Strategic Information Architecture Bootcamp: STC Summit 2013
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Strategic Information Architecture Bootcamp: STC Summit 2013

on

  • 1,814 views

*Lots* of charts from 2-day certificate course in Strategic Information Architecture at the 2013 Summit for the Society for Technical Communication (STC). Co-authored by Alyson Riley & Andrea Ames.

*Lots* of charts from 2-day certificate course in Strategic Information Architecture at the 2013 Summit for the Society for Technical Communication (STC). Co-authored by Alyson Riley & Andrea Ames.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,814
Views on SlideShare
1,657
Embed Views
157

Actions

Likes
5
Downloads
70
Comments
2

4 Embeds 157

http://lanyrd.com 100
http://eventifier.co 35
https://twitter.com 15
http://summit.stc.org 7

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
  • Debra, you and the gang were a JOY to work with -- Andrea and I can't wait to see what you do next! Best wishes to you and other agents of change!
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
  • Love Love love... Ladies you are awesome...I am implementing what I learned at your boot camp and will be sending my boss a high level outline of what I would like to implement as my methodologies...for me and my team.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Strategic Information Architecture Bootcamp: STC Summit 2013 Strategic Information Architecture Bootcamp: STC Summit 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture Bootcamp:Your Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.Introduction & agenda
  • 2IBM Total Information ExperienceCertificate agenda, Day 1Morning session:Introductions: Instructors, ClassDefinitionsSkillsLunchAfternoon session:RequirementsMetricsScenarios
  • 3IBM Total Information ExperienceCertificate agenda, Day 2Morning session:DesignIA & Development Process InterlockInformation Experience ModelsModeling for a Seamless Information ExperienceUse ModelLunchAfternoon session:Content modelAccess ModelProgressive Information DisclosureApplying ModelsClosing the Loop (Measuring Success)Summary and wrap-upGraduation celebration
  • 4IBM Total Information ExperienceAbout AndreaTechnical communicator since 1983Areas of expertiseInformation experience design: Content strategy,information architecture, and interaction designfor content display and delivery, within productsand interactive information delivery systemsArchitecture, design, and development of embedded assistance(content within or near the product user interface)Information and product usability, from analysis through validationUser-centered process for information development andinformation experience designIBM Senior Technical Staff Member on corporate Total InformationExperience team in IBM CIO’s officeUniversity of CA Extension certificate coordinator and instructorSTC Fellow, past president (2004-05), former member ofBoard of Directors (1998-2006), and Intercom columnist (withAlyson Riley) of The Strategic IAACM Distinguished Engineer4
  • 5IBM Total Information Experience5About AlysonTechnical communicator since 1995Areas of expertiseContent strategyContent metrics—the business value of contentInformation architecture (my first love!)Interaction design for content deliveryvehicles, and interactive contentInformation and product usability, fromanalysis through validationUser-centered processes for content strategyand scenario-driven information architectureIBM Senior Content Strategist on corporateTotal Information Experience team in theIBM CIO OfficeMember of STC, and Intercom columnist(with Andrea Ames) of The Strategic IA
  • 6IBM Total Information ExperienceSetting the scene for the certificateExperiential through a project (exercises)The project is merely the bagel on which to deliver the cream-cheesy goodness of the strategic IA concepts ☺The scope of the project and discussion is primarily product-specific,due to time constraintsWe know there’s more, and we will occasionally mention the “more”If youre a smart information architect, and we know you are, youll bethinking about the “more” and trying to integrateWhenever we have time, we will address the “more” questionsFor “more,” see our LavaCon Unified Content Strategy Workshopsession: Building a Content Strategy Ecosystem (URL in references)Flow for the workshop…for each topic:ExerciseDebriefFill in the gaps—we will not cover every chart in the discussion, but allof the charts will be on slideshare.net to “take home” ☺
  • 7IBM Total Information ExperienceSuccess factors—OURS!Share a definition of information architecture (IA) and the information architectroleHelp you take away some actionable ways that you can growing your strategicIA skills, define career success, and avoid derailingDefine and use metrics specifically for IA workUnderstand the general IA process, from analysis and requirements definitionthrough delivery of a release-specific information architecture, and how itfunctions within the product development processUnderstand what models are and why they are importantDefine and create use, content, and access modelsUnderstand what progressive information disclosure is and how to apply itApply abstract models to create a concrete IA for a specific product releaseEvaluate results and measure successHave fun!
  • 8IBM Total Information ExperienceIntroductions andBurning questions—YOURS!Tell us:Your nameWhere you workYour role at work (are you a writer? an information architect?)How many years of experience you have in tech commHow many years of experience you have in informationarchitecture (if any)What is the one burning questionyou’d like this certificate session to answer?
  • 9IBM Total Information ExperienceBurning questions: Discussion notesWhat the heck is IA? And what the @#@$?>! do I put on my business card?How to apply IA on a large scale?How to transition from academic IA to applying in a broader context?How do I convince my company to invest in IA?How to implement IA in a large company with established models for delivering information? How to drivechange?How to implement IA in a large company that has no idea that they need it?How to organize a large library of technical information?“Do more with less”—how to spend resources strategically? How to do it all as a very small team?How to deal in your organization with solution-level information experience—how to pull all the contenttogether in an integrated, multi-product environment?How to deal with the people (“we know better”) who think they get this stuff but don’t?Empowering an army of one—how do you drive change as one person influencing a business that doesn’tunderstand this stuff?How does IA help us advocate for the end user?How can I build a system that can provide the right amount of information to the different types of users—having the right amount of depth and breadth? Repurpose info for different types of users at differentlevels?How within IBM/my company do I move into an IA role, in an organization that has a startup mentality?How to market myself as a strategic contributor—stakeholder mgmt, staying out of details?How to proactively structure information for findability long before it gets published?How can I demonstrate value in order to earn respect of management (and others who don’t get it)?Best practices for different target audiences—internal employees, external, new generations (changingcultural mindset), etc.?Demonstrating financial and social valueDifference between IA and content strategy?
  • 10IBM Total Information ExperienceReferencesBuilding a Content Strategy Ecosystem, LavaCon UnifiedContent Strategy Workshop, April 2013:http://slidesha.re/17S782A(or http://www.slideshare.net/aames/creating-a-content-strategy-ecosystem)
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture Bootcamp:Your Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.Defining information architecture (IA)
  • 12IBM Total Information ExperienceHistoryDefinitions—lots of definitionsInformation architecture in technical communicationInformation architecture’s impact on contentInformation architecture’s impact on businessWhat an IA doesWhat an IA doesn’t doIA compared to other rolesAcknowledgementsReferencesAgenda
  • 13IBM Total Information ExperienceBrief history of information architecture1970 Xerox PARC research lab defines its mission as“the architecture of information”1975 Richard Saul Wurman coins the term informationarchitect1996 Clement Mok, former Apple creative director,launches Studio Archetype, the “identity andinformation architects”1996 Wurman publishes Information Architects1997 The Society for Technical Communication (STC)forms an Information Design group (laterbecomes Information Design and Architecture)1998 Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld publishInformation Architecture for the WorldWide Web (Third Edition published 2006)And then all hell broke loose…
  • 14IBM Total Information ExperienceWhat is IA?The practice of structuring information (knowledge or data)for a purpose. These are often structured according to theircontext in user interactions or larger databases. …In thecontext of web design (or design for related media)Information Architecture is defined by the InformationArchitecture Institute as:The structural design of shared information environmentsThe art and science of organizing and labeling websites,intranets, online communities, and software to supportusability and findabilityAn emerging community of practice focused on bringingprinciples of design and architecture to the digitallandscape~ wikipedia
  • 15IBM Total Information ExperienceWait! But some stuff was missing in that definition!Information architecture is also about:Users—Based on a deep understanding of users, their business and taskdomains, and products and solutions for those domainsModels—Requires the application of component modeling techniques toimprove the flexibility and reuse of information solutionsDecisions—The model that drives decisions about delivering an informationexperienceStructure and cognition—Defines the organization of, structure of, andrelationships between ideas that enable users to build a mental model ofinformation within a specific contextOrganization—Defines underlying classification schemes and metadata thatenable searching and customizationWayfinding—Defines the organizing structures (such as navigation) andsignposts (such as labels) that guide users to browse the information and thatimprove retrievability across chunks of informationDesign—Applies the appropriate information design methods to improvescanning within a chunk of informationSimplicity—Applies the principles of minimalism to ensure appropriate choiceof information to present
  • 16IBM Total Information ExperienceWhat is IA? A simpler but more complete definitionInformation architecture is aboutdesigninghigh-value contentdelivered in aneffective information experiencethat enables client success.
  • 17IBM Total Information ExperienceWhat is high value content?High-value content is content that:Speaks directly to client/buyer/user business goalsIncludes only the tasks necessary to achieve those goalsAids the client in making decisions or applying concepts in their ownsituationsIs technically rich in the sense that it includes validated real-worldsamples, examples, best practices, and lessons learnedHigh value content does not:Focus on manipulating elements of a user interface (those things thateveryone knows by now, such as "Type your name in the name field")Describe tasks that cant be mapped to a meaningful goal or objectiveDescribe what to do without explaining how to do itDescribe how to do it without explaining why to do it
  • 18IBM Total Information ExperienceWhat is an effective information experience?
  • 19IBM Total Information ExperienceInformation architecture: 2 scopesStrategic IAAbstractTypical tasks include:—Architect a product’stotal informationexperience (not justtechnical docs)Tactical IAConcreteTypical tasks include:—Update a navigationtree according to designguidelines andstandards—Apply models andguidelines to developinformation architecturefor a product release orself-containedinformation deliverable—Solve architecturalissues with guidancefrom a strategicinformation architect(IA) or informationstrategist—Develop a cross-product orportfolio information experience—Prioritize requirements—Apply models in new and novelways to get validatedimprovements in the end-to-endinformation experience—Provide input for model orguideline improvement—Create and validate new modelsand guidelines
  • 20IBM Total Information ExperienceWhat does strategic IA mean?A strategic IA is:Focused on client perceptionsOf the total information experienceOf the value of content for achieving their goalsFocused on business prioritiesFor the total information experienceFor the value of content to business strategyFocused on the total information experienceMultiple information deliverablesMultiple authorsFormal and informal contentOfficial and collaborative or social contentA strategic IA is not:Focused on one kind of information deliverableFocused on information products from one kind of information developmentteam (such as just the technical product documentation team)Focused primarily on things like topic modeling, navigation hierarchies, andlabeling schemesYou may not have this role, but someone on your extended team should (such asa marketing rep)—if not, start thinking about a business case!
  • 21IBM Total Information ExperienceIA in the organizationGroupDivisionPortfolioProductDivision DivisionPortfolio PortfolioProductCompanyTech docs Support Marketing Engineering Etc.totalinformationexperienceGroupDivisionPortfolioProductDivision DivisionPortfolio PortfolioProducttactical IA
  • 22IBM Total Information ExperienceIA in technical communicationConcrete resultProduct-specific details+ =We deliver consistent information architecture acrossa diversity of teams and productsthrough a repeatable process that involvesapplying concrete data to abstract architectural models.Abstract model
  • 23IBM Total Information ExperienceUse ModelCommon scenariosthat describeinteractions betweenusers and contentContent ModelBuilding blocks—how we create contentto make reusable,consistent assetsAccess ModelNavigation, wayfinding,discovery, and retrieval—how users findinformationProgressivedisclosureModel forrevealing onlythe content thatusers reallyneedNavigationpatternsConsistentstructures forcontent retrievalbased on usergoals and tasksContenttypesDefinitions andtemplates used todeliver consistent,complete contentTaxonomy &metadataClassificationschemes that helpIBM manage andreuse its content andcustomers find itTagging &labelsConsistentlabeling andtagging ofcontent, by IBMand its clientsSearchMethods toensurethat contentand structuresare optimizedfor searchInformation ModelAbstract model to whichteams add unique offeringdetails to create concrete,consistent IA+ =A closer look at IA in technical communicationWe use these architectural models:… to help us define and apply:… to deliver high-value content in an information experience that enables client success.
