2011 volume 38(1) pages 129 – 141
doi:10.1068/b35049

Cite as:
Dade-Robertson M, 2011, "‘The web is not a tree’: information architecture and the navigational topology of the World Wide Web" Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 38(1) 129 – 141

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‘The web is not a tree’: information architecture and the navigational topology of the World Wide Web

Martyn Dade-Robertson

Received 15 April 2008; in revised form 18 February 2010; published online 4 October 2010

Abstract. The discipline of information architecture, which borrows many of its methods and metaphors from traditional architectural practice, has so far remained largely outside architectural discourse. I examine the profession and practice of web-based ‘information architecture’ through the lens of methods and theories relating to the built environment and conclude that, although the metaphors of architecture used, for example, in the design of graphical user interfaces, have been largely unsuccessful, topological theories of architecture may offer the potential to better understand the deep structure of information as it is navigated using networked structures which are common to web-based technologies.

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