A couple of years ago I redesigned and managed a friend's website as a favor to her. At the same time, I started working on my own website with the intention of blogging about Information Architecture and Metadata principles and standards. Surprisingly, in the process of building those first two websites, I realized website design was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.
I also further solidified my belief that effective information architecture skills are needed as much for websites as they are for mainstream IT computer systems and large organization. I knew that the skills I acquired during the many years of performing Enterprise Information Architecture and Metadata Management for large corporations are basically the same skills needed to design and manage websites – no matter what the size.
I came to the conclusion that through website design I could continue using all the information architecture and metadata skills about which I am so passionate while helping small businesses or individuals - something I have wanted to do for years. The best surprise of all? Not only was I able to use my skills to help design websites for my very artistic friends and other interesting organizations, but it gave me the opportunity to revive my own artistic skills.
Before this all happened, I spent many years in an IT career managing information as an asset. Early on, I quickly learned what I do for a living is both an art and a science. It has also become one of my great interests and passions in life, not just something I do earn a living. Little did I know when I started working in this field that it would become such a big part of my life. Nor did I know how many interesting and colorful people I would meet along the way.
I eagerly spent many years studying, analyzing, and practicing my craft. Many great practitioners of this craft have shared their knowledge with me. I’ve have learned invaluable lessons by talking to and/or reading books written by well-known experts. I have also learned just as much, if not more, by working with and talking to less well-known, but just as knowledgeable, experts who practice this craft on a regular basis.
I have spent countless hours (years, actually) talking to anyone and everyone who would discuss these topics, look at my models, and listen to my points of view – even if they didn’t always agree with me. And believe me, in this business there are a LOT of opposing viewpoints. Fortunately, there are also a lot of people who pretty much think the same as I think.
A few times over the years I have been asked why I haven't written my own book about modeling, semantics, and metadata management, especially when I feel so strongly about certain concepts, principles, and standards. So, after all the intellectual gifts bestowed upon me by the many people who so willingly shared their knowledge with me, after all the years of reading and studying, after all the countless long and involved discussions, and after all the years of practicing and honing my craft, I decided to create a website to pass along my experiences and knowledge. Then, I decided to help out a friend with her website, and you know the rest of that story.
My years of employing and teaching information architecting, metadata architecting, and system life cycle methodologies taught me which important questions to asked at which stages during the entire design and implementation processes. Very importantly, collaborating all those years with employees working at all levels, including senior management, taught me how to work well with all types of people possessing all kinds of personalities.
So, now I'm using my modeling, architecture, metadata, and methodology skills to create websites for small organizations or individuals. Combining my Information Architecture skills with artistic skills allows me to create websites that exceed the owner's objectives, needs, and expectations while infusing them with the clients’ personalities.
What started out as something I offered to do to help out a friend while starting my own blog has turned into a business for me. The website design and management venture is turning out to be exciting and immensely intellectually rewarding. I hope you will join me on this exciting adventure and allow me to design and manage a website for you.
- from Kim Bare, Owner