Peter Morville’s column about information architecture, findability, search, and more.

Inspiration Architecture: The Future of Libraries (01/16/13)

future, libraries, literacy, truffula trees, trust

Architects of Learning (12/18/12)

disruption, learning, literacy, mooc, moodle, teachers

Information Architect (08/08/11)

bridges, cross-channel, maps, strategy, structure

Ubiquitous Service Design (04/19/10)

futurity, maps, mediumism, spime, touchpoints, xanadu

User Experience Deliverables (01/27/09)

comics, maps, prototypes, proverbs, stories, treasure

User Experience Strategy (07/23/07)

appropriation, framing, futurity, innovation, strategy

(Not) Everything is Miscellaneous (05/02/07)

authority, folksonomy, librarians, taxonomy

Information Architecture 3.0 (11/29/06)

community, discipline, future, role, web 3.0

Authority (10/11/05)

folksonomy, social facts, tag clouds, wikipedia

Information Architecture Research (09/07/04)

breadth, depth, foraging, genre, landmarks, seeking

See All Semantics Articles | Subscribe


Search Patterns: Design for Discovery
Search is among the most disruptive innovations of our time. It influences what we buy and where we go. It shapes how we learn and what we believe. This new book explores design patterns that apply across the categories of web, e-commerce, enterprise, desktop, mobile, social, and realtime search and discovery. Co-authored by Peter Morville and Jeffery Callender, and published by O'Reilly Media.

Ambient Findability
This provocative book explores search, wayfinding, information interaction, marketing, literacy, librarianship, authority, psychology, and culture at the crossroads of ubiquitous computing and the Internet. Written by Peter Morville, and published by O'Reilly Media.

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
Available in English, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish, this is the definitive book on the topic. Co-authored by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld, and published by O'Reilly Media.

The Internet Searcher's Handbook
This book teaches you how to find what you're looking for on the Web both practically and philosophically. Written by Peter Morville, Lou Rosenfeld, and Joseph Janes, and published by Neal-Schuman.


Semantics is Peter Morville's irregularly irreverent column about information architecture and findability.

Strange Connections was a regular feature of the Argus Center for Information Architecture from 2000 to 2001. It explored the evolving definition of information architecture.

Web Architect was a column in Songline Studio's Web Review magazine from 1995 to 1999. It offered a humorous yet practical exploration of information architecture topics.

Articles, Interviews and Resources

The Present and Future of IA. Interview. (05/06/14)
places, service ecosystems, wearables, drones, courage

Medium. IA Summit Closing Plenary. (03/30/14)
kindness, generosity, shorts, danger, liminality, hope

15 Years of the IA Summit. Interview. (10/25/13)
diversity, medium, poetry, synthesis, culture

Understanding Information Architecture. Prezi. (02/28/12)
story, structure, time, nonlinear, context, maze, labyrinth

The System of Information Architecture. Journal of IA. (01/30/12)
systems thinking, new loops, leverage, feedback, understanding

User Experience Russia Interview. Parts 1 and 2. (07/06/11)
web strategy, self-driving cars, polar bear, cross-channel

Foreword. Designing Search. (05/13/11)
ecommerce, search, bazaar, meatspace, multi-channel

Foreword. Pervasive Information Architecture. (04/04/11)
cross-channel, user experience, resmini, rosati, ubiquitous

UIE Book Club. Interviewed by Jared Spool. (12/07/10)
search, browse, switching sides, making the case, 5by5

Design Critique. Interviewed by Timothy Keirnan. (11/10/10)
search, wayfinding, paradox of the active user, marathon

Ubiquitous Information Architecture. IDEA 2010 Slides. (10/01/10)
intertwingularity, multi-channel, cross-sensory, synthetic synesthesia

No Shortcuts to Findability. Federal Computer Week. (06/28/10)
smithsonian, library of congress, findability, multi-channel

Search Interview. Project Information Literacy. (06/01/10)
search, presearch, learning, decision making, education

Faceted Navigation (Book Excerpt). A List Apart. (04/20/10)
adaptive facets, scented widgets, transitions, minimal disruption

The Bridgeline Interview. Interviewed by Marc Garrett. (04/19/10)
faceted, parametric, semantic, reference interview, java

The Johnny Holland Interview. Interviewed by Brad Nunnally. (03/29/10)
interaction, gestures, grunts, maps, search, discovery

The Web's Fun and Wicked Problem. O'Reilly Radar. (02/19/10)
averted vision, augmented reality, information literacy, spime

Leveraging Search Patterns. Interviewed by Jared Spool. (02/05/10)
best first, advanced search, faceted navigation, spoolcast

Search & Discovery Patterns. UIE Virtual Seminar. (01/12/10)
autosuggest, breadbox, context, discovery, endeca

The Future of Search. Interviewed by Byron Gordon. (12/08/09)
information architecture, search, findability, butterfly book

