With all we have learned this semester about Web Information Architecture, without the buy-in of the business, nothing can be gained. As information architecture has not yet risen in the minds of most business leaders as something they need to strive for, Information Architects need to not only implement solutions but also “sell” them. Understanding what information architecture is and how it can benefit the customer is a key step in the process.
Our text book describes two kinds of people that may need to be “sold” on how information architecture can make a huge impact on their business. The first is the “buy the numbers” people that need the hard facts, like ROI, investment costs, and other metrics that have a “direct and quantifiable impact.” The second type is the “gut reactionaries” that trust their instincts and experience. They need more scenarios and case studies to feel a real problem that existed and see how proper information architecture aligned with their business practices to fixed most (if not all) their issues. Some other methods of educating potential clients are by using boot camps, expert site evaluations, and competitive and comparative analysis.
As businesses understand the need to go deeper into the realm of information architecture, the two should develop a symbiotic relationship. As they align, so will the structure of their website with the goals and strategy of the business. Our book refers to this as “the feedback loop of business strategy and information architecture.” See figure 18-1 below.