Have you ever noticed that conversations about site navigation can sound an awful lot like conversations about governmental structures? Sometimes, one area of a site is vastly more influential than all other areas, you know, like a monarchy or a dictatorship. Sometimes a number of areas of a site dominate other lesser areas, kind of like an oligarchy. And then of course there’s anarchy where all areas of the site seem to be struggling for control at the same time.
Andrew Hinton said something very much like this at an IA Summit: An information architect should treat content like furniture. They are responsible for organizing that furniture in a way that maximizes both access to, and use of the furniture. And they need to do it in a way that minimizes the chances that the homeowner will trip over one piece of furniture as she moves towards another.