“the “little ia theory” has gained so much traction over the past two years, any conversation of the “big ia” has lost it’s validity backstage within the community. now ia has become a discrete entity, separated from interaction design, ui design and information design.”
IA has moved from Wurman’s original view of anyone who makes the complex clear to the structural designer’s mélange of taking user research and turning it into organization and interaction systems (often also doing the research as well) to an information retrieval specialist.
So is big ia done? I hope not, I may have to turn in my aifia.org membership (and wouldn’t that be awkward). I am now and have always been a big IA… strategy and interaction design and well as design of information retrieval systems have always been my bailiwick. When IA is limited to controlled vocabularies and labels, I’m done being an IA.
Personally, I think we’ve specialized too fast. Design in information spaces is very new– we’re still in the horseless carriage stage, as far as I can tell. it’s one thing to identify key skills as JJG has done with his (in)famous elements, it’s quite another to turn them into job descriptions. Conversely, if we generalize too broadly, we run the risk of being “master of none.”
I guess I’m uncertain where these will lead. In the early stages of a new frontier, be it physical or technological it’s hard to be certain what anything means. Let’s wait and see…