  • 24IBM Total Information ExperienceIA impact: On the client experienceOur customers—and probably yours, too!—consistently request:Better retrievabilitySolution-oriented informationA seamless information experienceGood information architecture fulfills theserequests by delivering:Retrievable informationConsumable informationCohesive information based on a consistent mental model,especially across productsAppropriate information—that is, only the information ourcustomers need, where and when they need it, for their particularbusiness goals
  • 25IBM Total Information ExperienceIA impact: On business strategy and successEffective information architecture contributes to:Product awareness, interest, and consideration—throughaligning all aspects of the information experience to ensure strong,visible, consistent messaging (does your technical information provewhat your marketing information promises?)Mindshare—through content that is ranked highly by search enginesand information experiences that generate social capital (which alsoleads to awareness, interest, and consideration—key precursors torevenue opportunities)Sales and revenue—through referrals from technical information andreuse in sales collateralCustomer satisfaction by:Reducing time-to-value and speeding time-to-successReducing total cost of ownershipReducing customer support calls
  • 26IBM Total Information ExperienceAn information architectsynthesizes user and business requirementsand ensures that the pieces connectwithin and across the total information experienceto provide the greatest value to all clientsand support your company’s business strategy.An information architectsynthesizes user and business requirementsand ensures that the pieces connectwithin and across the total information experienceto provide the greatest value to all clientsand support your company’s business strategy.Gathers and synthesizes requirements from all relevant sourcesForms a strategy for contentArchitects the information experienceCommunications with and engages stakeholders—particularly clients—inevery phase of creating the strategyReviews progress and resolves issues to bridge strategy and developmentWhat an IA does
  • 27IBM Total Information ExperienceWhere requirements come fromPortfoliotechnical strategyMarketingProduct managementDevelopmentInformation teamManagerCustomersCorporate strategyDivisionPortfoliobusiness strategyInformation architectInteraction designIndustry trends
  • 28IBM Total Information ExperienceOwns and drives understanding the users, products, technology,competition, and business strategy in the context of the informationexperienceWorks with other user experience (UX) professionals, marketing,development, product and program management, service, sales, andsupport to:Research and understand business requirementsResearch and understand user requirementsProvide information-specific input to product user and task modeling (andlater use those models to define the information architecture)Drive information-specific concerns into personas and scenariosDrive information requirements into the task flow for product user interfacesDevelop the information flowValidate designs with intended usersFind the patterns inherent in data in order to make the complex clearWhat an IA does—a little more detail, part 1
  • 29IBM Total Information ExperienceDefines the overall strategy for how information is organized, presented,and delivered based on their user’s goals and context:Information modeling, organization, and structureInformation relationships, such as navigation, linking, and retrievalInformation presentationDefinition of information deliverablesDraws a clear line between organization, presentation, and delivery asopposed to information authoring, development, and managementFulfills a formal roleWhat an IA does—a little more detail, part 2In other words, an IA isa user experience architect for information
  • 30IBM Total Information ExperienceDrives and collaborates on design of the information strategy andarchitecture; defines priorities and strategy for Agile or incrementalimprovementsOwns architectural deliverables, such as:The information strategy for the total information experienceThe product-specific information architecture that shows how the variousinformation models are appliedArchitectural specification for actual information deliverablesThe structure, navigation schemes, and design of information deliverablesCommunicates key information to the writing team, such as:Latest strategy updates from the corporate, division, or business unit levelLatest requirements and results from customer engagementsLatest updates (and what they mean) from any corporate strategyConnections such as similar projects, prior art, related products, experts fromother areas, and so onFormal educationWhat an IA does—typical tasks, part 1
  • 31IBM Total Information ExperienceCompletes mandatory reviews and contributes information strategy andarchitecture elements to:User experience plansDevelopment plans and design specificationsAny development process deliverables (as required by Agile, waterfall, etc.)Quality plansCustomer feedback plans, activities, and reportsPresentations by content team members to outside groupsCommon files and templates for standard filesEducates the extended product team—such as product management,development, technical sales teams, support, and others—on theinformation strategy, the information experience, and the value of contentAdvocates for the information experience on any workgroups, councils,product development teams, architecture boards, and similar groupsWhat an IA does—typical tasks, part 2
  • 32IBM Total Information ExperienceIAs in product documentation roles are responsible for thearchitecture of all of the words that are provided as partof a product or other offering, such as:BooksOnline sources of informationProduct-embedded help systems and contentTechnical information on the product web siteJavadocReadme filesText and messages in the product user interfaceWelcome or getting started experiences in the productuser interfaceMultimedia (typically the focus, structure, and words)Learning and training deliverables, such as tutorialsWhat an IA does—scope of responsibilitiesResponsible formeans that if theinformation doesnot meet userneeds, we areheld accountableand expected towork with the restof the team toensure that theproblem is fixed
  • 33IBM Total Information ExperienceIAs can support organizational development goals by:Identifying excellence on the information teamEnsuring that managers are aware of employees who show potential toperform the IA role (and those whose strengths are in other areas)Helping to grow and mentor potential IAs; identifying opportunities forstretch assignmentsHelping management resolve competing pressures; for example, ensuringthat managers are aware of the consequences of focusing IA resource onreactive vs. proactive pursuitsSetting expectations within and beyond the teamEnsuring that managers understand and have the opportunity to influencethe information strategy, architectural focus areas, priorities, and theimplications of decisionsAdvising managers as needed to staff IA projects appropriately based onthe skills needed to complete the tasksWhat an IA does—beyond informationHow well does this playout in your world?
  • 34IBM Total Information ExperienceTechnical documentation roles:IA compared to managerIA compared to team lead or project managerIA compared to infrastructure leadIA compared to editorIA compared to information designerUser experience (UX) roles:IA compared to user experience architectIA compared to usability engineerIA compared to visual designerWhat an IA doesn’t do—IA vs. other rolesDepending on how yourteam is structured,the same personmight perform more than oneof these roles on some teams,but as a role, IA is not aboutthe responsibilities associatedwith these other roles
  • 35IBM Total Information ExperienceIA compared to other roles: ManagerUnlike managers, IAs typically do not own or haveresponsibility for:ResourcesCareer development (though IAs may provide input)Ensuring that individual development goals support businessand technical strategy (though IAs may provide input)Enabling and empowering project leads to make the technicaland execution decisions
  • 36IBM Total Information ExperienceIA compared to other roles: Project managerUnlike team leads or project managers on technical documentationteams, IAs do not own or have responsibility for:The product-specific project plan for technical documentationdeliverables (IA owes design input)Execution of the project plan for technical documentationProject managementSchedulingDefect and issue trackingIAs work best when they have a strong team lead or projectmanagement counterpart, particularly when it comes to mitigating riskand managing dependencies to ensure that the architecture is a viablesolutionIA deliverables should be project-managed and tracked like othertechnical documentation team deliverables
  • 37IBM Total Information ExperienceIA compared to other roles: Infrastructure leadUnlike infrastructure leads, IAs do not own or haveresponsibility for the technical details of the documentationdelivery and implementation, including:Designing solutions for file storage and version controlCreating processes for file storage and version controlInformation builds (if your information delivery vehicles requirebuilds)Information testing (though IAs may participate in testingactivities as a method for bridging architecture andimplementation)Deployment of information
  • 38IBM Total Information ExperienceIA compared to other roles: EditorUnlike technical editors, IAs do not own or haveresponsibility for:The quality of the within-page written informationEnsuring that quality is delivered (based onarchitectural and strategic direction)TerminologyIA deliverables benefit from an editorial reviewIAs and editors can benefit from collaboration onthings like labels and terminology
  • 39IBM Total Information ExperienceIA compared to other roles: Technical writerKey differentiation:The IA role is about breadth and strategy—architecting an informationstrategy for a group of products, functions, and user goals.The technical writer role is about depth and execution—serving assubject matter expert in a particular area and producing detailedinformation that brings to life the information architecture and strategy.Technical writers are great sources of requirements!Unlike technical writers, IAs do not:Write deliverablesConduct technical reviews of writing deliverablesTest quality, completeness, and accuracy of written deliverablesAlthough IAs are typically working on “the next release” while writersare focused on “the current release,” IAs benefit when they provideample opportunity for writers’ input to the strategy. This helps ensurecompleteness and bridges architecture and implementation.
  • 40IBM Total Information ExperienceComparing IAs and other information roles
  • 41IBM Total Information ExperienceIA compared to other roles: UX architectInformation architects are also part of the user experience (UX) teamThe UX architect and the information architect should review andprovide input to each other’s plans, strategies, and architecturalspecificationsThe information experience, strategy, and architecture that the IAcreates is an artifact of the user experienceThe IA should partner with the UX architect on things like userpersonas and product or solution scenariosRemember, an IA is a UX architect for information
  • 42IBM Total Information ExperienceIA compared to other roles: Usability engineerIAs have a focus and specific strategic and architecturaldeliverables that distinguish them from usability engineers anduser-centered design (UCD) practitionersIAs use the principles, techniques, and test methodologies ofusability and user-centered design to architect user-centeredinformation solutionsIAs may drive or conduct validation activities with intended users,either on their own or in partnership with other usability activitiesand professionals
  • 43IBM Total Information ExperienceIA compared to other roles: Other architectsDesigncontent,presentationand deliveryof embeddeduserassistance
  • 44IBM Total Information ExperienceThank you to these additional IBM contributors:Deirdre Longo (another original author of this material)Beth Hettich (another original authors of this material)Michelle CorbinHeather CrognaleDirk DeroosJennifer FellAnn HernandezKen HighMoira McFadden LanyiKevin McBrideLinette WilliamsAcknowledgements
  • 45IBM Total Information ExperienceReferencesGood places for IA on the Web:Boxes and Arrows—http://www.boxesandarrows.comThe Information Architecture Institute—http://iainstitute.orgThe Society for Technical Communication—http://www.stc.orgShameless plug: Check out Intercom magazine’s regular column, “TheStrategic IA,” written by Andrea Ames and Alyson RileyResources:Hackos, JoAnn and Janice Redish. User and Task Analysis for InterfaceDesign. Wiley:1998.Hughes, Mike. Straight talk: Surviving Tough Times as a User AssistanceWriter. UX Matters. Web. 1 May 2013. http://bit.ly/ZVI0J7Hughes, Mike. Users as Decision-Makers. Intercom, February 2009.Morville, Peter and Louis Rosenfeld. (1998). Information Architecture for theWorld Wide Web. Sebastopol, CA: OReilly Media (1998).Wurman, Richard Saul. Peter Bradford, ed. Information Architects. New York:Graphis (1997).
