Magazine article Information Today

The Key to Findability

Magazine article Information Today

The Key to Findability

Article excerpt

Peter Morville, better known as the father of information architecture, just added a copy of his latest book, Ambient Findability, to his bookshelf.

Don't let the title fool you. Ambient findability, according to Morville, is a basic concept: "It's a world in which we can find anyone or anything from anywhere at anytime." He explained that we're not quite there yet in terms of finding anything anywhere anytime, but we're getting closer.

The word "ambient" refers to information "in the air," and "findability" is a quality that can be measured at both the object and system levels. We have never had such accessibility to so much information. We can pick and choose our sources and news. "There is so much to find, but we must first know how to search and who to trust," he said. "In the Information Age, transmedia information literacy is a core life skill." And findability will become the key to competitive advantage in the coming years.

Morville said he spent 6 months procrastinating and 9 months actually writing the book. His previous three books have become industry classics. The first, The Internet Searcher's Handbook: Locating Information, People, & Software, was published in 1999, and the second, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, which was cowritten with Lot Rosenfeld, was published in 2000 and updated and released as Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites in 2002.

With his latest work, Morville wanted to rescue the word "findability" from the search engine marketing folks and set the record straight. …

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