By Julio Vazquez
posted on June 07, 2010 08:51
No, this article isn't about Shakespeare or Broadway musicals. It's an attempt to put things in perspective.
In reviewing my posts about information architecture and content strategy, I get the feeling that I've approached the topics with an air of importance that may be far more than the field requires. I'm not saying that the field isn't serious, I just think that I, and maybe others, are not keeping a good sense of humor about how we go about moving an organization from one state to a better state. (I'll never say best or perfect as there will always be differences of opinion or room for improvement.)
While changing content strategies or architectures is serious business, there is room to use play techniques to tease out information from the stakeholders. When you realize that humans learn best through play, it becomes evident that you can probably discover more through role-playing and other game-related techniques about information use and structure than through can through surveys or individual interview. Maybe it may make sense to play, follow the content as you help the stakeholders identify where they obtain the information for the collaterals. A jiqsaw puzzle representation of their architecture could be helpful. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Or maybe it's time for me to return to the asylum?
About the Author
Julio Vazquez is a Senior Information Architect at SDI with over 30 years of experience in technical communications and information technology. As one of the members of the initial DITA task force, he takes his share of blame for the current architecture and language structure. Julio holds a bachelor’s degree in computers and information systems from Empire State College of the State University of New York and has spoken at technical communication and STC conferences about DITA and information architecture and is the author of Practical DITA.