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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Second Edition by Peter Morville, Louis Rosenfeld

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The Strategy Report

In our experience, this deliverable serves as the catalyst for the most detailed, comprehensive articulation of the information architecture strategy. The process of integrating the previous results, analysis, and ideas into a single written document forces tough decisions, intellectual honesty, and clear communication. Great ideas that don’t fit within the broader framework must be discarded in the name of consistency and cohesiveness. Big, vague ideas must be broken down into components and explained so that all involved can understand their intention and implications.

For the information architecture team, the strategy report is often the largest, hardest, and most important deliverable. It forces the team members to come together around a unified vision for the information architecture, and requires them to find ways to explain or illustrate that vision so that clients and colleagues (i.e., people who are not information architects) will understand what the heck they’re talking about.

One of the hardest things about writing the report is organizing it. Here you face yet another chicken-and-egg problem. An information architecture strategy is not linear, but a report forces a linear presentation. “How will they understand this section if they haven’t read that later section?” is a common question. There’s rarely a perfect solution, but the problem can be dealt with in a couple of ways. First of all, by including high-level visuals in the report, you can paint ...

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