ASIS&T IA Summit 2003 "Making Connections"  
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The Psychology of Information Architecture
Saturday, 11:15 -12:00
Session Three


Jason Withrow
The Psychology of Information Architecture
Jason Withrow, Internet Professional Instructor, Washtenaw Community College

Information architects come from many different backgrounds, including library and information science, human-computer interaction, cognitive psychology, computer science, and many others. This diversity strengthens the field by introducing new perspectives, but it also means that not all practitioners share the same breadth of knowledge. This presentation is intended to help bridge that gap by revealing how findings from various psychological disciplines inform the practice of information architecture.


Psychological research can be helpful for all aspects of information architecture, from “Big IA” to “Little IA”. Research from cognitive psychology informs the design of organization, labeling, and navigation systems by revealing the strengths and limitations of human information processing and storage/retrieval. Research into sensation and perception offers many guidelines for interface design and interaction design. Findings from industrial/organizational psychology provide insights into the business context and processes in which most information architecture work is done.


The presentation will focus on conveying principles and theories, while offering numerous examples of how these can be applied in the practice of information architecture. There are many connections to be made between psychology and information architecture.

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American Society for Information Science and Technology 8555 16th Street, Suite 850, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA
Tel. 301-495-0900, Fax: 301-495-0810 | E-mail: asis@asis.org

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