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture Bootcamp:Your Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.Skills: Success Factorsand Avoiding Derailment
  • 47IBM Total Information ExperienceAgendaInformation architecture skillsDerailment factorsHigh-value assignments for strategic information architectsIdentifying and growing potential information architectsCheck out Alyson’s session!Building Effective IA Teams in Resource-Challenged TimesWednesday at 8:30 am, Hanover A/B
  • 48IBM Total Information ExperienceThe IA’s skills—skill with humansUser researchConduct user and task analysisDevelop personasDevelop scenarios, use cases, and user storiesUser advocacyDevelop a deep understanding of users, their tasks,goals, and requirementsBecome their champion without becoming one of them;maintain objectivityNegotiate for user wants and needs during planning anddevelopment processesHuman factorsUnderstand and design in support of human cognitive processes ininformation interactionsValidate models and designs with intended users usinga variety of methods
  • 49IBM Total Information ExperienceThe IA’s skills—skill with modelingAbility to analyze and express complex informationrelationships through modelingAbility to model the user task flowAbility to model information topicsFluency with information architecture models and theirapplication, such as:Use models (for product- and information-use scenarios)Content models (for the building blocksof consistent content)Access models (for navigation patterns,wayfinding, and progressively disclosing information)
  • 50IBM Total Information ExperienceThe IA’s skills—skill with information and designDisciplined creativityAbility to synthesize competing requirements to create innovativesolutionsAbility to create in an ideal world, then collaborate and negotiate backto reality (that is, take incremental steps toward the ideal, givenresource, time, and other constraints)Organizing informationMake the complex clearUnderstand, expose, and deliver information relationshipsthrough navigation, linking, and other retrieval methodsInformation experience designInformation design skills such as minimalism, progressive disclosure,chunking, information presentation, and deliveryInteraction designCommitment to consistency and rigorous attention to detailAbility to simplify and reduce words while maintaining essentialmeaning
  • 51IBM Total Information ExperienceThe IA’s skills—analytic skillsSystems thinking (see backup)Synthesize competing requirements to create innovativesolutionsAnalyze complex relationshipsand strategic ideasFind the patterns inherent in dataCritical thinkingProblem solvingRoot cause analysisTake an abstract, complex or ambiguous challenge and come upwith a concrete, real-world solution proposal
  • 52IBM Total Information ExperienceThe IA’s skills—business skillsCommunication and presentation skillsNegotiation and diplomacyPolitical savvy and ability to networkSkill in understanding and making decisions based onbusiness strategyAble to build a business case and justify architecture,designs, and approaches with customer and businessimpact statements
  • 53IBM Total Information ExperienceThe IA’s skills—leadership skillsVisionPassionStrategic and systems thinkingEnthusiasm for and evangelism of the strategyAbility to influence and drive direction of a large teamWilling to make a decision (and be held accountable, if necessary)Commitment to deliveryAble to commit and deliverDelegating, and delivering through others when appropriateInvestment in others and the health of the teamAble to take input from the team easilyAble to build team capacity (for example, commitment to mentoring,intentional efforts toward filling the pipeline and growing IAs, educatingthe team, and so on)Consistent but not rigid; able to consistently reinforce a message tohelp the team grow
  • 54IBM Total Information ExperienceThe IA’s skills—other soft skillsSelf-motivation (diagnosing a problem and then relentlesslypursuing a meaningful resolution that makes a difference)Emotional intelligence and professional maturityIntelligent fearlessness (being willing to step forward butsmart about when and how)IntegrityRespect (for example, for othersideas and time)Good listening skillsAbility to give credit to others and share the spotlightFlexible, able to change, and able to accept what cannotbe changedComfort working with abstract or ambiguous projects orideas
  • 55IBM Total Information ExperienceCharacteristics that limit IA effectivenessThe wrong personality:Views IA as a promotion strategy (for example, “I just want toget to Senior Writer”) as opposed to a career path with a specificskill set and aptitudesPower mongeringDictatorial for own political means or agendaPassive; waiting for assignments to be doled outTimid; fears speaking up, taking risks, orgracefully challenging an ideaDriven by a “don’t fix it if it’s not broken” attitudeExcessive autonomy or isolationLack of willingness to connect and collaborateViews role in a silo; can’t envision their work relative to othercontent creators around the company, or to the work of otherson the extended user experience team, if there is oneLack of tact
  • 56IBM Total Information ExperienceCharacteristics that limit IA effectivenessThe wrong mindset:Inability to tolerate ambiguityInability or discomfort thinking in the abstract (that is, concretethinkers)Needing rules, a recipe, a cookbook, or “the right answer”Too attached to guidelines; unable to question them or see waysto advocate for legitimate changeNever following guidelines or considering constraintsTendency to get lost in the details(all trees, wrong forest)Can’t see beyond the boundaries oftheir own “book” (all trees, no forest)
  • 57IBM Total Information ExperienceInformationstrategyHigh-value assignments for IAsReactive ProactiveLowHighNature of initiativeBusinessimpactHandlingtranslationissuesBuildingdeliverablesTactical IA(Strategic IA drives the work)Example: Developnew approach forPDF front matterInformationexperience designStrategic IA(Strategic IA does the work)Example: Develop newstrategy for integratingcommunity-generatedcontent into experience
  • 58IBM Total Information ExperienceHow to grow new IAsIAs should be searching for others with “the IA worldview”Watch for talented individuals whose work and input to IA activitiesshows the kinds of skills, personality attributes, and mindset asdescribed on previous chartsProbe potential IA’s interestIAs collaborate with managementWork together to identify backups andsuccession plansHave potential candidates “interviewed”by an IAAsk IA for feedback about a person’s potentialin information architectureIf manager and IA agree that the person has potential…Establish a formal mentoring relationship with an experienced,practicing IAEncourage the candidate to get involved with IA activities, such as theirdivisional or corporate councils or workgroupsCollaborate with IA to identify an IA assignment (and report back tomanager on candidate’s success, issues, and so on)
  • 59IBM Total Information ExperienceGreat assignments for “IA beginners”Design “roadmaps” to informationSee chunks, themes, and organization across a largeinformation setDesign a solution to address specific productand information requirementsResolve information across websites, informationcenter topics, and so onDesign the first-use information experienceStreamline and align many facets of the information experience, such asproduct packaging, technical product information, product websites,information roadmaps, the product “welcome experience,” and so onDesign and administer usability tests aimed at architectural issuesUnderstand human factors, human cognition, and key architecturalconcepts and deliverables, such as retrieval, navigation, roadmaps,and so onDesign a solution for error prevention, recovery, and messagesArchitect across products and the elements of the information experienceParticipate on a corporate council or workgroup, if one existsOwn a piece of or input to corporate deliverables; learn about IA issues
  • 60IBM Total Information ExperienceThank you to these additional IBM contributors:Deirdre LongoJennifer FellAnn HernandezMichelle CorbinBeth HettichMoira McFadden LanyiAcknowledgements
  • 61IBM Total Information ExperienceReferencesMaxwell, John. Attitude 101 and The 360-Degree Leader.Checkland, Peter. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice. 1999.Covey, Stephen. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence and EmotionalIntelligence at Work.Hughes, Mike. Straight talk: Surviving Tough Times as a UserAssistance Writer. UX Matters. Web. 1 May 2013.http://bit.ly/ZVI0J7Wheeler, Benjamin, Gilda Wheeler, and Wendy Church. ItsAll Connected: A Comprehensive Guide to Global Issues andSustainable Solutions: www.facingthefuture.orgEcology, Mind, & Systems: ecomind.wikidot.com
  • 62IBM Total Information ExperienceBackup charts for IA Skills sectionSystems thinking
  • 63IBM Total Information ExperienceSystems thinking, part 1 from wikipedia (of course ;)The process of understanding how things, regarded assystems, influence one another within a wholeAn approach to problem solvingViewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather thanreacting to specific part, outcomes or events, and potentiallycontributing to further development of unintended consequencesA set of habits or practices within a framework that is based onthe belief that the component parts of a system can best beunderstood in the context of relationships with each other andwith other systems, rather than in isolationFocuses on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect
  • 64IBM Total Information ExperienceSystems thinking, part 2 from wikipedia (of course ;)And most importantly for our purposes…Attempts to illustrate how small, catalytic eventsthat are separated by distance and timecan cause significant changes in complex systemsAcknowledges that an improvement in one areacan adversely affect another areaPromotes organizational communicationat all levelsto avoid the silo effect
  • 65IBM Total Information ExperienceThe Iceberg Model Summarized from Its All Connected: A Comprehensive Guide to Global Issues andSustainable Solutions, Benjamin Wheeler, Gilda Wheeler and Wendy Church. www.facingthefuture.orgTrends/patterns of behavior(anticipate) What’s been happening?Systemic structure(design) What is contributing to the patterns?Events(react)What happened?IncreasingleverageMental models(transform) What keeps these patterns going?
  • 66IBM Total Information ExperienceA systems thinking model from ecomind.wikidot.com, Ecology, Mind, & Systems
  • 67IBM Total Information ExperienceHabits of a “systems thinker”
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture BootcampYour Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.IA process: Identifying requirements
  • 69IBM Total Information ExperienceAgenda: Identifying requirementsGather dataBusinessUserCurrent information experienceHistoryPoliticsAnalyze requirementsExtract requirements from dataGroup requirementsPrioritize requirementsAcknowledgementsReferencesBackup—Good stuff we won’t have time to get to
  • 70IBM Total Information Experience1. Before you begin2. Identify sources and gather data3. A closer look at some specific inputsGather business data
  • 71IBM Total Information ExperienceGather business dataStep 1: Before you beginMake sure that you are well-grounded and well-connected in theproduct or information experience that is your focusShow that “you belong” by building enough knowledge of the domain toask intelligent questions—at this phase of the game, you don’t have tohave the answers, but you do need to ask the right questionsBe sure you are experienced in using the current version (if it exists), itsinformation experience (IX), and the content ecosystem that supportsthat IXGather and absorb any development plans and designsFind out where thought leaders are connecting and making decisions,and get involved! Be assertive!Join any relevant product development, product management, or userexperience design teams to stay informed and advocate for contentstrategy and the value of informationNetwork extensively with the extended product team (marketing,support, test, sales, and so on)—let them see your valueFind and enlist a “sponsor” to help you get connected if this is newterritory; a mentor to help you navigate these waters is even better
  • 72IBM Total Information ExperienceBusiness plans and priorities:Business strategyMarket intelligenceTarget customersDevelopment plans and priorities:Product, solution, or service development plansExisting functional requirements, scenarios,use cases, etc.Gather business dataStep 2: Identify sources and types“But I can’t findthis stuff!”Your company MUSThave this data somewhere.You just haven’t madethe right contact yet.Don’t give up.Keep fighting the good fight.“Why?”When you analyze datafrom development, try tofigure out why the plans arewhat they are. Where didthe requirements comefrom? How do you knowthey’re valid?
  • 73IBM Total Information ExperienceLook for the “Why?” behind your company’s business strategy.Is your strategy a response to:Change, challenge, or opportunity in the marketplace?Change in the IT landscape?Change in financial realities or global dynamics?The answers to “Why?” will help you figure out what matters:Discern strategic priorities from point-in-time tacticsDistinguish high-value investment and innovation from low-value “traditions”Identify high-impact opportunities where information can contribute to the successof market plays, key initiatives, or customer requirementsIdentify areas where you can demonstrate that content strategy maps precisely tothe priorities of the enterprise, the business unit, and the product or portfolioIdentify areas where you can demonstrate that content is a high-value product thatcustomers wantIdentify business metrics to which you can connect content strategy outcomesGather business dataWhy you need business strategy data
  • 74IBM Total Information ExperienceGather business dataA closer look at target customersDepending on yourindustry or the size ofyour business, yourcompany may have alayered view of its targetcustomersThe business data thatyou uncover may refer tospecific customers—”Company X” or “Client Y”Tease out which clientlayer the data address inorder to understand whatthe data show about thetarget customerTake note of the way thatspecific messages in theinformation experiencetarget specific clientlayersThe Big Cs:Executives—CEO,CIO, CTO, CFO, etc.Buyers:People who makepurchase decisionsDeployers:People (experts?) whoplan solution roll-outUsers:End users, the focusof the user experienceA layered view of “the client”What do the decision-makers care about?What do the users care about?What issues concern the people whohave to integrate the solution into thecompany environment?
  • 75IBM Total Information Experience1. Before you begin2. Find critical client data3. Identify any known client issuesGather client data
  • 76IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing client dataStep 1: Before you beginGet connected and build deep relationships with your user experience(UX) design team, if you have oneIf you don’t have a UX design team, it’s critical that you network withother members of the extended product team who have insights intothe nature and needs of your client. (This is a good idea in general).Examples of these kinds of people include:Marketing repsSales repsTrainers and education teamsBeta programsSupport repsCustomer advocates or account repsDevelopment team members who interact frequently with clientsYour work to gather and analyze client data depends on good dataabout the client. If you can find the data you need, then prepareyourself: you need to do the research to get the data. Prepare tobecome an agent of change!
  • 77IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing client dataStep 2: Find critical client dataWork hard to really know your client! Find:Personas that define client/buyer/user goals, wants,needs, knowledge, motives, etc.Business scenarios that define the target customer,their organization, their business goals and pain points,the users and the tasks that those users perform with theproduct or solution—in particular, their reason for buyingyour productTask scenarios that define how users interact with theoffering to complete the tasks that contribute to solvingthe larger business goalsExamples of architectures, topologies, deployments,usage scenarios, application, or whatever to achieve aparticular business result with your productUser stories or use cases that fill in the details of eachscenario and highlight how the client will actually use yourproduct(optional) Integration scenarios that define how thetask scenarios of multiple products fit together to solve themost important or difficult problems“No really.I can’t find this stuff!”Create it.Validate it.Share it.More on this to come!“But I can’t find this stuff!”Your company likely has thisdata somewhere—it justmight look a little differentthan you’re used to. Forexample, it might look likesupport call summaries,business intelligence, ormarketing reports.
  • 78IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing client dataStep 3: Identify any known client issuesYou may already have a collection of known client issues. (Validate anddocument them—quotes are great; videos are better.)Use your network!Ask Support: “What kinds of customer calls are you getting? Any trends?”Ask Sales: “What’s the hardest part of your job selling our product? What do yourcustomers like least about the product? How do we measure up to the products andpeople you’re competing against for the sale?”Ask your Product Management and Engineering leads: “What kinds of customer issuesare you hearing about most? What keeps you up at night?”Ask your Marketing representatives: “Are your market messages working as you hadhoped? What kind of feedback are you getting? What ideas are taking hold?”Mine known client issues for data such as:How the product compares to other productsThe success and quality of the product once it’s in real customer handsHow content contributes to the success and quality of the productOpportunities for improvements in the information experience to contribute toimprovements in the total offering or product user experienceRequirements for content, both strategic and low-hanging fruit
  • 79IBM Total Information Experience1. Before you begin2. Analyze content3. Analyze “packaging”4. Analyze people5. Analyze processesGather data about today’s information experience
  • 80IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing today’s information experienceStep 1: Before you begin, part 1To learn about the information experience as a whole, you need to build andleverage a network that includes subject matter experts from every facet andentity that contributes to the information experience—you need their expertiseboth to gather and interpret dataWherever possible, use metrics to distinguish opinion from fact—but don’t try tointerpret the data you collect without others’ insights and experienceLike any system, the informationexperience is comprised ofinterdependent elementsWhile it’s tempting to focus solely onthe content facet, you must see theentire systemTo gain a nuanced and trueunderstanding of how the informationexperience works (and where you’vegot work to do), you need to analyzeeach element and how the systemfunctions as a whole
  • 81IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing today’s information experienceStep 1: Before you begin, part 2Your systems thinking skillsare really getting a workout!Another system impacts theinformation expeirence: theproduct lifecycleWhen assessing the today-state information experience,view it as theclient/buyer/user sees it: aninterconnected series ofproduct interactions facilitatedby contentInterpret the effectiveness ofthe information experience byasking:How well does the experiencefunction in and between eachphase of the product lifecycle?A generalized view ofIBM’s product lifecycle
  • 82IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing today’s information experienceStep 2: Analyze content, part 1Assess content health:How well does the content meetclient/buyer/user needs?Go back to your client data—are thehigh-priority goals, scenarios, andtasks thoroughly covered?Can you easily see the valuepropositions for the product in thecontent ecosystem?Is the content client-centered, task-focused, and high-value?How thoroughly does the content cover the full product lifecycle?Are there gaps or disconnects between the phases of the product lifecycle?Are there content redundancies or inconsistencies that could derail a client?Does the content enable client success in the typical tasks within each phase?How well does the content address typical client content needs?How well does the current information experience address product content suchas up-and-running, getting started, preventing or recovering from errors, and soon?Does the information experience include embedded assistance where appropriate?
