A Little UX/IA History

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

-Ferris Bueller-

Looking around at the pace of things, the technology innovation blips, and pivots…  you know what he’s talking about.  

Every advancement in technology; multi-touch displays, augmented reality, virtual reality, gesture controls, and more – have brought with them a whole host of opportunity to re-invent and innovate access to information and bring new meaning to the events as they unfold in reality and on the net.  

With this advancement, a whole new generation of user experience professionals have exploded onto the scene bringing amazing talent and fresh ideas.  Whether they were back end developers who moved to front end design and development, from marketing/SEO/customer experience, or are the pure cognitive psychologist in human computer interaction – they’re all practicing in the same field.  All in about a decade with the most rapid growth in the past 5 years.

We’ve seen teams of folks ushered through General Assembly joining the UX work force and graduates from HFI…  and some folks who self taught on the job taking on the title of Information Architect.

While this is exciting, and the talent is fresh and the ideas are new…  we’re seeing folks try to reinvent concepts that come from the early days.  With that backdrop, it’s worth pointing 3 names and some resources from earlier times that are as timeless and valuable as they were nearly 10-20+ years ago:

The OG Father of Information Architecture and Creator of the TED forum:  Richard Saul Wurman:

 The User Experience Honeycomb or Beehive originated in the mind of Peter Morville: 

And a leader in the taxonomical breakdown of information architecture, Jesse James Garrett who drafted this awesome graphic many years ago:

A quick thought here…  just because we’re moving fast, doesn’t mean we need to skip over the important work that came before us.