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Information Architecture & Design

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  1. Information Architecture & Design • Week 5 Schedule • Planning IA Structures • Other Readings • Class Work: User Analysis • Project Plan Review • Group Work: Planning the Project Site

  2. Class Work: Planning a Site • What kind of site will you build? • Informational • Entertainment • Portfolio • Content display • Context with links • What resources do you have? • Content • Ideas • Circumstance • Discuss up your ideas (10 min)

  3. Group Work: Building a Site Plan • Discuss your ideas with your neighbor • Do you have too much initially planned? • Who is your user audience? • What will the site be used for? • Why would someone want to use your site? • What are the goals of the site?

  4. Thesauri, Vocabularies & Metadata • The Structure of Your Content (Part of the Plan) • Models the Information for the User (Content Modeling) • What Do You Do With Your Project Data (Content)? • Context • Descriptive • Prescriptive • Quality • Accuracy • Recency • Characteristics • Media / MIME type • Uses • Represent the Relationships Between Systems

  5. What do we mean by Metadata? • What are some examples of metadata? • “…descriptive information about the context, quality and condition, or characteristics…” • Variability (does it depend on the situation?) • Intended uses? • Is there a ideal world of (forms) metadata out there? • Metadata can define the context

  6. Controlled Vocabularies • Establish Consistencies • For the Content • For the Developers • On the Site – Apparent to the Users • Just Synonyms? • Lists of Equivalents (Index) • Aliases (Authority File) • Also an Implied or Overt Hierarchy • “Synonym Ring” (which isn’t)p178 • Based on User’s Understanding • Improved Upon by IA • Iterative Process to Discover Alternate Words & Concepts • Not Just for Search

  7. Building Your “Authority File” • List of preferred terms or acceptable values p180 • The Mission Statement for your Content • Acronyms, Abbreviations • Multiple terms (“term rotation”?) • Cases (Upper, Lower and Mixed) • Labels for Button & Graphics too • Use a Central File to Keep Current • Authority.txt • Keep updated throughout the project

  8. Classification Schemes • Taxonomy (more than one?) • Front End • Users (Personalized) • Interface (Browse) • Back End • Information Architecture • Content Management • System (Search) • Technical Approaches • LIS & CS • Top-Down & Bottom-Up • Content & Task • All of the above?

  9. Semantic Relationships • Equivalence (Alternate Names) • Derived (Rules) • Vocabulary (Uses) • Hierarchical (Relationships) • Strong (Inherited) • City - Austin • Instance (Classes) • Texas - Austin • Associative (Checklist for Approval) • Based on Understanding of Content • Based on Understanding of Users

  10. Thesauri - What kind do you need? • Hierarchical Relationship • Equivalence Relationship • Associative Relationship • Preferred Term • Varian Term (synonyms) • Broader Term (preferred’s parent) • Narrower Term (preferred’s child) • Related (“see also”, synonyms) • Use (rules for where and when) • Scope (restricts meaning)

  11. Thesaurus Types • Classic • Links • Keywords • Subject Index • LoC • Index • Browsable • Appearance • Ordering (Multiple orders) • Relational • See also • Hierarchy • Document versus Site

  12. Faceted Classification • Multiple Dimensions • Now More Applicable to Digital Information • Personality, Matter, Energy, Space, Time • Topic, Product, Document Type, Audience, Geography, Price • Commerce Examples • What other kinds of views? • Flamenco

  13. Taxonomy of Decisions & Actions • Now – not just the taxonomies of content, but how people work • Purpose of the Search • Method to Find Information • Content of the Information Being Searched • GVU Survey Question • Recent instance of important information found • Critical Incident Technique • Complete Instances • Known Consequences (Results) • Morrison 2001

  14. Taxonomy pt. 2 • Taxonomies of Web Activities • Why people searched the Web • How search the Web • What information searched • Analysis of Responses from Survey into Experiment • Purpose Taxonomy • Method Taxonomy • Content Taxonomy

  15. Human Information Behavior • Information Seeking (Strategies) • Information Searching (Strategies) • Information Use • Physical Actions • Mental Actions • Focus on the User • Wilson 2001

  16. New Models of Info Behavior pt. 2

  17. New Models of Info Behavior pt. 3 • Problem Solving • System Actions • Integration of Actions

  18. Rapid Ethnography • Like Rapid Prototyping & Usability Inspection • Field Work (is being there half the work?) • Wide-angled lens • Ethnography • People (Practice) • Environments (Native) • Activities (Context) • Cultural Observation and Analysis • Elicit User Requirements • More Focused (Decisions) • Millen 2000

  19. Rapid Ethnography pt. 2 • Short Studies • Comparisons to Other Studies • Zoom in On Key Activities • Multiple Datasets (Critical Incidents) • Observations • Recording • Activity Walkthroughs • Interviews (Structured) • Selection of Instances that Yield Incidents • Key Times • Key Users

  20. Rapid Ethnography pt. 3 • Automated Data Analysis • Team Data Analysis • Scenario Analysis (storyboards) • Pictorial Storytelling (metaphors) • Lightweight Deliverables • Drawings (Sketches) • Notes (not Reports) • Incomplete • Prototypes • Cognitive Mapping (assumptive) • Substitute for Full or Complete Studies

  21. How Do We Really Use the Web? • Reading vs. Scanning • Quality of Elements • Quantity of Elements • Purpose of Pages • Satisficing • Guessing with Speed • Low Penalties (Back) • Testing Boundaries • Muddling and Forging Ahead • Stick with what works • Not concerned with understanding • Krug 2000

  22. Design vs. Practice

  23. Semiotics of the Web • Site Structure and Cognitive Design • Typography • Medium use • Browsers • Message content • Paper • Web • Appeal • Attention (interest) • Relevance (needs and motives) • Confidence (expectation & achievement) • Accessibility • Culture • Physical • Smart, et al. 2000

  24. Learning and Interests (Users) • Learning is Remembering What You’re Interested In • Cultivating Interest • Relevance • Interests vs. Obligations • Examples for Understanding • Metaphors • Content Presentation • “Architecture is Making Connections”

  25. Designing for Users • Permutations • Connections • Facts vs. Ideas • Discovery vs. JITI

  26. Class Work: Who Will Use the Site? • Who are your target users? • All of the possible users? • What do you want users to get from your site? • Is the site a Searching (JiTi) site? • A Browsing and Learning site? • Do you need different taxonomies for each type of user? • What’s the best general taxonomy for describing and organizing your site?

  27. Group Work: User Analysis • What do your users have in common? • What are their differences? • What design decisions need to be specifically planned for as essential for your users? • What will the information on your site be used for? (Wilson) • Rapid Ethnography – take on the role of some of your users and ask questions.

  28. Deliverables for Next Week • Sitemap diagram of your proposed project • One page, printed • Include your name and email address • User model (scenario starter) • One page, printed • Include your name and email address • What the site is about • In two sentences (at most) • Briefly describe • Who will use the site • Why? • When? • Save this digital document for part of your class project portfolio • Due at the beginning of class next week • Start thinking about the controlled vocabulary for your site