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0.2. Who This Book Is For

We're convinced that everyone, novice and wizard, should invest considerable time and energy into their web site's information architecture, especially if the goal is to build a large, complex web site or intranet. As we don't use lots of technical jargon, and because the topic of information architecture is so centered around users, we wrote this book to be accessible to anyone who has used the World Wide Web more than once or twice.

The reality is that most novice site developers are blinded by the excitement created by the Web's technical and graphical possibilities and don't immediately key in on the intangible value of information architecture. So this book probably will be most beneficial to readers who already have a site under their belt, particularly:

  • Anyone who maintains a web site, intranet, or extranet where users get lost.

  • Anyone who maintains a web site, intranet, or extranet where users have difficulty finding the information they need.

  • Anyone who faces huge amounts of complex content and wonders how they'll ever organize the terrible mess into a usable and useful web site or intranet.

  • Anyone who confuses web page design with web site design.

The authors work exclusively as information architecture consultants for large corporate clients; knowing our background will help you understand our biases. However, this book isn't written solely for people who work as outside consultants to corporations. For example, when we talk about clients, don't let that stop you from reading on; chances are that, without knowing it, you also have clients. It might be your boss or other coworkers. It might be the other members of your web development team. Maybe in a way you're the client. The guidelines for working with a client will hold true regardless of whether the client is from your organization, another organization, or yourself.

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