Do Information Architectures Have Anything To Do with Website Design and Management?
The short answer is yes - absolutely! Information architecture concepts are independent of technology, and therefore they apply to any system. This is something I have always believed - it is something I have always known. Most importantly, my website design and management experience further solidified my previous opinion that information management and architecture skills are necessary to properly design and manage any computerized system – even a small website.
The journey to get my website up and running and managing it while starting down a new career path has been very interesting - and in some respects it has been surprising. I learned WordPress while managing a website for a friend, and I leaned Joomla while creating my own website. I love learning new technologies, and the experience has been surprisingly fun compared to what I thought it would be when I first started. Right after I started working on the websites I began thinking of it as my next career path.
The only downside in the whole WordPress and Joomla experience is some portions of these technologies go against my logical thinking. And at times, the whole website design and management experience with WordPress and Joomla has greatly tried
my patience (especially WordPress). Part of that frustration comes from the fact that all of the plugins in WordPress or extensions in Joomla don't always fit together and work together as well as they would if they were all designed and developed to do so. I realize the general intention is for them to all work together. However, they are developed by a whole host of developers with varying levels of skills who sometimes seem to only care if they work well with other products they sell. (I realize I'm not stating any new revelations with my statements, especially for experienced website designers and administrators.) However, as I have no intention of adding website developer, or developer of any kind, to my skill set, I pretty much have to use plugins and extensions.
Just as I suspected, soon after I started working on websites, it became painfully apparent that some level of data modeling, workflow modeling, and business rule management make the website design and administration processes go a whole lot easier than just throwing it all together and hoping it all works. Gee - what a surprise (it was not). Some of the "hoping it all works" still happens when physically implementing the websites because of the fact I'm using plugins and extensions. But, a certain level of modeling ahead of time helps.
As I have said many times over the years, I have no intention of adding website developer to my skill set, so I pretty much have to use plugins and extensions provided for Joomla. So far I have had mostly success with those I have chosen. However, I am still struggling with how to find independent reviews of Joomla extensions. So far for many of the Joomla extensions, I have only found a few. Most of what I have found on the internet are "reviews" by the vendors themselves, and that's not what I want. I’m surprised how few independent Joomla extension reviews exist on the internet. But this is a topic for another article .....