March 22, 2006

Off My Chest

Maybe it's the forthcoming IA Summit. It's also probably my role as president of the IA Institute. But I feel obliged to stand up for my peeps (information architects), who have been oddly denigrated in this passage from 37Signals' "Getting Real" book:

Go for quick learning generalists over ingrained specialists

We'll never hire someone who's an information architect. It's just
too overly specific. With a small team like ours, it doesn't make
sense to hire people with such a narrowly defined skill-set.

What I don't understand is why 37Signals singled out "information architect" as the bugaboo job title.

It would have made a lot more sense to me if they had said, "We'll never hire someone who's just an information architect, or interaction designer, or graphic designer." Their point is that they need generalists not specialists.

But for some reason they decided to pick on a single profession. And of all the professions they chose to pick on, they chose the one that I consider to be (historically) the most generalist, so that doesn't make sense either. "information architects" typically do a lot more than information architecture.

All of which confirms my belief in the shallowness of 37Signals' views and rhetoric.

Posted by peterme at 06:58 AM | Comments (25) | TrackBack


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