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Information architecture (IA) is a cohesive blueprint used to express detailed functionalities and information within structures and systems. IA originated as a content management methodology in the technical writing field. Activities including library systems, content management systems, Web development, user interactions, database development, programming, technical writing, enterprise architecture, and critical system software design.
Information architecture is defined by a structural design of shared environments, methods for organizing and labeling websites, intranets and online communities, and ways of bringing the principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape. IA is implemented by a variety of industry genres and organizations, including technical writing and Web design.
Today, IA may refer to a group of Web content project ideas and building blocks, such as visual design and function. For example, a computer manufacturer's IA often focuses on a key statement.
In Web design, IA supports a group of visual and functional ideas related to content handling and distribution, as well as the methodology used to dictate the handling of Web objects designed with Extensible Markup Language (XML). For example, an electronic library is built with specified XML objects, such as a title, content, author, publishing date and version. The final visual interaction between objects must meet quality standards for IA.