  • 83IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing today’s information experienceStep 2: Analyze content, part 2Continued…How well does the content address typical information-seeking behaviors?Starting: identifying relevant sources of interest.Chaining: following and connecting new leads found in an initial content source.Browsing: scanning contents of identified sources for subject affinity.Monitoring: staying informed about developments in a particular subject area.Differentiating: filtering and assessing content sources for usefulness.Extracting: working through a source to find content of interest.How well does the content contribute to a delightful client experience?Is the information experience elegant in its presentation, visual design, etc.?Are there opportunities to simplify or innovate?Are there opportunities to improve the information experience, such as:Improvements to the product that result in a need for less content?Tighter integration between interaction (UI) and information?Simplified information architecture—fewer sources, fewer pages, designed paths?
  • 84IBM Total Information ExperienceHow do you measure high value content? That depends!If your goal is to convince others that high value content matters, look at:How does my content contribute to clients purchase decisions? Is there click-throughdata and contributions to conversions on marketing pages that I can reference?How does my content contribute to clients perceptions of product quality? Whats therelationship between quality problems in my content and known quality problems withthe product?How does my content contribute to client satisfaction with our products?How does my content contribute to the product visibility (and thus the sales cycle andrevenue streams) in the marketplace? What kind of social capital is being generatedaround my content? Whos active, and how active are they? How frequently and withwhat impact am I engaging with customers through my content? What are they talkingabout—nits, or requirements for content or broader product strategy? Does the sum ofthe social conversation support my company’s business strategy and advance theeminence of our brand?If your goal is to assess the effectiveness of your content and experience, look at:Heuristic evaluations (we just talked about this)Traditional web statisticsAnalyzing today’s information experienceStep 2: Analyze content, part 3We’ll talk more aboutbusiness metrics later on—let’s look at web stats now…
  • 85IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing today’s information experienceStep 2: Analyze content, part 4Interpret current web statistics to understand how clients:Search for the information—whether the content is optimized for search engines(SEO); what click-through and bounce rates show about user paths and successEnter the experience—whether designed entry points are effectiveThink about the information space—what search terms they enter, what topics theypick as they browse found contentNavigate the information space—whether user paths make sense relative to yourunderstanding of their business goals and tasksUse the information—how actual usage patterns differ from designed or predictedusage patterns; how much time they spend on certain pages; whether they’reaccessing content on mobile devices, and so onValue the information—any social interaction to consider?Web stats give us hints at the core issues:Is the information experience performing in the ways that Iexpect it to, based on user actions? Is it effective?Is my content high-value, or just highly-findable?
  • 86IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing today’s information experienceStep 3: Analyze “packaging”Consider “packaging” aspects of the ecosystem:Is the presentation of content effective and predictable across the ecosystem? Doesthe visual design of content support the branding strategy for the product?Where and how is your content delivered to the client? Lots of places? One place? Dothe delivery vehicles integrate well with each other? Is the content easily accessiblefrom the client’s context or point of need?How findable is your content across delivery vehicles? Are the signposts for wayfindingvisible, usable, and predictable across the ecosystem? Is your content progressivelydisclosed in support of clients’ need for increasing depth or breadth of content?In the information experience, severalmediators come between theclient/buyer/user and the content.We call these mediators “packaging”:Presentation—the visual designof the contentDelivery—the vehicle used topublish the content for clientaccessNavigation—the various ways inwhich the user finds the content
  • 87IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing today’s information experienceStep 3: Analyze peopleWho are the human players?Internal playersProfessional content producersMarketing teamSales enablement content teamEducation teamsBeta programs teamsSupport teamsProduct documentation teamsNon-professional content producersSubject matter expertsClient-facing personnelExternal playersBusiness partnersClients, with all their social networking tools and capabilitiesWhat unique value does each player contribute to the informationexperience?Look for:Strengths—these are your assets!Mission overlap—these are your pitfalls!Ways to maximize organizationalcapabilities—this is your vision!
  • 88IBM Total Information Experience1. Before you begin2. Do a little archaeology3. Assess the treasure you findGather historical data
  • 89IBM Total Information ExperienceGather historical dataStep 1: Before you beginFind people who represent multiple perspectivesYour view of history depends on who you areGet multiple views to triangulate upon “truth”Go in with humilityYou may have the latest tools, techniques, and technology, but these alone will notguarantee your successStart from the assumption that people have good motives and are doing their bestDig deep, and wear your systems-thinking hatPay attention to organizational dynamics, significant relationships, cause-and-effect,and systemic issuesLook past obvious issues—try to understand pressures, motives, and circumstancesDon’t let it drag you downLearn from the past—but don’t believe everything you hear“History is bunk.” –Henry Ford“Those unable tocatalog the past aredoomed to repeat it.”—Lemony Snicket
  • 90IBM Total Information ExperienceGather historical dataStep 2: Do a little archaeology on the content ecosystem1. Who was here before?2. What did they do?3. Why did they do it?4. What worked well?5. What didn’t work so well?6. What challenges did they encounter?7. What did they learn?
  • 91IBM Total Information ExperienceGather historical dataStep 3: Assess the archaeological treasure you findWhat did you learn?Any lessons from history that canhelp you form a strategy?Did develop a better appreciation forwhy things are the way they are?What failures from the past can youturn into future opportunities?Use your new historical perspectiveShow respect for—win the respect of—those who have been there beforeIdentify potential roadblocks—politics, resources, schedules, skills, peopleIdentify potential heroes and pre-heroes (read: villains that you haven’twon over yet)Go in fore-warned and fore-armedPrepare effective messages to counter arguments that history suggests youare likely to encounter
  • 92IBM Total Information Experience1. Before you begin2. Consider political factors that may influenceyour success3. Manage stakeholdersGather data about the political landscape
  • 93IBM Total Information ExperienceGather data about the political landscapeStep 1: Before you begin—get your head in the gameIf you’re not there already, content strategy requires you to step into the worldof politicsThink of it as a game—moving pieces on a boardYou can’t touch the pieces directly to move them where you want themYou have to inspire them to moveYou inspire them by figuring out what they care about, and speaking to thatIt doesn’t have to be an evil gameLook for win-win alliances and opportunitiesDiscover and play to people’s strengthsEnjoy finding kindred spirits in the game—don’t get bogged down by pieces on theboard that refuse to moveEnjoy the wins—be sure to share the rewardsLearn from the losses—keep your eye on the end game on not on emotional setbacksMake smart for the greater good—but remember who you are
  • 94IBM Total Information ExperienceGather data about the political landscapeStep 2: Consider political factors that influence success1. Do I have the right big picture view of what myorganization cares about?Executives?Visionaries?Management?The proletariat? (political metaphor, you know)2. Where are there opportunities for me to connect mystrategy to initiatives in which the organization isalready investing?What problems does my strategy help solve?What opportunities does my strategy help maximize?Keep asking:What are my options?Where are my opportunities?3. Whose agendas do I need to understand to be successful?Which influencers can help me? What are their agendas?Which influencers could block me? What are their agendas?4. Put it all together—which path forward seems most promising? Where do youneed to campaign? Where do you need to gain allies?
  • 95IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalyzing the political landscapeStep 3: Manage your stakeholdersYour best political asset—your stakeholders!A rigorous stakeholder management process will help you takerigorous advantage of this key assetThink through the ways that your stakeholders can help you—start by identifying and analyzing:Their status relative to your project—advocate, supporter, neutral,critic, blockerTheir top interests and hot issuesTheir key performance indicators (KPIs) and metricsThe level of support you desire from themThe role on your project that you desire for themThe actions that you want them to take (and their priority)The messages that you need to craft for them to enable theoutcome you wantThe actions and communication that you need to make happenwith each stakeholder to achieve your desired outcomeKeep your stakeholder management plan current“Stakeholdermanagement iscritical to thesuccess of everyproject in everyorganization … Byengaging the rightpeople in the rightway in your project,you can make a bigdifference to itssuccess...and to your career.”—Rachel ThompsonSource and freestakeholdermanagementworksheet here:Thompson, Rachel.StakeholderManagement:PlanningStakeholderCommunication.MindTools. Web.12 April 2013.http://bit.ly/8UnUdj
  • 96IBM Total Information Experience1. Before you begin2. Extract requirements from the business, user,historical, and political data you collected3. Articulate requirements effectively4. Group requirements5. Prioritize requirementsIdentify requirements
  • 97IBM Total Information ExperienceIdentify requirementsStep 1: Before you begin—procedural overviewdetermine the importance of individual requirementsto user success — to product success — to business successall the data you collectedbecome requirementsbusiness priorities, market plays, competitive analysis, target customers[why your company produced the product]client goals, tasks, work context, wants, needs, and motives[why clients purchase the product in the first place]what the business needs and values (and doesn’t)what the client needs and values (and don’t)that you prioritize to identify strategic focus areas
  • 98IBM Total Information ExperienceIdentify requirementsStep 2: Extract requirements from dataThink deeply about what the data you collected shows you—mine thedata for:Themes or systemic issuesProblemsOpportunitiesReflect on history and the current stateDon’t think about the future just yetConsider:What is the want or need?Who wants or needs it?Why do they want or need it?How might the want or need be addressed? (Caution: don’t get too farinto implementation details at this stage.)Each need is a requirement!
  • 99IBM Total Information ExperienceIdentify requirementsStep 3: Articulate requirements effectivelyWrite requirements as simply as possible:Pragmatic Marketing recommends (and we like)this approach:[Persona] has [problem] with [frequency].[Alyson and Andrea] have [a hard time focusing onthe task at hand when they are having fun makingcharts for LavaCon] [pretty much all the time].Pragmatic Marketing also says that the bestrequirements are SMART:Specific—precisely what to achieveMeasurable—all stakeholders can determine if theobjectives are being metAchievable—attainable objectivesRealistic—doable with available resourcesTime-bound—when the desired results must be achievedPragmaticMarketing’s5 Pitfalls ofRequirementWriting1. Not knowing theaudience2. Ambiguity3. Squeezing asolution into theproblem4. Not making formfollow function5. Not having aholistic approachwho what why where when howX
  • 100IBM Total Information ExperienceIdentify requirementsStep 4: Group requirementsGroup requirements into categories tomake prioritizing them a little easierPick the group that makes the most sensefor your work—here are some examples:By area of impact (from these charts):Requirements to fulfill client/buyer/user wants and needsRequirements to support business strategy and objectives (and all thatentails)Requirements that address historical issuesRequirements that address issues in the political landscapeBy type (suggested by Pragmatic Marketing):Functional requirements—capabilities neededPerformance requirements—capacity, speed, ease-of-use, etc.Constraint requirements—conditions that limit the strategy or designInterface requirements—interactions neededSecurity requirements—such as client privacy or government mandateCard sort image thanks to UX Matters
  • 101IBM Total Information ExperienceIdentify requirementsStep 5: Prioritize requirements, part 1Prioritizing requirements is an art—but we can follow a repeatable process toensure rigor and high-quality outcomes:1. Assign each requirement a low, medium, or high priority according to its:Value to the clientHelps achieve the business goal for which the product was purchased in the firstplace (speeds time-to-value)Helps complete a goal or task (speeds time-to-success)Solves a problem—better yet, prevents a problem (increases customer satisfaction)Improves user experience (increases customer satisfaction)Simplifies; delights (increases customer loyalty)Value to business strategyContributes to product visibility and success in the marketplaceContributes to brand recognition and mindshareValue to developmentSupports product functionality or capabilitiesSaves resources (political note: content band-aids don’t save money long-term!)
  • 102IBM Total Information ExperienceIdentify requirementsStep 5: Prioritize requirements, part 2…continued:2. Identify the “must-do” items, and mark them high priority. Caution:Think critically about those must-do items! Why are they must-do? Askyourself:Do these requirements support user needs or business strategy? Or are they“because we’ve always done it this way” requirements? Or “because I think it shouldbe like this” requirements?Do the requirements yield high-value content that maps to clients’ real-world businessgoals? Can you prove it? Or are they “because we must have one help topic per userinterface panel” kinds of requirements?Is it because “development told me to” or “marketing insisted?” That doesn’tnecessarily mean the requirement is really a high priority one. What does youranalysis tell you?3. Ensure that requirements high in value to your clients, your productstrategy, and your overarching business strategy are marked higher inpriority than those items that are only valuable to one or two of thoseareas.4. Group items by priority, from high to low.
  • 103IBM Total Information ExperienceIdentify requirementsStep 5: Prioritize requirements, part 3…continued:5. Rank high-priority items by doability:Identify any low-hanging fruit (easy or quick to address).Do you have the necessary time, skill, and technology resources?Does the team have the resources to implement the solution?6. Do the same for medium priority items.7. Hang on to the low-priority items for now; depending on time and resources, youmay be able to incorporate them into your information strategy and architecture.8. Share and validate your focus area prioritization with stakeholders:Start at home first: get feedback from your content team. Use this time to:Help the team think strategically about the futureCollaborate with management about resource requirements and the best ways todeploy skills strategically against high-priority workHelp your executive management chain think about the business value of contentthrough discussions of your focus items and priorities.Then get feedback from your extended offering team and your users.
