Information architecture (IA) addresses the design of effective and efficient information systems and structures that provide access to collections of information resources.
IA involves the processes of planning, overseeing implementation, and managing the growth of organizational structures that provide meaningful context in support of user understanding and mediate interaction between system content and user structures such as digital libraries, web sites, databases, information retrieval systems, educational software and even games.
As a profession, information architecture has yet to develop an accepted set of professional standards. Nonetheless, there is a toolbox of core skills and relevant knowledge that is essential for the effective practice of information architecture: representation and organization of resources in conceptual space; development and application of controlled vocabularies, including taxonomies; principles of human-computer interaction and usability; systems analysis and design; and project management. These skills and knowledge are brought together in a capstone project that requires practical application of skills and knowledge to a real-world problem.
The Graduate Certificate in Information Architecture (GCIA) is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to this body of relevant knowledge and core skills and to provide the student with practical experience in their application in real-world situations. The GCIA provides credibility to the claim that a holder of the certificate is a qualified information architect, and it provides an opportunity for practicing information architects to continue their professional development.
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