If you are considering a career in information architecture (IA) but don’t know if it’s right for you, check out this post!
I will analyze all aspects of this job objectively so you can make the best career choice. Keep reading to discover!
An information architect is an expert who designs and organizes the information architecture (IA) within systems, websites, apps, and other digital/physical environments. Here are the main things an IA does:
- Arrange information into neat categories and labels to make it simple for users to locate what they need.
- Conduct user research, analyze user behavior, and create user personas to inform their design decisions.
- Create tags and labels for information to help search engines find it, and users can use these labels to search more effectively.
- Make sketches or models of the IA.
- Test the IA with real users to ensure it is easy to use.
- Work with designers, developers, and others to ensure the information fits the overall design and meets the project goals.
The following ups and downs of a career in IA will help you know what it’s like to work in this role and whether pursuing it is wise.
Regarding the cons, there are four factors that attract many people to choose this career path, including high salaries, diverse career paths, opportunities to make a positive impact, and a fun working environment.
On average, an information architect in the US can make around $120,912 per year (in 2023). But some can earn up to $180,000 annually. If you prefer hourly rates, the average is around $58.13 per hour.
Compared to the average income of all occupations in the US at $59,428/year ($28.34/hour), this salary is twice higher and is a factor that attracts many young people to pursue it.
The cool thing when you pursue this career is that you can choose where you work. You can work in an office, at a creative company, or even on your own as a freelancer. Regarding the career paths, there are various options for you:
- UX design
- Content strategy
- IA teaching
- Data architecture
- Software engineer
- ETL developer
With many years of experience, you can advance to senior roles such as senior technical writer, senior PM, or solutions architect.
As an information architect, I find immense satisfaction in making digital experiences better for people. It’s a great feeling knowing that I can make websites and apps easier to use.
When I do my job well, users can quickly find what they need without confusion. I also ensure that everyone, including those with disabilities, can use digital products easily.
Seeing users happy and not frustrated with technology is the best part of my work. I feel like I’m making the digital world a friendlier and more enjoyable place for everyone.
I love this job’s collaborative aspect. I thrive in environments where I work with various experts (designers, developers, content creators, and stakeholders).
Collaboration brings all skills of everyone together, and it’s great to see how teamwork can create digital solutions that really help people. I am sure you will love this job if you are looking for such a collaborative work environment!
Here are three notable drawbacks of working in IA that you need to consider before deciding to pursue a career in this field.
The first challenge I must mention is handling complicated information. Sometimes, I work with heaps of data that need to be organized neatly. And when data has many layers and connections, this task becomes challenging.
To handle this task, you must deeply understand the content and what users want to create the best system. If not, you will waste your time and get into trouble while working.
Another challenge is making sure clients are happy with what I create. Clients often have their own ideas about how things should work, which is great. But sometimes, what they want might not be the best for users, and I find explaining this difference hard.
The IA tasks are time-consuming. Imagine you are building a house: there is planning, designing, and building. Similarly, I have to plan, design, and test a lot. Each step in the process takes a lot of time to complete.
So, if you are not a patient person willing to spend hours doing a small task, you will feel that this work is too overwhelming.
Although a career in IA is attractive, with high salaries, diverse paths, huge impacts, and a collaborative work environment, deciding to pursue it depends on what you like and are good at. This career is an option for you if:
- You are passionate about IA, including organizing information, creating logical structures, and improving user experiences.
- You are good at solving problems related to information organization and navigation.
- You can work well with others.
- You are careful with details.
- You are willing to learn and adapt in this field.
Do you have your answer yet? Please consider the above carefully and make the wisest choice!
I have shared the seven advantages and disadvantages of being an information architect. It is a rewarding path, but it also has its challenges. So, deciding on a career in this role depends on your passion for user-friendly design and problem-solving.
Now, weigh the above pros and cons to see if it matches your interests and skills!