Morville, P., & Rosenfeld, L. (2007). Information architecture for the World Wide Web. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly. 528 pages.
Morville and Rosenfeld are credited with founding the field of information architecture through their work with Argus Associates and both continue to be highly regarded and engaged practitioners in the field. Morville is currently the founder and president of Semantic Studios, an information architecture, user experience, and findability firm. He is also a faculty member at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. Rosenfeld is the founder and principle of Louis Rosenfeld, LLC, an information architecture consultancy firm. Both Morville and Rosenfeld have backgrounds in information science and are co-founders of the Information Architecture Institute. Now in its third edition, “the polar bear book” is the quintessential manual on information architecture. This book is intended for a wide audience including both new and experienced information architects. This is the most comprehensive book on the information architecture field I have found in my research. The book covers a vast amount of information including: Defining information architecture, practicing information architecture, user needs and behaviors, the anatomy of information architecture, organization systems, labeling, navigation, search, thesauri, controlled vocabularies, metadata, research, implementation strategy, design and documentation, as well as practical advice for practitioners on education and ethics, making the case for information architecture in your organization, and two exhaustive case studies. The book is full of references to other information sources for further exploration. This is, without question, the best starting point for anyone with a serious interest in learning about information architecture. Much of the content covered in shorter books like The Elements of User Experience or Content Strategy for the Web is covered here and the rich context that the other content provides is worth the extra time investment. Of particular note, Morville and Rosenfeld do an excellent job of connecting information architecture to the common language of the library and information science field. Additionally, they offer persuasive arguments throughout the book for pursuing good information architecture that will be useful to any practitioner who needs to convey the value of this work to their organization.