I helped create the profession of information architecture, co-authored its leading text, and was president of its best-known consulting firm for seven years.
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Lou Rosenfeld wears two hats: he consults on information architecture strategy, and manages Rosenfeld Media, which publishes user experience books and provides UX training and consulting. He has been instrumental in helping establish the fields of information architecture and user experience, and in articulating the role and value of librarianship within those fields.
As a graduate student in library and information studies at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, Lou became convinced that the skills of librarians were grossly undervalued — in the coming information explosion, who else would supply the skills of organizing, classifying and labeling information? To test his theory, Lou founded a popular Internet research service, the Argus Clearinghouse, in 1993, that demonstrated how librarianship could help make Internet-based content more accessible. At roughly the same time, Lou designed and co-taught some of the first academic courses that dealt specifically with designing information for use on the Internet.
As the Web began to explode, Lou realized that additional skills and perspectives were required to develop coherent, intuitive structures — information architectures — that made web content accessible to users. At Argus Associates, a pioneering consulting company that Lou co-founded with in 1991, those additional perspectives — usability engineering, ethnography, technology analysis and others — were successfully folded into the mix, and the company became perhaps the best-known firm in the field of information architecture.
Lou served as Argus' president from 1994-2001. Named a "Technology Pioneer" by Crain's Detroit Business, Lou has consulted for such organizations as Paypal, Accenture, AT&T, Caterpillar, Lowes, the Centers for Disease Control, Ford, and Microsoft.
With Peter Morville, Lou co-authored the best-selling book, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (O'Reilly, 1998; second edition, 2002; third edition, 2006), Amazon.com's "Best Internet Book of 1998." With over 250,000 in sales, it has been acclaimed as a classic and is used as a standard text in many graduate-level classes. His newest book, Search Analytics for Your Site, was published by Rosenfeld Media in June of 2011. Lou has contributed regular columns for CIO, Internet World and Web Review magazines, and has written and edited numerous other books, chapters, and scholarly articles.
Lou has participated heavily in efforts to coalesce the information architecture community. He is co-founder of the Information Architecture Institute, the sole professional organization of information architects, and of the Information Architecture Summit — the field's annual conference.
Lou holds a Masters in Information and Library Studies and a B.A. in History, both from The University of Michigan. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Mary Jean Babic, and their children, Iris and Nate.
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