Until recently I used to work in the highways sector and street clutter was a subject that I just beginning to get interested in. People in different highways departments put signs up all over the place with little or no regard for where the signs were and what other signs might be around. In England we still have some very nice country villages but many of them were disfigured by huge signs a lot of which, in my opinion, are not really necessary.
Glad to see that the government in the UK are starting to get interested (see http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/ltnotes/ltn108.pdf). But what has this got to do with IA ?
I am seriously coming to the conclusion that any interaction between a human and a piece of designed information can benefit from an IA approach. But how can this be achieved when it comes to signs on the highway?
I suggested that a drive down stretches of highway blighted by too much signage by an auditor (for me preferably an IA) both as a passenger and as a driver might be a way of identifying the minimum required to ensure safety. It would be my guess that 80% of all signs could be either done away with or at least reduced in size. This is now an approach that the government is pushing. Once a sign is erected the people nearby have to live with it every day and unnecessary signs cause visual pollution. Too many signs can be distracting to drivers rather than informative actually increasing the risk of an accident.
This is just one area outside of cyberspace where I feel IA could be used to improve things. I’m sure there are many more.