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The definition of an Information Architect's responsibilities seems to fit neatly with the definition of 'model' in the MVC pattern. But I've never heard the two concepts discussed together.

In a large project that has a dedicated Information Architect as well as a team of developers, does the Information Architect actually say "Model A has properties x, y, and z and has foreign keys to Models B and C..." etc, or do they just express the concepts more vaguely and let the development team translate this into MVC models?

Just wondering what is the most common practice.

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Can whoever downvoted please let me know why this is a bad question? –  callum Feb 9 '12 at 15:01
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I didn't downvote, but given organizational variations, it's hard to imagine a correct answer. In my experience, few organizations agree on titles. If they do, they don't agree on the title's responsibility. Wikipedia's information architecture article acknowledges the "difficulty in establishing a common definition." This is complicated further because organizations can't even agree on what, exactly, MVC entails. Maybe state your definitions explicitly to eliminate any confusion? –  Corbin March Feb 9 '12 at 16:13
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Your instinct isn't incorrect, in that on paper some roles played by an Information Architect would seem to benefit technical development using MVC. But in reality this isn't the case, as the IA typically plays a role at a much more abstract level (relative to the technical details): gathering and organizing data to convey meaning, usually in the form of requirements handed off to other parties for technical implementation (front-end, back-end, etc).

There may be times when you have someone playing the role of IA who is also a programmer (it happens -- I am one of those weirdos). In that case, you may find yourself having fruitful discussions regarding the definitions of models within an IA context, but ultimately that work falls within the purview of the technical development team.

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No, information architecture should stay at a much higher level. Their role is to define how the pages logically lay out and how things interact with each other which probably drives the design of the model and the application as a whole. But specifying what properties a certain model has is way too granular for the IA, if they even understand development on that level.

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