Personas Of the Information Architect / User Experience professional

looking at myself
Goal and method

To clarify the different roles User Experience professionals find themselves in or create for themselves, a set of personas of Information Architects was presented at the IA summit in Miami 2008. The segmentation and creation of these personas are based on different data sources: personal experiences, interviews, discussions on IA blogs & mailing lists, theoretical papers and a survey sent out among IAs/Interaction designers/UX professionals.

View the results

Different persona descriptions with illustrations, and some tips for practitioners that recognize they operate in a specific role. The tips are practical advice on how to counteract possible drawbacks of the role.

Literature used

Arlow, J. and I. Neustadt (2002). UML and the Unified Process, Addison-Wesley.

Avison, D. E. and V. Taylor (1997). "Information systems development methodologies: a classification according to problem situation." Journal of Information Technology 12(1): 73 - 81.

Boersma, P. (2004, april 2008). "T-model: Big IA is now UX." BEEP, from

Checkland, P. and S. Holwell (1998). Information, Systems and Information systems, John Wiley & Sons.

Checkland, P. and J. Scholes (1990). Soft Systems Methodology in Action, John Wiley & Sons.

Clarke, M. C. (2007). "The Information Architect as Change Agent." Boxes And Arrows, from

Flood, R. L. (1995). "Total Systems Intervention (TSI): a Reconstruction." Journal of the Operational Research Society 46(2): 174-191.

Flood, R. L. and M. C. Jackson (1991). "Total systems intervention: A practical face to critical systems thinking." Systemic Practice and Action Research 4(3): 197-213.

Hirschheim, R. and H. K. Klein (1994). "Realizing Emancipatory Principles in Information Systems Development: The Case for ETHICS." MIS Quarterly 18(1): 83-109.

Hirschheim, R. and H. K. Klein (1998). "Four paradigms of information systems development." Communications of the ACM 32(10): 1199 - 1216.

Jiang, J. J., G. Klein, et al. (1999). "System analysts’ orientations and perceptions of system failure." Information and Software Technology 41(2): 101-106.

Morville, P. and L. Rosenfeld (2007). Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, O'Reilly.

Nuseibeh, B. and S. Easterbrook (2000). Requirements engineering: a roadmap. International Conference on Software Engineering.

Peslak, A. R. (2006). The impact of personality on information technology team projects. ACM SIGMIS CPR conference on computer personnel research.

Preece, J., Y. Rogers, et al. (2002). Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Rosenfeld, L. (2001). "IA areas of practice." from

Smith, D. C. (1989). "The personality of the systems analyst: an investigation." ACM SIGCPR Computer Personnel 12(2): 12-14.

Spear, R. (2001). "The Dark Side of the Moon—Unilluminated Dimensions of Systems Practice." Systemic Practice and Action Research 14(6): 779-790.

Tsumaki, T. and T. Tamai (2005). A Framework for Matching Requirements Engineering Techniques to Project Characteristics and Situation Changes. SREP '05, Paris, France.

Vidgen, R. (1997). "Stakeholders, soft systems and technology: separation and mediation in the analysis of information system requirements." Information Systems Journal 7(1): 21-46.

Wang, C. L. and P. K. Ahmed (2003). "Emotion: the missing part of systems methodologies." Kybernetes 32(9/10): 1283 - 1296


This research was carried out by David Karemaker ( and sponsored by User Intelligence. Illustrations by Gijs van Lelij