1Information architecture refers to the way in which organizations align websites to target
specific audiences. It relates...
the interview results were compiled, it is advisable to seek user feedback so as to ensure
that the research results refle...
2- A

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1.2 Beginner’s
T...
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Why hire an information architect consultant for your business by emanuel baisire

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Information architecture refers to the way in which organizations align websites to target specific audiences. It relates to how information is organized on a website and how different pages are linked together. Information architecture is considered to be both an art and science of finding and managing information on a site. Graphic designers, interaction designers and other team members are equally important in designing or improving website usability. Although graphic designers and other specialists are involved in information architecture, their attention is usually focused on specific functions. The rationale of hiring an IA consultant is to ensure that the proposed site is well organized and capable of guiding users to locate crucial information or product in a timely fashion. A well organized site improves user experience and eases the process of product and service searches. This trend often translates into increased number of new and return visitors to a website. A continuous flow of new and returning visitor is likely to increase product sales and customer satisfaction.

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Why hire an information architect consultant for your business by emanuel baisire

  1. 1. 1Information architecture refers to the way in which organizations align websites to target specific audiences. It relates to how information is organized on a website and how different pages are linked together. Information architecture is considered to be both an art and science of finding and managing information on a site. Graphic designers, interaction designers and other team members are equally important in designing or improving website usability. Although graphic designers and other specialists are involved in information architecture, their attention is usually focused on specific functions. The rationale of hiring an IA consultant is to ensure that the proposed site is well organized and capable of guiding users to locate crucial information or product in a timely fashion. A well organized site improves user experience and eases the process of product and service searches. This trend often translates into increased number of new and return visitors to a website. A continuous flow of new and returning visitor is likely to increase product sales and customer satisfaction. Information architecture consultants have to explain to prospective clients about the devastating consequences of not involving an IA consultant in the initial stages of setting up a website. A client should be provided with an analysis of how much it costs to find information, the cost of not finding information, the cost of redesigning a poorly designed website, the cost of site maintenance, the cost of a complex website to the employees and the declining value of a brand. According to Nielsen (2006), when customers experience hard time finding what they are looking for, they are more likely to leave a site without making any purchase. Similarly when employees spend more time looking for documents or work tools on intranet rather than performing their tasks, it affects productivity levels. As more customers and employees spend more time searching for what they need, the company loses revenue caused by failed searches. A company incurs extra costs in terms of wages paid for less work done. It is estimated that 56% of search engine queries of commercial sites do not yield relevant results for the customers thus leading to loss of potential sales. This costs companies almost $ 2.5 billion dollars annually due to failure by customers to locate product and service information. A flawed design can lead to lost revenue because online shoppers have a tendency of halting their online shopping if they feel lost or when a product is not well labeled. Companies with business objectives of building a strong online presence need to build a easy to navigate site to enhance user credibility towards their organization. In summary, the involvement of information architecture minimizes several problems related to lost sales, frustrated users and unproductive employees. The initial deliverable of information architecture is to determine the scope of your site. The first step in our project deliverables was to determine the purpose of a proposed site (DocTracker). DocTracker’s ultimate goal is to assist users manage and retrieve documents. Document searching is automated and the system allows users to create and store shared folders. We defined the site’s goal, functional requirements and the targeted audience. This was achieved by conducting user interviews, brainstorming and benchmarking related sites. The interview results helped define the goals of the site. After 1
  2. 2. the interview results were compiled, it is advisable to seek user feedback so as to ensure that the research results reflect user needs and concerns. Once stakeholders agreed with the overall goal of a website, a blueprint is to be developed. The designed blueprint reflects the relationships between proposed pages, design of categories, labeling, navigation and conformity to usability standards. A blueprint can be divided into different major sections. For our project, blue print consisted of a product page describing product features, solution page providing guidance to users, purchase page promote revenue generation, support page provide technical assistance. The blueprint enable information architecture consultant to exchange ideas and insights with other professionals involved in the project. A blueprint provides information ranging from the main page to destination pages. DocTracker wireframe is set to reflect how different sections of the pages are organized in accordance to the envisioned site. A wireframe can be developed in PowerPoint or other drawing programs. For our case, we used PowerPoint and set global navigation link at the top of each page. Right of the local navigation links was a bread-crumbs displaying how users got to a specific page. There are also additional links at the bottom of each page represented in blue font. A wireframe is an outlook of how an anticipated website will look like. The wireframe is also important in coordinating with graphic designers and other professionals. The wireframe minimizes the possibility of introducing new page elements during the course of finalizing the project. The final deliverable of information architecture is a content inventory which was developed in an Excel Spreadsheet file. The purpose of content inventory is to understand what is on a site and ensuring that pages are accurate. The content inventory provides information about each page title, blueprint ID, navigation label, content type, filename, links and the individual responsible for each page. In conclusion, information architecture is important in designing websites. However, due to lack of a clear distinction between information architecture and other related professionals, their contribution is often not recognized. Information architecture provides a baseline for the success of any business problem in need of a technology solution. It outlines how information is presented and web content is managed. 2
  3. 3. 2- A Gym-KENT Navigation Blueprint Navigation Blueprint Home 1.1 Training Programs 2.1 Gym Location 1.2 Beginner’s Training 1.3 Weight Loss Program 1.4 Group exercises 1.5 Swim club 3.1 Community events 2.2 Arlington, VA (Beginner’s Training, Weight Loss Program) 2.3 Richmond, VA (Group Exercises, Swim club ) Gym locator by zip code 4.1 Membership 3.2 Healthy food Cook-outs 3.3 kids week 3.4 Run for the homeless 2.4 Washington DC (Run club, Weight loss program) 5.1 About Us 4.2 New members 4.3 Gold member 4.7 Login 4.4 Platinum member 4.5 Corporate member 4.8 User database 4.6 Visitors 1.6 Run club Summary: Gym-kent.com will be the main gateway to promote gym’ activities to the community and attracting new members. The goal is to increase gym membership and to advocate for a health lifestyle through physical exercises and group activities. The navigation blueprint is divided into five sections. Training programs provides a user with the opportunity to have an in-depth understanding of training activities. Gym Locator guides the user to our different locations and the training programs offered in each location. Community events cover activities aimed at encouraging social interactions among our members and participation in community events. Membership navigation icon offers different membership levels depending on individual’s social and economic needs. About Us explains to the public about who we are and the driving philosophy of the gym. 2-B Gym-KENT Homepage wireframe 3
  4. 4. Logo Search Gym locator by zip code Home Home Breadcrumb shows user path Training Programs Virtual tour of all the gyms Gym Location Community events Membership About Us Home Who we are: We have been changing people’s lives in the last 30 years with state-of –arts gyms in Virginia and Washington DC. Gym – KENT is dedicated to making sure that every individual live a healthy lifestyle more………. Our Capabilities: All our gyms are equipped with modern training equipments and non traditional form of exercises. Our training program caters for a diverse group of individuals with different training needs more………. Our Patrons: Unlike other gyms, our doors are open to dedicated members and visitors with occasional training needs Slideshow of Member photos Member Testimony and stories I lost 50 pounds In less than 6 months, thanks to Copyrights I Privacy policy I Franchise I Career I Contact Us I © 2009 IS 698, Gym-KENT, Baltimore • 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250 • 410-455-1000 4

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