Journal of Information Architecture

FALL 2022, VOL 7 ISS 2 — Resonances

Limbic Resonances


In an information-rich world, the information architecture of the world — from songs or movies to houses and cities, from products and services all the way to superstructures such as education or political representation — is the critical component we keep overlooking. Who cares for the piping as long as the water is flowing and there’s no leak, after all? How could the journal help make this piping and its importance more visible and meaningful, more present?

Pp. 1–6 — doi:10.55135/1015060901/222.011/1.045

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Improving the Quality Control and Exploration of Digital Documents Using Visualization and Serendipity

This article contributes to the quality control of digitization workflows, and to the exploitation of historical document collections, by demonstrating the utility of serendipitous exploration (as opposed to targeted searches) through the use of Document Towers, a visual representation of the physical structure of documents as architectural models. The Document Towers are evaluated via a qualitative case study on historical Swiss newspapers, a thought experiment comparing them to alternative solutions, a diagrammatic visual and numeric assessment of exploratory tasks, and several quantitative and empirical usability measurements and psychometric surveys. The experiments confirmed that both serendipitous exploration and the Document Towers visualization are objectively well-suited for the quality control and exploration of digital documents. A significant disparity in subjective usability was observed between librarians and academics, who rated the visualization concept below and above average, respectively. Other findings included the redefinition of quality control as a tool of knowledge and dialogue among stakeholders in information systems; a generic diagrammatic instrument for evaluating the outcomes of explorations; demonstrating how the adoption of novel information technology may benefit from adaptation to individual psychologies and socio-professional contexts; and, unexpectedly, novel historical insights into Swiss map-making, newspaper history, and censorship.

Pp. 7–82 — doi:10.55135/1015060901/222.011/2.046

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Learning from the Magic Kingdom

People interact in and with environments. Information in the environment influences how we perceive places and informs what we understand we can and cannot do. For most of our history, the environments we have interacted in were strictly physical. But starting in the 20th Century, we have also started interacting in and with digital environments. We use environmental information to build internal models that allow us to act skillfully toward accomplishing our goals. These internal models are easier to develop if the environment is organized in understandable ways. By studying the design of physical environments, designers can produce digital environments that are easier to understand and navigate. This article offers insights from a specific physical environment: Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California.

Pp. 83–106 — doi:10.55135/1015060901/222.011/3.047

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In Conversation with Stefano Cipolla

Stefano Cipolla is a distinguished Italian graphic designer and seasoned journalist known for his editorial work at newspapers such as “Il Manifesto” and “La Repubblica” in the early 2000s and, since 2018, as the art director of the weekly magazine “L’Espresso”. The interview is part of a series of online meet-ups with prominent design professionals hosted by Design Culture Collective APS, a European non-profit cultural association whose goal is to reaffirm, foster, promote and divulge the culture and the value of the design practice.

Pp. 107–120 — doi:10.55135/1015060901/222.011/4.048

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Fall 2022 is the current closed issue of the Journal of Information Architecture. Andrea Resmini is the Editor-in-Chief