I found Lessons from the London Undeground in my inbox this a.m. and read it with some doubt: yet another metaphor for IA? When do IA’s find time to do IA when they apparently spend so much of it explaining what it is.
Then I was sucked in. And utterly charmed and intrigued by the metaphor of the London Underground for the web.
If you’ve ever emerged from the underground (or the metro, or the subway) dazed and perplexed and disoriented, you know what I mean when I say that is much like coming up from a long stint of surfing to stagger to the kitchen for a soda (and accidently walk into the closet. or maybe that’s just me). We learn a new set of navigation rules to the point of almost unlearning our native ones.
It’s a whole different world underground, with all our usual wayfinding devices (sky, wind, square walls, windows) removed; to be replaced only by signs. Signs get to be very important.
It’s an apt and intriguing metaphor, complete with solutions we have hardly begun to tap into.
Thought-provoking article. Check it out.