  • 104IBM Total Information ExperienceReferencesAmes, Andrea and Alyson Riley. Strategic information architecture: The informationuser experience. Intercom (October 2012). 28-32.Ellerby, Lindsay. Analysis, plus synthesis: Turning data into insights. UX Matters (27April 2009). Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/C2vQ6Ellis, David. (1989). A behavioural model for information retrieval system design.Journal of information science, 15 (4/5): 237-247.Johnson, Steve. Writing the market requirements document. Pragmatic Marketing.Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/SiTrF2Kalbach, James. “Designing for Information Foragers: A Behavioral Model forInformation Seeking on the World Wide Web.” Internetworking, Internet TechnicalGroup newsletter. Web. 20 April 2013. http://bit.ly/11Ryc15Kalbach, James and Aaron Gustafson. Designing Web Navigation: Optimizing the UserExperience. Cambridge: MA: O’Reilly Media, 2007.Plowman, Kerry J. Five pitfalls of requirement writing. Pragmatic Marketing. Web.12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/RWKbUYSehlhorst, Scott. Writing good requirements—the big ten rules. Tyner Blain blog.Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/13Y7t0Thompson, Rachel. Stakeholder management: Planning stakeholder communication.MindTools. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/8UnUdj
  • 105IBM Total Information ExperienceBackup charts for IA Requirements sectionGood stuff we won’t have time to get to(but that might be helpful to you)
  • 106IBM Total Information ExperienceYour company’s business strategy might be layered:Enterprise-level strategyBusiness unit strategies that support the enterprise strategicintent and focus itemsProduct or portfolio strategy that delivers on business unit andenterprise strategyMine business strategy data to discover:Customer prioritiesCompany prioritiesInvestment areas for future growthPlan for balancing competing opportunities and focus areasRoadmap for growthA closer look at business strategy
  • 107IBM Total Information ExperienceA closer look at market intelligenceMarket research happens at every layer of an enterpriseFind channels into each layer and investigate things like:Sales support resourcesCustomer referencesMarket insights and intelligenceFind the people who are the keepers of this information—build yournetworkAsk colleagues in product management, user experience design, marketing,development, sales, etc.Do your own sleuthing! See what’s going on in industry literature and blogs, customergroups and social mediaUse market intelligence data to determine:What’s important to our customersWhat problems our customers are trying to solveWhat our competitors are doing and how you measure up (and does this vary by thingslike geographic location or industry?)
  • 108IBM Total Information ExperienceMining client dataInformation architects mine client data todetermine:The identity of the target clientsThe business goals for which clientspurchase the product, solution, serviceor whatever in the first placeThe tasks that clients must do toachieve their goalsThe tasks that clients have to do as aresult of product or solution designConnections to other products, solutionsor informationCurrent and potential problem areasConnect dots & synthesize:Client business goals+Client problems+Business strategy=A great way to identifyopportunities wherehigh-value contentcan make a differencethat matters to business!!
  • 109IBM Total Information ExperienceWhat the information experience is formaterialobjects, actions—owned, controlled, repeatablecommodities made of scarce resourcesimmaterialknowledge, competencies, emotions—not owned, boxed, or controlledavailable in abundance*Adapted from Miikka Leiononen’s “Melt,” here*Effective content ecosystemsgenerate profit for the businessand value for the client:In the knowledge economy,profit is created by “stuff”but value is created by content:new economyold economyCompany-generatedinformation
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture Bootcamp:Your Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.IA Process: Defining success—Metrics for IAs
  • 111IBM Total Information ExperienceBefore you begin—rethinking metricsPlan to sell to two different audiencesMap stakeholders to metricsMap content metrics to stakeholder metricsSet metrics-based goalsPlan for a closed-loop processPlan for story-tellingAgenda: Defining success—metrics for IAs
  • 112IBM Total Information ExperienceStep 1: Before you begin—rethink metrics, part 1Problem: Metrics have gotten a bad rapNumbers can be hard for word peopleThe right numbers are hard for everyoneGetting metrics to work for you requires a significant shift in thinkingSolution: Rethink metricsMetrics are another form of audience analysis (who cares about what?)Metrics are another form of usability testing (what works for whom?)Motivation for change: Metrics are a powerful tool for getting what youwant (and making sure you want the right things)Metrics transform opinion into factMetrics remove emotion from analysisStrategize with metrics: Use metrics at every phaseBeginning: identify opportunity, prove the strategy is rightMiddle: show incremental progress, course-correctEnd: prove value and earn investment for the future
  • 113IBM Total Information ExperienceStep 1: Before you begin—rethink metrics, part 2A strategist is (among other things) a story-teller:Define the right visionTell a compelling, true story that inspires people to buy inWhat makes a story true? Facts—things you can prove.What makes a story compelling? It speaks to what matters most.What matters most? Depends on your audience. Duh, right?Prove the value of information architecture and content with metricsValue is in the eye of the beholder.Who’s your “beholder?” Understand who your beholders actually are—thatis, the real decision-makers and influencers in your world. (Manage yourstakeholders!)Use metrics that target actual decision-makers.Your actual decision-makers are probably business people—executives,managers, and others who hold the purse-strings.Figure out what your audience values—their metrics for success.
  • 114IBM Total Information ExperienceStep 1: Before you begin—rethink metrics, part 3So what audience are we speaking to when we talk about things like this?Site visitorsPage hitsVisitor locationMost popular pagesLeast popular pagesBounce rateTime spent on pageReferrals and referrersSearch termsEtc.
  • 115IBM Total Information ExperienceStep 2: Defining success for different audiencesAudience 1: Business peopleUnless you can make a direct connection between your IA metrics and themetrics that drive business, you are telling the wrong story for thisaudience.You need this audience! The business community funds us. We have tosell our vision to them, with a metrics story that resonates with them.We must learn to speak “business”—that is, prove the value of contentand the information experience using metrics that matter to business.Audience 2: Content peopleTypically many kinds of content people will help implement an informationarchitecture—your work may span departments and business units.Content people tend to reflect the values of their leadership and businessunit in which they’re located.This means that even kindred spirits—other content people—can havewidely different goals and metrics.Your job is to define common ground by speaking to what matters most tothis audience, too.
  • 116IBM Total Information ExperienceSelling information architecture to a business audienceThe metrics that we use to build effectivecontent strategies don’t resonate with mostexecutives, managers, and finance people.Sometimes we “talk to ourselves”—that is,use metrics that resonate with contentpeople, not the actual people we need tosupport our strategy.“Page hits” resonate with us. “Sales leads”resonates with business.You cannot directly connect things like pagehits and bounce rates to core businessmetrics.You need an informational professional’sintuition to know how content supportsbusiness metrics—most business peopledon’t have that intuition.The business audience funds us. We have tosell our vision and prove our value to them,with a metrics story that speaks to whatthey care about most.Examplebusiness metrics:Revenue streamsSales leadsCost per leadCustomer satisfactionCustomer loyaltyReturn on investment (ROI)Time to valueMarket shareMindshare
  • 117IBM Total Information ExperienceProving the business value of content—IBM exampleShamelessad:Watch for theMay issue ofSTC’s Intercommagazine for anew article thatwe wrote onproving thebusiness valueof content.At IBM, we’re learning to tell a better story for a business audienceWe conducted a survey from 2010-2012 with clients and prospectiveclients about the value of content—here’s the hot-off-the-press data:
  • 118IBM Total Information ExperienceSelling content strategy to a content audienceAnalyze each team that contributes to your information architectureIn what business unit are they located?Who are their executives, sponsors, and stakeholders?Who “grades them” on their performance?Who funds them?What matters to them?How do they measure their progress or results?What are they doing well (both in your analysis and theirs)?Where can they improve (both in your analysis and theirs)?Identify areas of similarity and differenceWhere do their goals align with yours? build bridges!Where do their goals conflict with yours? build business cases!Use metrics to craft a story that:Shows problems and opportunities that the content team cares aboutMaps in key areas to their goals for contentDiverges from their current goals in ways that would increase their value to sponsorsand stakeholders
  • 119IBM Total Information ExperienceStep 3: Map stakeholders to metricsRemember the stakeholder managementplan? Here’s another place where it providesvalue.Be highly intentional about making sure thatyour metrics plan includes data that map tothe things your key stakeholders care about.This mapping activity will help you:Validate your strategy—does your work alignwith mission-critical organizational objectives?Prepare persuasive communications for yourkey decision-makers—do you have theframework for a strong story to connect inmeaningful ways with your variousstakeholders?
  • 120IBM Total Information ExperienceMetrics for an audience of business peopleUse the research you didduring the today-stateanalysis phaseTarget the key decisions-makers—those who hold thepurse-stringsIdentify what the keybusiness decision-makerscare aboutUse language that resonateswith that business audienceRemember: unless you cantie a particular goal or resultto a measurement that thestakeholder cares about, thatresult ultimately doesn’tmatterDevelopment costsMarket shareLines of codeComplianceQuality and test resultsDevelopmentExecutiveCall volumeCall lengthCustomer satisfactionTicket deflectionSupportExecutiveViable leadsSales growthProduct performanceSalesExecutiveROICost per leadCampaign performanceConversion metricsMarketingExecutiveExample metricsStakeholder
  • 121IBM Total Information ExperienceMetrics for an audience of content peopleMap thepeople whodelivercontent tothe metricsthey careaboutRememberthat eachcontent teamhas their owndecision-makers who:Approve theirgoalsDeterminetheir fundingDeterminetheir futuresProductdocumentation teamDevelopers whopublish whitepapersand case studiesProduct communityforums and wikisWeb support teamCall center teamSales enablementEducation & trainingBeta programsWeb teamSocial teamEvent teamExample associatedcontent teamsDev costMarket shareLines of codeComplianceQuality and testCall volumeCall lengthCustomer sat.TicketdeflectionViable leadsSales growthProductperformanceROICost per leadCampaignperformanceConversionmetricsExamplemetricsLines of text, number ofpages, etc.Cost per unit producedWeb trafficNumber of forumparticipantsAmount of webinformation producedNumber of calls reducedTime of calls reducedCost per unit producedProofs of Concept (PoCs)to saleNumber of classesBeta programparticipantsCost per unit producedWeb trafficClick-throughsLikes and sharesConversionsCollateral distributedCost per unit producedExamplecontent metricsDevelopmentExecutiveSupportExecutiveSalesExecutiveMarketingExecutiveStakeholder
  • 122IBM Total Information ExperienceMetrics that reflect client valuesWhat are your clients’ metrics?Do your clients value the same things that your business values?How do you know?Can you prove it?Key idea: think of yourself as a partner in your clients’ success (this isone of IBM’s core leadership competencies).Leverage network relationships with client-facing personnel. (Better yet,develop those relationships yourself.) Use those relationships todiscover, prioritize, and validate client concerns. Here’s a simple list toget you started:ROITime-to-successTime-to-valueEase of useEase of maintenance and supportFunctional priorities
  • 123IBM Total Information ExperienceStep 4: Map content metrics to stakeholder metricsTie your IA metrics to the metrics that matter most to your stakeholdersso you can tell a story that inspires the outcomes you want.This means researching how content influences the metrics that aremost important to the specific people you need for success.Start your research with these hints:direct link to mindshareHow does content shape clients’perceptions of your company?direct link to ROIHow does content influencecustomer satisfaction?direct link to customer loyaltyHow does content impactproduct quality?direct link to the revenue streamHow does content drivepurchase decisions?direct link to customer valueHow does content speed usersuccess and time-to-value?
