Past efforts to link HT research and IA practice


Addressing gaps between researchers and practitioners with the broader user experience field has been getting more attention lately:

The information architecture practitioners have made several attempts over the years to connect with researchers, mostly in library science:

Examples from the flip side - where hypertext researchers have attempted to close the gaps with practitioners - have also happened over the years, but not as much recently.

The Wayfinding & Navigation in Digital Spaces panel at the 2003 IA Summit is one example where hypertext research concepts made its way into the IA practitioner world (summaries: Boxes & Arrows, Amy Lee). There are other individual instances like this.

Perhaps the most useful artifact for helping practitioners understand the existing literature has been Jakob Nielsen's book Multimedia and Hypertext, with its many references to the HCI and hypertext research literature.

Using a hypertext-related conference workshop to help bridge the research-practice gap has been done in several different contexts:

Paul Kahn's keynote at the Hypertext 2001 conference is probably the most prominent recognition that hypertext research can benefit from the practice of information architecture. A few quotes from the abstract:
  • "It is possible to link things well but far easier to link things badly...Information architecture for the web is the practice of connecting things well..."
  • "A major part of information architecture for the web is the design of hypertext. Information architects analyze, plan, organize, visualize, design."
  • "This talk will explore current best practices in the design and organization of online publications. What can hypertext research learn from these practices?"

Peter Morville & Keith Instone presented a pre-conference tutorial at the Hypertext 2000 conference on
"Information Architecture: Integrating Practice and Research" [ref].

All of these past efforts provide background material for this workshop to build upon.