Are there bad places on the Web?
And I do not mean one of those web sites that look like they are straight out of 1992, nor places which offend a coder's sense of beauty or the browsers' by using malformed XHTML or whatnot. I mean the bad places for real, those places you might get uneasy, upset, or scared visiting.
My gut answer is yes, there are plenty. As much as we have come to terms with the idea that a phone call can be as threatening as bumping into the wrong guys on the street, I think it is entirely plausible that we have such things. But then, what exactly makes a bad place bad in information space? Is it even entirely possible to think of bad places on the Web as places? And if it is, how?
As it seems to be a common pattern with me in recent times, this post has been long in the making and even longer in the thinking. And I'm not done yet, really, but since the 10th IA Summit in Memphis, Tennessee, seems to have expanded our horizons in novelty ways, I have a feeling the times are ripe for a first attempt at my tuppence on the subject. What subject? IA, IxD, UX, and where we stand, of course. And thanks to JJG.
Way-finding is one of my pets. Actually, way-finding and the concepts of space and place in information space are, but that sounds a bit pompous, so let's stick to way-finding.
Information architecture is not just for the Web: information architecture has a larger impact on many offline activities and affects our daily experience in many different ways.
Its contribution becomes crucial where complexity, unfamiliarity and information overload stand in the way of the user.