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Information Architecture

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  1. Information Architecture Class Four

  2. Agenda • Quiz • Research Topic Presentation Order • Discuss Readings, Chapters 1-5 • Class Work: Planning a Site • Group Work: Building a Site Plan

  3. Research Topic Presentations • Somebody had to be first – deal with it. • Three per week • Starting next week • You are teaching the class / leading the discussion

  4. Defining IA – The Architecture Analogy • Planning / Design / Construction / Maintenance • Web sites & buildings support different activities • Rooms, departments, buildings • Shopping, reading, resting • Structuring, Organizing & Linking • Finding & Managing

  5. What IA is and isn’t • Context, Content, Users • Interfaces • Search & Browse • Knowledge Networks • Information Seeking Behavior • Navigation Systems • Graphics • Maps & Logos • Controlled Vocabularies (labels) • Metadata • What isn’t IA? (p 9) • Huh?

  6. Important AI Concepts

  7. Information Architects? Yes or No • Yes, they take many disciplines & update for today’s technology & users • Yes, it is a foundation of theory that is being built upon • Yes, someone has to be the focal point of Information Design & Development • No, we really need Solutions, no matter where they come from • No, we need better tools to make IA flow from the process • Who agrees with Andrew Dillon?

  8. Information Seeking Behaviors • Searching – Browsing – Asking • Known-Item Seeking – user knows what and where • Exploratory Seeking • not sure exactly what you’re looking for • open ended • no definitive right answer • Exhaustive Search • I want everything • Refinding • marking for later • favorites, tagging <toberead> ,<tobeforwarded>

  9. User Needs & Behaviors • Integration • Searching, Browsing and Asking used in same session • Iterative • Session/behavior results feedback into next action • “Berry-picking”

  10. Quick Exercise • Find This Picture

  11. Anatomy of IA • Search • Interface • Query Language • Index & Algorithms • Results (Zones) • Browse • Taxonomies & Hierarchies • Global (site-wide) & Local Navigation Links • Tables of Contents, Site Maps, Indices • Guides, Pathfinders, Wizards, Tasks • Content & Contextual Links • “Invisibles” • Controlled Vocabularies (language use) • Thesauri • Rule Sets (Canned search results)

  12. Organization Schemes • Shared characteristics of content items that • influence their logical grouping • Alphabetical • Directories (Big) & Lists (Smaller) • Chronological • Geographical

  13. Organization Schemes - Ambiguous • Topic - Consumer Reports • Task - Ebay (task & topic) • Audience – Dell.com • Metaphor – Children’s Sites • Hybrid – University Sites

  14. Organizational Structures • Hierarchy: Top Down • Centralized • Not always just one • Balance of Breadth & Depth • Consider Context • New website likely to grow –> Broad and shallow

  15. Organizational Structures • Granular: Bottom Up • Content Driven • Metadata, tagging • Technology Driven • Databases & automation

  16. IA Deliverables • Paper prototypes • Wireframes (templates) • Blueprints (Site maps) • Controlled vocabularies • User scenarios (storyboards) • Metadata schemas • Metaphors • Design palettes • Content inventory

  17. Concept Maps

  18. Wireframes

  19. Storyboards

  20. Block Diagrams / Flow Maps & Charts

  21. 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 • Write up your ideas (Time Limit)

  22. 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?

  23. For Next Week • Write up of your site plan and discussion from class • Presentations • SILVAS, Metaphors in Web Design and Navigation • MASON, Taxonomies & Classification for Organizing Content • TSE, User IA – blogs, RSS and WIKIs • Reading • Rosenfeld, Information Architecture: Chapter 9 • Morrison, J. B., Pirolli, P., & Card, S. K. (2001). A Taxonomic Analysis of What World Wide Web Activities Significantly Impact People's Decisions and Actions. Proceedings of CHI 2001, Seattle, WA. • Wilson, T. D. (2000). Human Information Behavior. Informing Science: Special Issue on Information Science Research, 3(2). • Millen, D. (2000). Rapid Ethnography: Time Deepening Strategies for HCI Field Research. Paper presented at the DIS '00, Brooklyn, NY.