What is information architecture?

This week, as part of the IA Institute’s Explain IA contest, I attempted to explain the practice of information architecture using only the amount of characters that would squeeze into a single tweet. So after an extended bout of head-scratching – and not to mention a great deal of cutting – over lunch on Thursday here’s what I came up with

Information Architecture provides an interactive environment or product with the structure to inform, empower and delight those that use it.

Explain IA is a chance for everyone to express their interpretation of what IA is and what it means to them using one or more of a combination of words, images, audio, and/or video. They’ve also laid on some great prizes from a stellar cast of sponsors.

I think the contest is a great way for the Institute to examine how the community are approaching and applying the practice on a day-to-day level – with the shorthand nature of the text entries alone challenging everyone to look at the practice in its purest form. It’s going to be really interesting to read, listen to, and watch what everyone comes up with between now and the 11 February closing date.

The best of luck to everyone that enters.