  • 124IBM Total Information ExperienceStep 5: Set metrics-based goalsSo what are the goals for your information architecture? Express those goals inthe form of business metrics and content metrics. Some examples:Create high quality, highlyusable content delivered in anelegant informationexperience.Sentiment—nature ofsocial dialogue, etc.Direct feedbackPerceptions ofcompany (mindshare)Create high value contentthat speeds customer time tosuccess.Web trafficDirect feedbackRatingsShares (social)Customer satisfaction(ROI)Contribute to product qualitythrough by simplifying theamount of content in the userexperience.Reach—visits, etc.Engagement—referrals,etc.Product quality(customer loyalty)Contribute to revenue streamthrough referrals fromtechnical content that becomesales leads.Reach—visits, etc.Engagement—referrals,etc.Purchase decisions(revenue)Sample content goalsSample IA metricsBusiness metrics
  • 125IBM Total Information ExperienceStep 6: Plan for a closed-loop processClosed loop: end up at the beginning!Start with metrics—use at project outset to:Identify problems and opportunitiesDefine the visionProve that the vision is rightContinue with metrics—use during implementation to:Measure the success of your progress in small incrementsStay on-target through implementationDetermine when it’s time to course-correct (before change gets expensive)Keep your sponsors and stakeholders engaged throughout the long haulEnsure that you remain connected to the broader goals and metrics of the surroundingbusinessEnsure that you stay responsive and adapt to changeEnd with metrics—use at project conclusion to:Prove the business value of cultivating an effective content ecosystemProve the business value of your work—enhance your credibility and careerEncourage future investment in the content ecosystem
  • 126IBM Total Information ExperienceWhat your metrics give you:The “black and white” part of your strategyThe facts that prove your strategy is a good oneAn argument that speaks to the analytical mindWhat your metrics don’t give you:A guaranteed successful “sell” to your stakeholdersA vision that inspires people to believeA story that speaks to the emotional heartThink through the content, tactics, and rhetorical devices that will sellyour visionAristotle had it right:Ethos—your credibility as a speaker (professionalism; authority)Logos—the logic of your argument; the clarity of your message and evidence,using either inductive (bottom-up) or deductive (top-down) reasoningPathos—an emotional appeal, vivid storytelling, creative envisioningThe point? Be sure that your metrics help you gather all the data youneed to tell an ethos—logos—pathos storyStep 7: Plan for story-tellingEXPERT
  • 127IBM Total Information ExperienceReferencesBhapkar, Neil. 8 KPIs Your Content Marketing MeasurementsShould Include. Content Marketing Institute. Web. 12 April 2013.http://bit.ly/Wnb7CyKlipfolio. The KPI Dashboard—Evolved. Web. 12 April 2013.http://bit.ly/LhzeL9Muldoon, Pamela. 4 metrics every content marketer needs tomeasure: Interview with Jay Baer. Content Marketing Institute.Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/X8IvMJThompson, Rachel. Stakeholder management: Planning stakeholdercommunication. MindTools. Web. 12 April 2013. http://bit.ly/8UnUdj
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture BootcampYour Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.IA process: Scenario-driven IA
  • 129IBM Total Information ExperienceAgenda: Scenario-driven information architectureWho cares about scenarios?Introduction to scenariosThe scenario processUsing existing scenariosCreating new scenariosBridging architecture and implementationAcknowledgementsReferencesBackup—Good stuff we won’t have time to get toCase studiesA few examples
  • 130IBM Total Information ExperienceWho cares about scenarios?Current economic pressures have raised the stakes:We need to recession-proof our jobs and careersWe must demonstrate business-critical value-addWe must use scarce resources strategically and with high impactScenario-driven information architecture provides a method to:Improve product and information usabilityHelp us better understand our users and what they doHelp us make informed design decisionsHelp us design the information experience according to how customerswill use the productAlign the user experience for the whole productImprove information development team efficiency and effectivenessEliminate low-value content (and corresponding work)Deliver high-value content that solves client business problems
  • 131IBM Total Information ExperienceIntroduction to scenarios
  • 132IBM Total Information ExperienceIntroduction: OverviewScenarios are stories withpeople performing tasks to achieve goals
  • 133IBM Total Information ExperienceUsefulRealisticCompleteGoal-orientedEnd-to-endSpecificCoordinatedReusableAccurateIntroduction: Characteristics of a good scenario
  • 134IBM Total Information ExperienceBusiness scenario—tells the customer business storyThe target customerTheir organization and stakeholdersTheir business goals and pain pointsThe users and the high priority tasks that they perform with our productsTask scenario—tells the hands-on user’s storyThe high-level task flowHow users interact with our products to complete the tasks thatcontribute to solving the larger business goalsIntegration scenario—tells the end-to-end integration storyHow the task scenarios of multiple products fit togetherHow the task scenarios of multiple products span multiple users typesHow the task scenarios of multiple products solve the mostimportant/difficult problemsIntroduction: Scenarios with different scopes
  • 135IBM Total Information ExperienceScenarios don’t belong everywhere,but should affect almost everything.Use scenarios internally to influence content design and developmentScenarios inform your design decisions and informationWhen used like this, readers don’t ever see the actual scenariosExternalize scenarios to customers, when appropriate, to help themunderstand complex solutions or new paradigmsDescribe solution deployments in the form of a story withtechnically rich detailWhen used like this, readers walk through the scenarioIntroduction: Scenario-driven IA
  • 136IBM Total Information ExperienceThe scenario process
  • 137IBM Total Information ExperienceproductteamusersDefine allrelevant usersBAOverview: The scenario-driven IA processFind existingproduct scenarioEvaluate existingproduct scenarioAdapt existingproduct scenarioForm multi-Disciplinary teamGather data fornew scenario—or—Validate theproduct scenarioDevelop thenarrativeDefine producttask flowsAdd informationuse to scenarioCreate informationtask model
  • 138IBM Total Information ExperiencePath AGood scenarios might already have been created foryour content or product areaInvestigate with your product team:User experience (UX) architectUser interface (UI) or interaction designerUsability practitionerIf you don’t have any of the above, consult with:Engineering leadsProduct managementSalesMarketingTechnical educationSupportExisting scenarios, step 1: Find a scenario
  • 139IBM Total Information ExperienceThe scenario needs to describe your users performing the tasks theyneed to do to achieve their goals/business objectives.Does it address your users—all of them, with the level of detailthat you need?Does it address your users’ goals and tasks—all of them, includingthose that might take place before and after product usage?Does the scenario accurately portray the user’s environment?If you don’t know how to answer these questions, talk with a userexperience architect or with people on your extended product team whohave experience with customers. Cultivate relationships with marketing,support, and sales in particular.Existing scenarios, step 2: Evaluate
  • 140IBM Total Information ExperienceIf an existing scenario doesn’t answer all yourquestions, you need to adapt or expand it until itserves your purposes.At this point, your path will start to look like the pathfor Option B, creating a new scenario….Existing scenarios, step 3: AdaptPath B
  • 141IBM Total Information ExperiencePath BForm a multidisciplinary team with representatives from:Technical communicationUser experience (UX) and user interface (UI) or interaction designMarketingEngineeringSalesService and supportCoordinate with others so the scenarios you create will work well with scenariosfrom other teams or product areas.Work directly with users.Note: If you can’t work with users, find a “surrogate” in your company.Define your role on the team:In some cases, all you will have to do is get the ball rolling and thenshepherd/participate in the process.In some cases, you may have to play a more active role.New scenario, step 1: Form team
  • 142IBM Total Information ExperienceGather the data that provide the foundation for your scenario:Customer stakeholders and users, their business challenges, the costs ofthose challenges, and goals (you will do this in a lot of detail, as well, butfor now, gain a general understanding)The value to customers that the product provides for their challengesThe value of the solution to your company (it’s helpful to have theproduct/portfolio business and technical strategies available)Your company’s stakeholders, including goals, pain points, and costsA prioritized list of target user tasksThe goals for the user experience, including success metricsDocument this information—some within the scenario definition andsome as background/reference material.Use your multidisciplinary team to ensure that you have targeted theright scope and context for your scenario.New scenario, step 2: Gather data
  • 143IBM Total Information ExperienceDefine user roles: Who should the users be? Sources for thisinformation include:Design specifications from product engineeringUser experience documentsResearch: Who are the actual users? Sources of this informationinclude:Market intelligenceYour own research with usersDefine user responsibilities: What tasks do the users need toperform? What business problems are they tyring to solve?Define user skills: What must users know so that they cansuccessfully perform tasks?Identify contextual and environmental factors that influence thescenario.New scenario, step 2: Define users
  • 144IBM Total Information Experience1. Document the scenario as a story.Include:ActorsTasksMotivationsInformation flow2. Create a use case diagramthat depicts the flows anddependencies that you identify.3. Develop examples that makeeach use case concrete andtestable.4. If you lack information,make an assumption anddocument it. (You validate yourassumptions later in the process.)New scenario, step 3: Develop narrative
  • 145IBM Total Information Experience1. List the tasks that support usersaccomplishing the goals identifiedin the scenario.2. Organize the tasks into a setof task flows.3. Build a model of the tasks:What are the tasks?What is the sequence in whichthe user performs the tasks?What are the high-level tasks?What are the low-level tasks?Step 1 Step 2New scenario, step 4: Create product task flow
  • 146IBM Total Information Experience1. Expose any assumptions that you made so that the diverse minds onyour multidisciplinary team can correct, refine, and validate them.2. Leverage the experience and insights of your multidisciplinary team tovalidate your audience description, the goals of your scenario, the taskflow, and so on.3. Test the scenario with actual users.— If you don’t currently have contacts or relationships with actual users,make it a priority to grow and cultivate those relationships.— Make a business case to key stakeholders to inspire them to help youmake this happen.— Use the network of your multidisciplinary team to help you get access tousers.— Find out where client/buyer/user interaction is happening in yourbusiness, and explore ways to get involved.4. If you cannot get access to real customers, use the “surrogates”discussed earlier.Next step for all scenarios: Validate!
  • 147IBM Total Information ExperienceCreate unique scenarios that describe information use Information delivery: Where is the information? Can users getthere? Information access: How do users find what they want? How dothey:Learn about what the product can do for them?Learn to do particular tasks?Get more information about options?Troubleshoot problems?— Information retrieval and delivery: How do search, indexes,navigation, embedded assistance, progressive disclosure, relatedlinks, and so on help users in various scenarios?— Information updates: How do users get updated information?How do automatic updates & downloads match various scenarios?Make sure scenarios are informed by personas and information abouthow the product is usedNext step for all scenarios: Add information use
  • 148IBM Total Information ExperienceWhich of the personas is my target user? What are their goals and tasks?Where does my product/capability/technology fit in the total user experience?How does the user get the value out of the product or solution?What is the cross-technology total information experience? How well does itwork for each persona or target role?Where are the cross-technology integration tasks documented? Where is thesolution documented?What information can make the pain points less painful?Can we reduce information through better technology integration?If it’s difficult to document, can we improve the user experience throughbetter technology integration?Is there an opportunity for information to assist in the sales cycle?What access to information does my target user have? (Do they have internetaccess?)Information use in scenarios: Tech comm-y ?s
  • 149IBM Total Information ExperienceCommunicate scenarios details to the writing team tobuild a shared understanding of priorities: Order of tasks Which tasks to emphasize (and not) Appropriate level of detail What high-value content looks like (domain expertise vs. “click this”) Expose gaps between tasks, across components, or among relatedproducts Details to include in examplesYou’re the user advocate! Always ask yourself: What would the user want to know now? What would the user do next? When you were first learning the product, what did you need to know?What insights did your “beginner’s mind” give you into the userexperience?Bridging architecture & implementation
  • 150IBM Total Information ExperienceHow do you help tacticalIAs and writers get fromthe architecture to theimplementation of aninformation deliverable?Start with the producttask flows:What tasks do usersperform, in whatsequence?Think beyond theproduct user interface(a single task mightspan windows)To each task, attach onlythe necessary conceptsand referenceinformation at the pointin the task flow whereusers need to knowthem.Bridging architecture & implementation: Tasks > topicsProcedure 1 Procedure 2conceptreferenceconceptconceptreference
  • 151IBM Total Information ExperienceThank you to these additional IBM contributors:Deirdre Longo (another original author of this material)Beth Hettich (another original author of this material)Dirk DeroosHeather CrognaleKen HighKevin McBrideLinette WilliamsMoira McFadden LanyiJennifer FellAnn HernandezMichelle CorbinAcknowledgements
  • 152IBM Total Information ExperienceReferencesGood places for IA on the Web:Boxes and Arrows—http://www.boxesandarrows.comThe Information Architecture Institute—http://iainstitute.orgThe Society for Technical Communication—http://www.stc.orgShameless plug: Check out Intercom magazine’s regular column, “TheStrategic IA,” written by Andrea Ames and Alyson RileyResources:Hackos, JoAnn and Janice Redish. User and Task Analysis for InterfaceDesign. Wiley:1998.Hughes, Mike. Straight talk: Surviving Tough Times as a User AssistanceWriter. UX Matters. Web. 1 May 2013. http://bit.ly/ZVI0J7Hughes, Mike. Users as Decision-Makers. Intercom, February 2009.Morville, Peter and Louis Rosenfeld. (1998). Information Architecture for theWorld Wide Web. Sebastopol, CA: OReilly Media (1998).Wurman, Richard Saul. Peter Bradford, ed. Information Architects. New York:Graphis (1997).
