Information Architecture & Design Tuesday 6:30–9:30pm SZB 546 http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~i385e A. Fleming Seay. School of Information, Fall 2007 University of Texas. Course Overview. Syllabus Requirements & Preferences IA & Design Readings Group Projects Do’s and Don’ts IA Overview
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School of Information, Fall 2007
University of Texas
Requirements & Preferences
IA & Design Readings
Do’s and Don’ts
What is IA?
Information Architect as a Profession
Discussions in class
Participation is the key to getting something out of this course
Cooperation & Collaboration with others in class
Site design (your final assignment)
Small assignments due every other week
Examine a Web site for information structure, design, navigability, general usability & underlying design technology
Assignments due at the absolute beginning of class
Do not be late to class
Late assignments are penalized 20% per 24 hour period
You are responsible for making sure the assignment is received
E.g. Due at Noon today, turned in tomorrow at Noon = -20%. Turned in a week later = 0.
Arrangements can be agreed upon for known issues
Travel, Serious Illness or Work
Do not mail attachments to me unless agreed upon
Make assignments Web accessible
When required, notify class of your assignment via class listserv
Posting or sent email times count as submission times
For Web pages, DO NOT use MS Word or FrontPage No “Save As…”
Learn to use Web markup tools & see the XHTML code
Mailing list (listserv)
Go to https://utlists.utexas.edu/sympa/info/inf385e .
Log in or create an account
Click subscribe in left margin.
To post a message to the mailing list, address your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Use Fundamental IA Tools
Site Mapping Tools
Site Organization Tools
Learn and Use IA Methodology
Work Through the Phases of the IA Process
Create and Maintain a Design Specification
Use Structured Development Techniques
HTML, XHTML, XML
Innovative Design using:
Organization schemes (“architectures”)
Work on a Real Project
Defining and Implementing Designs
Dealing with changes & deadlines
Do turn in assignments at the very beginning of class.
Don’t be late for class.
Don’t use Microsoft Word’s “Save As…” feature or FrontPage to build any Web pages.
Do try new Web designs.
Do use Web dev tools you haven’t used before.
Do embrace different aspects of the IA roles.
Where are you from?
What program are you in and what year?
How much experience in building pages/sites?
What is Information Architecture?
What Do Information Architects Do?
Approaches to Information Architecture
Information Architecture Process
Design and Information Architecture
Designers and Information Architects
Information as Product
Builds on Skills, Methods & History of Architecture
IA is not just an analogy
IA is Process-Oriented
IA is both Art & Science
Built upon Theory (Knowledge & Experiments)
Realized in Practice (Skills & Experience)
IA is a Dynamic Discipline
Technologies are continually changing
People have accelerating needs & expectations
Convey organization & information
Provide a logical, understandable structure for current (& future) information
Seem well-designed (perception)
Provide Just in Time information
Support reference & retrieval
A picture worth a thousand words
An architecture to find those 1,000 words & more
Not always a simple picture
Where to go
Where you’ve been
How much is there
Tables of content
Shelves of Books
List of links
Use Tools and Methods
Apply Experience & Understanding of Users
Manage the IA Process
Work through an IA Methodology
Iterate the process
Adapt to technology, information & customer needs
Experience Modeling (X-Mod)
The Visio job search…
Strategic for Information Systems
Tactical for Technologies
Profitable for the Organization
Central to Business
Applicable to Any Endeavor
Not just Web sites
Information & Process
Mediator of the Design Process
Interpreter of User Needs and Uses
Applying Theory to Practice (Top-Down)
Designing & Extending from Examples (Bottom-Up)
Artist or Scientist
Objective / Subjective
Project Lead – IA – Designer – Usability - QA
Design as Problem Solving
View of the world as an information space
Improving the information space
Products that solve these problems
Information as Product
Connections & Organization as Product
Processes that solve problems
Business Transformation (Web 2.0)
Information Architecture is critical for good Application Design
Creating & managing information
Visualization alone isn’t enough
Users. Content. Context.
View of the world as a problem space
Improving the problem space
Solving problems that no one even knew existed
Creativity put to use
Applying solutions from one domain to another (synthesis)
Focus on the Users
Understand the system
Use tools proficiently
Extend the system
Create new systems
Allow feedback control
Expose the UI functionality
Make functionality clear & distinct
Reduce working memory load
Show progress & context of task
Support experts & novices
Let user select the right interface
Reveal UI & system functionality in phases
Amount of information shown, preferred
Interactive GUIs are a good start
Graphical views of information can provide an overview
Is a picture (of an action) worth 1000 words?
Is a picture of a dataset worth more?
Graphics help with abstraction, how can they represent specifics?
Visual metaphors may be one key
Navigation as a mechanism for interpretation
Windows, Icons, Menus & Pointers
Desktops, dialogs & forms
Colors & Highlighting
Panning & Zooming
Magic Lens, Fisheye lens
But let’s not go overboard.
“Although intuitively appealing, graphical overviews of large document spaces have yet to be shown to be useful and understandable for users. In fact, evaluations that have been conducted so far provide negative evidence as to their usefulness.”
Jef Raskin’s Humane Interface
Well architected information makes GUIs better
The information structure(s) should guide the interface
Sign up for the listserv
Course readings & discussion
Tools Tutorials & Review in two weeks
Using your iSchool account (FTP)
Visio & OmniGraffle