their knickers in a twist about definitions (although given the focus of IA, I can entiely understand it). IA, ID, UX and all the other jolly acronyms are all about "making stuff useful for people". Let's face it, that's what it's all about, everything else is just a branch of this overall concept, and let's face it, very often interconnected in a less than straightforward way. Rarely does anyone engage in IA without a bit of ID and usability, so why are we all so worried about "defining the damn thing". Let it lie, I'm bored with the sniping and ad nauseaum nature of the argument. Sorry for Ranting - Mark Thristan (I'm not going to hide behind "Anonymous Coward"

I don't think IA is the title for the Director role either

I think that we lose the value of a specialized discipline (ID, IA, Usability, Interaction Design) if we try to stretch it too generally (IA does everything, ID does everything, whichever).

The 'Director' role is valuable, and UX Directors should have a background in ID, IA, ID, Usability or some other UX discipline. I just don't think it follows that any of the specialized disciplines is a good match for that generalist position.
I like "Experience Architect" because it is more general, and lets the individual disciplines retain their focus. But we'll see.

Jess McMullin