Training in this growing field is available through certificate, undergraduate and graduate programs in technical communication, interaction design, information science and related fields of study. Students gain an understanding of the methods of organizing and presenting data in usable ways for both physical and digital media. For those seeking a degree, a Master of Science program is the most readily available.
Here is a list of concepts commonly explored on information architecture courses:
- Structures for navigation
- Information security
- Communication networks
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List of Common Courses
Introduction to Information Studies Course
This foundational course provides a framework for topics within information studies such as library information systems, archiving, record-keeping strategies and maintenance of materials. A general history of information technology and procedures over time is also covered. Students learn crucial skills regarding organization and presentation of data, ease of search mechanisms and analytical tools.
Information Architecture Course
Beginning with the most elemental designs and structures, students in this course learn about the tools used for organizing and presenting information from sources ranging from basic library catalog layouts to multi-page websites. Students create various maps, blueprints and designs as they learn to communicate data in engaging structural ways.
Usability of Information Course
Information architecture students conduct various trials to measure the performance of organizational tools and procedures in this intermediate-level course. Students receive training with a variety of software and testing equipment through labs and surveys.
Information and the Internet Course
This course investigates human interaction with computer and Internet technology, providing students with essential terminology regarding website design, e-mail structure, social networks and Internet search mechanisms. Students participate in constructing and analyzing simple text-based websites, focusing on both aesthetics and usability aspects. They also analyze different social networking websites to determine the benefits and shortcomings of the ways in which users interact with information.
Visual Interface Design Course
Students in this course focus specifically on the aesthetic characteristics of information architecture, determining the functionality of various visual elements to present data to users. Elements of typography, image placement and visual navigation tools are discussed in detail. Students also investigate the ways in which visual cues have the ability to inform, persuade enhance and detract from usability.