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24 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars I begin to know what Information Architecture is all about
In the previous, I thought information architecture (IA) is just about organizing the content, defining the labels and designing the navigation schemes. After reading this book, I understand IA is much much broader and useful than I can imagine.
This book explains why we need IA and shows us steps and examples of how to do it well.
The first few chapters of the...
Published on Jan. 2 2003 by Jacky Kwok

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Wake up the editor!
I suppose Wodtke knows everything there is to know about IA, but I not so sure about her book writing skills...
Given that she claims that "yes, it's a short book" (false modesty at 350 pages?) it's surprising to notice the number of digressions - into some pretty lame issues, perspectives and tips:
- How she got the idea of writing a book.
- What the book...
Published on Aug. 28 2003 by Per Esmann Jensen


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5.0 out of 5 stars The "Don't Make Me Think" of Information Architecture, Oct. 30 2002
By 
Jess McMullin (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
Christina Wodtke has done for Information Architecture what Steve Krug did for usability - produce a practical and accessible introduction to the field. 'Blueprints' provides a pragmatic look at the practice of information architecture, illustrating a solid "toolbox" of techniques and methods useful for web designers, producers, developers, and others involved in the creation and evolution of web sites.
Wodtke's quirky humor and light tone make the book an easy read, but don't let the fresh style convince you that the content is lightweight. Behind the breezy prose is solid instruction in methods that hit the sweet spot of effective tools that still work with limited budgets. The "How-to" coaching is coupled with reasonable explanations about why and when to apply the techniques...Ms. Wodtke doesn't just prescribe methodology, she informs the reader with enough theory behind the practice to explain and justify it to management, clients, or other team members.
The tools taught in the book all center on creating a web site with great usability and findability - where things are easy to use and content is easy to find. While the "toolbox" isn't complete, it's a great foundation for pursuing a user-centered approach to creating web sites.
The book's biggest shortcoming is inevitable - IA is a complex field, and there could be so much more detail on some of the topics. Sometimes I felt that I wanted more on a particular subject, and it wasn't there. But to keep the book readable and accessible, some things have to be left out. The book's recommended reading list does go into more depth on many of the topics, providing an avenue for people to learn more once they've absorbed the lessons here.
Overall, this is a great debut and a valuable addition to the field of information architecture and the broader practice of web design and development. Experienced information architects will find little new here, but it's great to have a book that acts as a gentle on-ramp to IA and puts so much into one package. If you're new to the field, work in a related discipline like graphic design, or want to have a quick explanation of various IA methods for colleagues, I highly recommend Blueprints for the Web.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, sharp and helpful, Dec 20 2002
By 
Mike Ferring (Phoenix, AZ) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
This is a clear, concise guide to Web site architecture written with a sense of humor and whimsy that makes it an entertaining read.
Christina brushes aside pat answers and offers an extraordinarily sharp analysis of Web architecture based on what counts most: helping users find what they want.
Here's a book that offers important basic information on everything from organizing your content (she's exceptional at approaching a complex concept analytically) to deciding where on the page the links should go. And it's illustrated with loads of screen shots and examples from Web sites to help it all make sense.
I'd rank it an "A" or "A+++++++" on the eBay ranking scale.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Trendy opinionated hodge podge, Dec 11 2002
This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
Christina Wodtke says she doesn't like rules, so she calls them principals. Whats the difference? She says she won't recommend software. So why does she give us a click-by-click review of Adobe InDesign, her "program of choice"? She even recommends a tall triple latte if you need a caffine high. Hello? In between, she also says some relevant stuff (and takes a lot of time saying it), but the true nuggets of wisdom are easy to miss in this hodge-podge of opinion spiced with California-webchic. Blueprints for the Web reads more like a blog than a book, which is to say it's pretty badly organized for a book that's supposed to teach organization.
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4.0 out of 5 stars VALUABLE FOR TAMING COMPLEX AND DIFFICULT WEB-SITES, Jan. 30 2003
By 
reviewer (Zurich, Switzerland.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
If your headache is how to overcome maintainance problems in any type of web site, then this book will be of tremendous help to you. It was designed for web designers/administrators whose responsibilities include the design and maintainance of very complex web sites. Its message is cogent and comprehensive. Anybody who listens to it would discover easy ways of designing web sites and flexible intranets which support growth, navigation, management, and above all, ease of use.
This is one book whose advice would ensure that most web emergencies are adequately controlled.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very good, Feb. 7 2003
This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
After having seemingly slagged off every book I read these days, I was delighted to pick up a new book and enjoy it - particularly on a subject as seemingly done-to-death as Usability/ Information Architecture/ Experience Design.
Wodtke manages to make a rather tedious subject interesting - even exciting, like her blogs are. She writes in a very readable manner; neither trite like Steve Krug, pompous like Jakob Nielsen nor buttock-clenchingly academic and dull like Jesse James Garrett. Thoroughly recommended
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4.0 out of 5 stars great IA book that's useful, Jan. 6 2003
By 
Jisoo Kim "jiskim2" (san francisco, ca United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
I have to say, this was one of the few books that can be
used out of the box. Like the book said, this book may not
be too useful for experienced information architects/UI desingers, but you may still learn some new tricks.
There are lot of IA/user experience books for the websites out
there, and you may spend lot of money....but if you could
only afford few books and you are a practicing IA or desinger,
new to this field then read this book couple of times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Straight Goods, Dec 3 2002
By 
Gerard L. Torenvliet (Ottawa, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
In this book, Wodtke presents a no-nonsense design methodology. Initial words condemn the shallowness of a "design-by-guru" methodology, and the rest of the book follows this up by giving plenty of hooks for thought and reflective design. Even if you are a seasoned designer and already understand and use the fundamentals that Wodtke puts forward, this book is a valuable opportunity to get into the mind of another designer. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty standard stuff, Dec 12 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
There ain't much to say about web-building that doesn't boil down to Jared Spool's motto: "It depends..."
Does this book fill a real need?
Does it clarify the challenges that face designers who have to be business people? Not really.
Does it present research in a way that goes beyond what's out there? No, it just uses jargon and gets tangled in terminological quibbles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the "Don't Make Me Think" of Information Architecture., Jan. 9 2003
By 
bruce lawson (Birmingham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
Although best read by practitioners of information architecture (or those who peripherally practice it) this book is like Steve Krug's book in that it's no-nonsense, witty, erudite but not dry and has a solid thesis, readably espoused, passionately argued and well presented.
It should be on every web designer/ web project/ software architect's book shelf.
An A+
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3.0 out of 5 stars Another book on usability, Dec 31 2003
This review is from: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback)
Three first chapters are quite original. But nothing new in the rest of the book. Good ideas. But I won't say that is a basic book or a must read. Is interesting for people who builds websites or deeply interested in them. Is a mixture of usability, test, architecture. And you cannot say the last word on every topic in the world in 300 pages.
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Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web
Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web by Christina Wodtke (Paperback - Oct. 16 2002)
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