  • 153IBM Total Information ExperienceBackup charts for Scenario sectionGood stuff we won’t have time to get to(but that might be helpful to you)
  • 154IBM Total Information ExperienceCase Study:Working with anexisting scenario1
  • 155IBM Total Information ExperienceIntroduction: An existing scenarioThe scenario: A new product for electronic discovery and collection ofarchived e-mail for legal proceedings. Business use:1. Company notified of lawsuit related to a certain subject.2. Paralegal searches archived e-mail for any documents pertinentto the lawsuit.3. Paralegal collects and organizes pertinent e-mail.4. Paralegal sends the collection to users of another product for in-depth textual analysis.Where the scenario came from: Product team’s user experience architect Validated by customers Documented in the team’s internal wiki
  • 156IBM Total Information ExperienceUsing the scenario to make decisionsThe team used the scenario to identify main product user and mainbusiness goals and tasks Main user: paralegalNot technically savvy, though currently conducts Lexis-Nexissearch, so has good understanding of search constructionCurrently does these tasks manually Business: collecting and organizing pertinent e-mail Tasks to achieve goal:Searching, including complex searching techniquesCreating containers to collect information for cases andwithin casesTransferring collected e-mail to colleaguesThe team used the scenario to inform design decisions rather thancreate it for customers to read—it was an internal scenario
  • 157IBM Total Information ExperienceArchitecting information based on the scenarioThe team’s focus: the user definition helped the team to focus onthe user interface and making it easy to understand and use.The team’s results: Focused information development efforts on embeddedassistance, particularly simple, consistent, and clear terms withinthe UI. Designed online help according to the scenario:Main help container was parent for scenario child tasks inorderTasks were those in the scenario, even if they occurred inmore than one area of the UIFewer help topics created than UI windows—eliminatedpseudo-tasks that are essentially “filling out this window”Many elements of UI were never specifically mentioned inhelp topics
  • 158IBM Total Information ExperienceBreaking the old online help paradigmThe traditional online help model results in voluminous.unhelpful help: Describes every, or almost every, UI control Includes task help typically tied to a UI panel (1:1 mapping)“Write yourname in thename field” isnot high-value content!To create high-value user assistance:1. Convert necessary user interface (UI) control help into embeddedassistance.2. Ensure that the UI is organized around the scenario flow.3. Write additional information only if necessary. Focus on what users want to do, rather than on manipulating the UI. Focus on tasks, often spanning windows:One task per window leads to creation of artificial tasks.Customer comments show that customers can’t see the biggerpicture of how to do their job (accomplish their goals) when usingtraditional window-oriented task help.Not all windows require help—a login window that requires helpshould be redesigned.
  • 159IBM Total Information ExperienceHelping the team to understandDifficult at first for team to grasp the new modelTask model was essential for clarificationCritical task for the IA: help the team visualize the new informationexperience
  • 160IBM Total Information ExperienceBeyond IA: Writing based on the scenarioFocus on the target audience and write to that audience’sunderstanding.Example: These users are quite familiar with advanced searchingtechniques so standard search terminology is appropriate.Focus on the scenario and on documenting steps from the businessperspective (outside-in) rather than functionality.Example: If the user can preview e-mail instead of opening eachindividually, is there a way for the user to step through e-mails ratherthan opening and closing each one individually? They might havethousands of e-mails to process.Focus on domain expertise, tips, and troubleshooting rather than howto manipulate the user interface.Example: The target audience in this case has domain expertise for legalproceedings—what’s an average number of e-mails to process fordiscovery? Domain expertise is related to experience in a particular jobfield.
  • 161IBM Total Information ExperienceCase Study:Creating ascenario2
  • 162IBM Total Information ExperienceIntroduction: A new scenarioThe scenario: Install and configure a Web client applicationInstallation is straightforward: run a very short wizard.Configuring is difficult! Challenges include:Determining prerequisite productsDetermining whether prerequisites are at the right levelsDetermining where to install the new application into their existingsystemHow the team created the scenario:Feedback from Support and Quality Assurance identified the problem.Information from within the team provided the original task flow:Marketing plans (goals for product usage)Product test plans (identification of product stack to test)Support experienceUsability commentsConfiguration scenarios for underlying productsThe team then expanded the original task flow to encompass installing on amachine where other components were already installed (the prereqs issue).
  • 163IBM Total Information ExperienceUsing the scenario to make decisionsIdentified the target audience for installation documentationMade assumptions about customers’ systems: What do customers have already? What don’t the customers have?Changed the focus the team’s documentation: Extended the focus beyond the typical "how to run theinstallation wizard" to incorporate verification of prerequisitesand their levels. Emphasized embedded assistance in the wizard. Reduced installation information to a single topic for installingthis product. Identified and documented configurations.
  • 164IBM Total Information ExperienceArchitecting information based on the scenarioComponentized topicsBuilt roadmaps on topof topics to fit themtogether in differentways for differentscenariosMaximized single-sourcing to keyinformationFocused on linking forother productsIncorporatedillustrations of modelconfigurations * Highlighted content is single-sourced
  • 165IBM Total Information ExperienceHelping the team to understandWhat the team did well:Mapping out how to install the product on a clean system (a taskthat fits in well with traditional information development work)What the team needed to understand:That most customers would be buying the new product in order toadd to their existing systemThat the team needed to facilitate customer success by focusingon configuration scenarios for adding the product into an existingsystemQuestions that helped the team proceed:On what machine in the distributed system is this new clientapplication installed?How do you validate that the existing products are at the rightlevels and configured properly to accept this new component?
  • 166IBM Total Information ExperienceBeyond IA: Writing based on the scenarioYes! Write for the target audience’s experience level.No: For this scenario, do not write in-depth procedures for creatingWindows environment variables. That task is beyond the experiencelevel of this particular set of users.Yes! Consider where the customers are starting from—forexample, either an existing system or a new system.No: For this scenario, do not force the customer to read, understand,and then reinterpret the information to apply it to their situation.Yes! Write topics that can be reused in different scenariocontexts (in other words, create good tasks that stand alone).No: For this scenario, do not create topics that can’t be used inmultiple scenarios. That would require the technical writing team tocreate and maintain similar content for multiple scenarios.
  • 167IBM Total Information ExperienceAdditionalexamples3
  • 168IBM Total Information ExperienceScenarios vs. extended examplesExtended examples – include some elements of ascenario, but not allShow an example solution, system, or product deployment orconfiguration (environment, tasks)Show how others have deployed the solution to achieve aparticular business goal (environment, business goals)Are technically rich; can include sample logical architectures,physical topologies, and the like.ScenariosWhen created for internal product team use, scenarios shouldfocus on the people, tasks, goals, and environmentWhen designed for external use, the best scenarios shouldinclude the information in an extended example plus the detailsof people, tasks, goals, and environment
  • 169IBM Total Information ExperienceUse casesDescribe how a user interacts with a system (product) toaccomplish a goalUser storiesIn an Agile/Lean development process, describe functionalitythat will be useful to a stakeholderTake the following form:As a <role>, I want to <goal> so I can <business value>.Scenarios contain use cases and user storiesScenarios vs. use cases or user stories
  • 170IBM Total Information ExperienceEnvironment:Retail superstore chain with physical locations and an on-line presenceUsers:Business analysts, HR managers, front-line employees, system administrators,database administrators, application developers, customersGoals—a subset from the business analyst’s goals:Match customer demand to levels of inventoryMatch store traffic to staffing levelsOptimize supply chainOptimize pricing based on buying patterns and competitor pricingTasks—a subset: Customer makes a transaction Supplier delivers a product shipment Analyst looks for trends in transaction data or inefficiencies in supply chain Application developer maintains point-of-sale, HR, and inventory applications System administrator maintains on-line transaction processing databaseTypes of scenarios: Example business scenario
  • 171IBM Total Information ExperienceContext: each task/task set operates within the context of the businessscenarioSpecific area of the business environmentInvolve a specific user personaA subset of the tasks for the applicable user personaExample story: Business process evolutionEnvironment:New suppliers from different geographies are being contracted, and as a result,the database schema for the contact information requires regular updates toaccount for regional differences in postal information.The solution is to migrate the contact information from relational tables to XMLtables, which are more flexibleUsers and tasks:Database administrator creates new tables with an XML columnDatabase administrator updates existing tables to refer to the new XML tablesDatabase administrator defines change requirements for the businessapplications (example: need to use XML data for supplier contact information)Types of scenarios: Example task scenario
  • 172IBM Total Information ExperienceContext: each integration scenario operates within the broader businesscontext Tasks from various areas of the business environment Involves certain user personas and their goalsExample story: Ensuring Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) compliance Environment:Business regulatory requirement: Businesses that are not PCI DSS compliantwill lose their license to enable credit card purchases Users and tasks:System administrator installs and maintains a firewallDatabase administrator encrypts credit card data columnsSystem administrator configures encryption of transaction data on the InternetSystem administrator installs and maintains anti-virus softwareApplication developers ensure applications are secureDatabase administrator controls access to cardholder data based on businessroleDatabase administrator configures the tracking of all cardholder data retrievalCIO executives develop an information security policyTypes of scenarios: Example integration scenario
  • 173IBM Total Information ExperienceEvaluating an existing scenario: An exampleOtherTasksUserMessages (“know the next morning whether it was successful or not”)Preferred recovery time (“recover the system in 24 hours or less”)Backup frequency and length (“every night”)Backup contents (“full system backup”)Backup planning (“in the process of setting up her backups”)Automating backups (“schedule the backup to run”)Managing media (“doesn’t want to spend a lot of time managing tapes”)Recovering the system (“recover the system in 24 hours or less”)Small business ownerNot technicalSystem i customerSheila is the owner of a small business (25 employees). She is a non-sophisticated System icustomer, and is in the process of setting up her backups. She wants to keep things as simple aspossible because she is a business major, not a computer expert. She also wants to be able torecover the system in 24 hours or less, should the need arise. For these reasons, she thinks sheshould do a full system backup every night. She also doesnt want to have to be there while thebackup is running. She wants to schedule the backup to run and then know the next morningwhether it was successful or not (and if not, what went wrong). She also doesnt want to spenda lot of time managing tapes-- she wants to be told which tape to use, pick it up, and put it inthe machine.
  • 174IBM Total Information ExperienceThe scenario helpsdetermine the overalltask flow andinventory requirementsThroughout thescenario, tasks areidentified and mappedto informationdeliverables:Helps to identifycurrent informationinventoryHelps to identifygaps in informationExample: Scenario for information use......
  • 175IBM Total Information ExperienceDocumented scenarios should not be used often in external technicaldocumentation or other information deliverables.Situations when it is useful to include a scenario:When users need an introduction to new concepts, a little context for how to getbusiness benefit from a new product, or to understand how tasks, components, orother pieces fit together.When users need help planning for complex products, solutions, or other technologydeployments.When users are exposed to paradigm-changing function. Example: EarlyMosaic/Netscape® User’s Guide began with a story about how normal people mightuse a Web browser in daily life.If you’ve determined that your users would reap significant benefit from scenario-like documentation, remember:Documented scenarios should not be used in their internal form.It’s typically inappropriate to expose all that user detail.When in doubt, leave it out.Plan for the unique maintenance and updates that this kind of content requires.If you’re tempted to publish your scenarios…
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture Bootcamp:Your Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.IA Process: Architecture planning &design
  • 177IBM Total Information ExperienceRemember the information experience…
  • 178IBM Total Information ExperienceDrill: How will the user experience your content?Using the business scenario and output of the earlier exercises, do this:Design the high-level information experience for the new, mobileapp —handoutWhat content will be needed? Why?UI tasks and supporting concepts and reference infoUser tasks and supporting concepts and reference infoHow will the content be presented?Format, based on information typesMediaHow will the content be displayed? Using what delivery mechanisms?Where: In/outside the appWhen: Persistent/requires user gesture (what gesture, from where, how many“clicks” to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop?)How will the user find the content?SearchBrowse: Organization and structureWe’ll talk more aboutnavigation later on…
  • 179IBM Total Information ExperiencePost-drill processing…Consciously design theinformation experience, notjust the content:1. Determine what content isneeded and why2. Describe how the contentwill be presented3. Describe how the content willbe displayed4. Identify where and when thecontent will be displayed5. Specify how the user will findthe contentAfter completingthis task,you will have:A high-level informationexperience design
  • 180IBM Total Information ExperienceAgendaProcess overviewAnalyzePlanDesignDeployMaintainProduct development interlock
  • 181IBM Total Information ExperienceOverview of the information architecture processdesignanalyzedevelopdeploy maintainplanDevelopment plansUser needsBusiness strategyTIE and UX strategyDeep understanding ofbusiness and customersScenariosInformation requirementsHigh-level architectureInputs to informationand quality plansInfrastructure andother requirementsDetailed architectureEducationDesign validation anddesign iterationsAdditional plan inputsUser validation data and analysisResults of heuristic analysesDraft of next-release IAUser validation data and analysisUsage stats and trend analysisCustomer feedbackIssue resolutionFurther refined draft of next-release IAUsage stats and trend analysisCustomer feedbackIssue resolutionRequirements for next releaseHigh-level IA for next release
  • 182IBM Total Information ExperienceThe Analysis PhaseanalyzeInputs:User researchBusiness strategyMarket intelligenceScenariosKnown requirementsWeb analyticsInformation and userexperience strategyOutputs:Deep understanding of usersand the businessScenariosInformation requirementsTasks:Research: Gather and analyze inputsScenarios: Collaborate on product-use scenarios, developinformation-use scenarios, and mine all scenarios for requirementsFocus areas: Turn requirements into focus areas and prioritize
  • 183IBM Total Information ExperienceOverview of analysisWhen architecting information for a product or solution release, start yourresearch by collaborating with your development team:Get experience using the current version of the product (if it exists) and itsinformation (this helps identify areas to improve).Gather and examine development plans and designs.Understand UX plans and designs.Network with the extended product team (marketing, support, test, sales, andso on).Find out where thought leaders are connecting and decisions are being made,and get involved! Be assertive!