Search & Findability. Interviewed by Jeff Woelker. (10/26/09)
empathy, iphone, search patterns, augmented reality

Foreword. When Search Meets Web Usability. (04/04/09)
slippery rocks, thundering waters, seo, usability

Foreword. Web Style Guide, 3rd Edition. (01/15/09)
style, friendship, loyalty, universal usability

Riding the Web 2.0 Wave. Interview. Shanghai Talk. (11/1/07)
china, co-creation, tagging, syndication, mashups

Still Tomorrow's Technology. Release 2.0. (8/1/07)
infoviz, information visualization, free beer tomorrow

Real-World Search Engines. Interview. Wall Street Journal. (7/20/07)
gps, rfid, gadgets, gizmos, loc8tor

A Crazy Librarian. Michigan Innovators. (7/4/07)
libraries, culture, participation, ubicomp

Ambient Findability and the Future of Search. Google. (6/21/07)
surface, street view, iphone, everyzing

UX Zeitgeist Mindshare Index. Rosenfeld Media. (4/4/07)
user experience, mindshare, uxerati, web 2.0, mashup

Organizing Web Sites & Intranets. Computerworld. (2/7/07)
taxonomies, metadata, structures, schemes

Meet the Enterprise Web. CMS Watch. (2/5/07)
eia, enterprise information architecture, centralization

Foreword. Ergodesign e Arquitetura de Informação. (8/1/06)
information architects, brazil, education, community

Ambient Findability, Live Online at The Washington Post. (7/19/06)
metrics, myspace, cyborg monkeys, semantic web

Why Information Architecture Matters, CIO Insight (6/22/06)
findability, credibility, authority, satisfaction

A Garden of Forking Paths, ASIS&T Bulletin. (2/1/06)
book, maze, labyrinth, transmedia, everyware

The New Sense of Place, OnPoint on NPR (1/3/06)
geoweb, maps, mashups, long haul trucking

Ubiquitous Findable Objects (11/17/05)
gps, rfid, spychips, alien technology, mososo

The Impact of Ambient Findability, Business Week (11/9/05)
undesign, unfindable, undesirable, memory, lemur

Libraries at the Crossroads of Ubiquitous Computing and the Internet
delicious library, alexandria, google print, internet archive

Boxes & Arrows Interview (10/31/05)
apophenia, safari, satisficing, everyware

Tagsonomy Interview (10/19/05)
authority, social software, wikipedia, tagging

Twenty to Watch in 2005
cmswatch, peter morville, #11, bright light

Ambient Findability, Digital Web Magazine (7/21/04)
trust, informed decisions, intertwingularity, libraries

The Information Architecture Library (4/21/04)
information architecture, articles, books, blogs

The User Experience Cosmos (1/15/04)
cartesian model, instructional design, information architecture

A Brief History of Information Architecture, Preface (10/13/03)
history, ia, wurman, false memory, long bets

The Support Economy, SIGCHI Bulletin Book Review (3/01/03)
customer-centered design, capitalism, sanctuary

Archiving Experience Design, AIGA Loop (12/30/02)
history, education, pong, snow crash, user experience

Interview with Peter and Lou, Digital Web (12/12/02)
big ia, little ia, roi, aifia, optimism

Mapping the Userati (12/02/02)
co-occurrence, citation analysis, jakob nielsen, brenda laurel

Dynamic Duo of Information Architecture, WebWord (10/18/02)
reductionism, selling ia, brand, pet peeves

Google Needs People, O'Reilly Network (10/11/02)
google news, pagerank, humans, algorithms, golem

since1968 interview (10/04/02)
argus, times square, google, small-shop developers

Building the Beast, Boxes & Arrows interview (9/09/02)
yosemite, beef jerky, argus, café mocha, library science

Web Reference, interview by Andy King (8/29/02)
second edition, frank-and-beans economy, findability

FucinaWeb, interview in English and Italian (8/23/02)
second edition, information architecture

Foreword for Blueprints for the Web (8/01/02)
wodtke, navigation, canoes, wayfinding, seamarks

The Age of Findability, first published on Boxes & Arrows (4/29/02)
airports, boxes, usability, findable objects, wayfinding

Software for Information Architects, ACIA (2/19/02)
automated classification, search engines, thesaurus management

Big Architect, Little Architect, ACIA (7/27/00)
primordial soup, information architecture roles, specialization

A New Recipe for , Business Week (12/3/99)
thesaurus, salmon, frogdesign, synonyms, lox

Information, Architecture, and Usability, Web Review (3/12/99)
christopher alexander, pattern languages, phototropism

Worst Web Faux Pas, Macworld (2/1/99)
navigation, categorization, overwhelming main pages

Building a Synonymous Search Index, Web Review (10/30/98)
thesaurus construction, six steps, pulchritudinous

O'Reilly's Information Architects, Interview (5/1/98)
boot camp, memory palaces, hierarchy, hypertext