  • 184IBM Total Information ExperienceAnalysis tasksSynthesize the data collected in order to:1. Contribute to the development of product-use scenarios2. Develop information-use scenarios3. Mine scenarios for information requirements4. Turn requirements into focus areas5. Prioritize focus areas for information architecture anddevelopment
  • 185IBM Total Information ExperienceThe Plan Architecture PhaseInputs:Inputs and outputs from AnalyzephaseInformation architecture modelsProduct design and developmentdesign standards and guidelinesProduct planning informationCustomer/user data, inputOutputs:Input to product quality plansInput to information quality plansHigh-level release-specificinformation architectureRequirements for infrastructure andother delivery mechanism supportInformation plan inputTasks:Architecture: Design and capture high-level release-specific information architectureCommunication: Communicate high-level architecture to product teamplanarchitecture
  • 186IBM Total Information ExperienceOverview of architecture planningNot to be confused with project planning.Enables you to:Collect together the potential influences on the high-level architecturaldesignTranslate the output of the analysis phase into the high-level release-specific information architectureDevelop the high-level framework into which you will design thedetailed architectureCommunicate that high-level framework to set the strategy for theinformation for the product teamThe beginning of the architecture planning phase often overlapswith the end of the analysis phase.Often, there are iterations between planning and analysis:Scenarios are refined, requirements are better understood, and moreinput is capturedHigh-level, release-specific information architecture is refined
  • 187IBM Total Information ExperienceArchitecture planning tasks1. Design overall user experience and capture in high-leveldesign in release-specific information architecture2. Communicate high-level design to product team
  • 188IBM Total Information Experience1. Identify success criteria and corresponding metrics – this will be yourproduct and documentation quality plan input2. Begin thinking about user validation and customer communication forvalidation during all future phases , and consider early validation duringthis phase, if designs are far enough along3. Consider all dimensions of the input, the content, and the experiencePrioritize!Leverage models, best practices, and existing frameworksUse offering strategy and priorities to uncover potential informationprioritiesBe rigorous about disregarding what’s not important4. Leverage each of the inputs to this phase to create the high-levelinformation experienceWhat content does the user needWhen and where does the user needthat information deliveredWhat delivery mechanism bestpresents each piece ofcontent appropriatelyDesign overall user experienceDimensions of contentto consider:Pre-sales informationUp-and-running informationGetting started informationEmbedded assistanceError prevention and recovery &troubleshooting informationUser-centered,task-focused contentSolution/combination informationDimensions of user-content interactionto consider:Social mediainteractionContextual interactionwithin the product userinterface:Search-and-browseinteraction
  • 189IBM Total Information ExperienceCommunication is key to ensuring the success of theinformation architecture.Communicate early and oftenWe expect transparency of others, and we must betransparent, too!Teams you need to communicate with:Documentation and other content creation teams:they are responsible for implementingDevelopment team: they might have responsibilityfor supporting the infrastructureManagement chain: they must defend and staff itCommunicate high-level design
  • 190IBM Total Information ExperienceThe Design PhaseInputs:Outputs from Plan phaseInformation architecture modelsUI design standards and guidelinesProduct strategies and plansOutputs:Detailed release-specificinformation architectureDetailed input to information planEducation chartsHeuristic evaluation reportsUser testing and othervalidation resultsTasks:Architecture: Design detailed release-specific information architectureEducation: Educate the teamEvaluation: Evaluate early embedded-content designsValidation: Validate detailed release-specific information architecturedesign
  • 191IBM Total Information ExperienceOverview of designNot to be confused with information design.Enables you to:Continue in-depth analysis and interpretation of inputs from analysisand architecture planningFlesh out the high-level, release-specific information architecture withthe detailed architectural designValidate the release architecture with usersEducate the product team about the detailed architectureThe beginning of the design phase is often indistinguishablefrom the end of the architecture planning phase. Thesephases often seem to be one giant phase.Often, there are iterations between design and planning:Product plans are refined, requirements are better understood, anddesigns are validatedDetailed architectural design is refined
  • 192IBM Total Information ExperienceDesign tasks1. Design content and its delivery in various mechanismsand contexts2. Educate the team for implementation3. Evaluate early embedded-content designs4. Validate detailed architectural design with customers
  • 193IBM Total Information Experience1. Complete plans for user validation of the detailed design2. Consider all dimensions of the input, the content, and the experiencePrioritize!Leverage models, best practices, and existing frameworksUse offering strategy and priorities to uncover potential informationprioritiesBe rigorous about disregarding what’s not important3. Leverage each of the inputs to this phase and apply progressiveinformation disclosure to define how and where the content details willbe deliveredDefine approach for embedded assistance: approach describingwhat types of information should be delivered whereModel information center contentWhat content the user needsWhen/where the user needs thatinformation deliveredThe best delivery mechanisms topresent each piece ofcontent appropriatelyDesign content and its deliveryDimensions of contentto consider:Pre-sales informationUp-and-running informationGetting started informationEmbedded assistanceError prevention and recovery &troubleshooting informationUser-centered,task-focused contentSolution/combination informationDimensions of user-content interactionto consider:Social mediainteractionContextual interactionwithin the product userinterface:Search-and-browseinteraction
  • 194IBM Total Information ExperienceDecompose and refine key elements of your high-levelarchitecture into detailsFor example, from this:What: At least three most critical “getting started” tasksWhere/when: In “welcome” experience, the initial product screenHow: Links that launch content pane or windowTo this:What: At least three most critical “getting started” tasksTask 1, with link/pointer to scenario/use caseTask 2, with link/pointer to scenario/use caseTask 3, with link/pointer to scenario/use caseTask 4, with link/pointer to scenario/use caseWhere/when: In “welcome” experience, the initial product screenRe-use Product X “welcome” componentBypass/hide standard welcome componentHow: Links that launch content pane windowLaunch functional contextLaunch highly contextual assistance, starting at thefunctional contextEducate the team for implementation
  • 195IBM Total Information Experience1. Obtain good reviews, as they are critical to ensure qualityin executing the release-specific information architecture2. Partner with editors to ensure appropriate execution fromarchitecture, through design, to writing3. Evaluate the overall information experience in the designand development phasesIn this phase, begin (at least) reviews of embeddedcontentReviews might continue into development4. Leverage existing frameworks to measure architecturaland design quality5. Focus on product-embedded content (embeddedassistance) in this phase, as it is riskier content.Evaluate early embedded-content designs
  • 196IBM Total Information Experience1. Validate as much of your detailed architectureas appropriate2. PrioritizeHighest risk areasAreas with most questions about user contextAreas using new designs or approachesValidate detailed design with customers
  • 197IBM Total Information ExperienceThe Develop PhaseInputs:Outputs from Design phaseOngoing user feedback and usage dataHeuristic frameworks for evaluationDetailed release-specific informationarchitectureOutputs:Analysis of user feedback andusage dataData and feedback from uservalidation activitiesTeam communication mechanismDraft high-level IA for next releaseResults of heuristic evaluationswith actionable feedbackTasks:Communication: Continue communication and educationEvaluation: Review non-embedded content deliverablesMaintenance: Maintain architecture and design qualitydevelop
  • 198IBM Total Information ExperienceOverview of developmentDuring this phase, IA activity drops a bit, and content andother development ramps up.Your key deliverable (the detailed, release-specific informationarchitecture) for this release is completed, but you might needto update the information throughout the rest of the phases ofthe process.IAs still have an important role to play:Provide architectural oversight throughout development to ensure high-quality executionAdvise the team when issues arise – changes, initial plans that don’tpan out, and so on – from an architectural and priority perspective
  • 199IBM Total Information ExperienceDevelopment tasks1. Continue communication and education2. Review/evaluate the information center and other non-embedded content3. Maintain architecture and design quality
  • 200IBM Total Information ExperienceThe Deploy PhaseOutputs:Data and feedback from uservalidation activitiesAnalysis of user feedback andusage dataTeam communication mechanismDraft high-level release-specificinformation architectureTasks:Communication: Continue to communicate and educateMaintenance: Maintain quality of the release-specificinformation architecturedeployInputs:Outputs from Develop phaseOngoing user feedback and usage dataHeuristic frameworks for evaluationDetailed release-specific informationarchitecture
  • 201IBM Total Information ExperienceOverview of deploymentThis phase is sometimes known as “deliver,” as well.There are architectural concerns in this phase, butdeployment is typically not a very active phase for IAs.Your primary concerns are to:Ensure that everything is moving along and being executedappropriately with the rest of the team.Continue to communicate, educate, advise, and drive issues, asappropriate.
  • 202IBM Total Information ExperienceDeployment tasks1. Continue communication and education2. Maintain architecture and design quality
  • 203IBM Total Information ExperienceInputs:Outputs from Deploy phaseOngoing user feedback and usage dataHeuristic frameworks for evaluationDetailed release-specific informationarchitectureOutputs:Data and feedback from uservalidation activitiesAnalysis of user feedback andusage dataTeam communication mechanismDraft high-level release-specificinformation architectureTasks:Communication: Continue communication and educationMaintenance: Maintain quality of release-specific information architectureEnd-of-life: Develop end-of-life strategiesmaintainThe Maintain Phase
  • 204IBM Total Information ExperienceOverview of maintenanceThere typically aren’t architectural concerns with thejust-released offering or with prior releases that are inthis phase, so maintenance is typically an inactive phasefor IAs.Your primary concerns are to continue to communicateto the team and collect user input for the next releaseand beyond.
  • 205IBM Total Information ExperienceMaintenance tasks1. Continue communication and education2. Maintain architecture and design quality3. Develop information strategy, if any, for end-of lifeproducts
  • 206IBM Total Information ExperienceUs vs. them? NO!The IA process is a sub-process of the product developmentprocess – it looks very familiar, no? ☺IAs mirror development activities, contributing theinformation dimension of the overall product clientexperience
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture Bootcamp:Your Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.Modeling for aSeamless Information Experience
  • 208IBM Total Information ExperienceAgendaWhat are models, and why do we care?Use modelsContent modelsAccess modelsInformation models
  • 209IBM Total Information ExperienceIntroduction: IA & modelsIA is scientific:It requires us to follow repeatable processes with clearly definedmetricsIt requires us to define and validate theoriesIt requires us to identify variablesIt requires us to know about things like human cognitionIA is art:We develop a deep understanding of the human experienceWe create meaningWe create simplicity and elegance out of complexity and chaosModels help IAs blend science and art to achieve measurableresults:They help us follow the scientific method by defining and refiningtheories until we achieve predictable, consistent resultsThey help us ask the right questions, discover patterns, and tolerate theambiguity that comes from dealing with peopleThey help us discover solutions by applying concepts in a systematicmanner nuanced by a vision for the human experience—NOT byfollowing rules and recipes
  • 210IBM Total Information ExperienceModels, defined: an exampleModel houseA blueprint that shows the ideal state of thewhole and ideal relationships betweenconstituent componentsA pattern for perfectionA representation of what’s possible if pricewere no objectReal houseMight differ from the model—sometimes significantly—but isstill recognizable as a homePurpose, form, and structureare the sameDetails may vary as a result ofthe humans involved
  • 211IBM Total Information ExperienceLessons about models from our model home exampleModels are a pattern, not a rulePatterns are always adapted to the “fabric” with which you’re workingFundamental purpose, form, and structure remain the sameDetails may vary according to human need or circumstances*Note: If your circumstances include things like “the developer says so” or“but we’ve always done it this way,” we strongly encourage you to roll upyour sleeves and fight for your user!Sometimes details are a big dealWhich house would you want to live in?Good architects leverage the flexibility of the model only in ways thatbenefit the humans involved (example: “I just don’t like windows” isn’ta reason to break from the model)Good architects always balance business issues (cost, time, etc.) withuser issues (wants and needs)What’s boring in neighborhoods is good for user experiencesConsistency is predictabilityConsistency leads to recognizable brands and strong identity
  • 212IBM Total Information ExperienceIn case you’re still lost: another examplemodel real
  • 213IBM Total Information ExperienceWhy models? Models help businesses thinkThink, not cut-and-pasteFor many larger organizations, it’s too expensive to develop templates for everypossible design contextTemplates are hard-coded and can’t handle more than cut-and-paste designworkScalability and adaptabilityAbstract models scale with increases in complexity, number and diversity ofusersModels are abstract, and as a result, ensure the information architecture remainsabove the fray of trends and changeAbstract models can be adapted to handle technological innovation, changes instrategy, flux in a product portfolio, new business processes, and evolution in themarketFocus on high-value user interactionsAbstract models force an organization to identify, prioritize, and design for theuser interactions that are critical to business successTechnology, marketing strategies, and brand identity may evolve—core userinteractions are more stableConsistency, with room for creativityAbstract models can be used to align all aspects of an information experienceAbstract models drive focus on predictable user interactions while allowing forinteresting change at the presentation level
  • 214IBM Total Information ExperienceWhy models? Models help users thinkWhat users want to think aboutUsers want to think about their primary goals and tasksUsers do not want to spend time on figuring out how to use ourframeworks to achieve their goals and tasksOur job is to eliminate cognitive load and help users focus mental spaceon what’s really important to themToward an invisible architectureGood abstract models are based on cognitive science and user-centereddesign principlesAs such, abstract models help us deliver an information architecturethat users don’t have to think aboutAbstract models help our users maintain focus the things they reallycare about—not navigating our frameworkAbstract models make obvious things like:What to do nextWhere to go nextWhether the information answers the questionHow to find more or different information that will answer the questionThanks to Steve Krug andhis first law of usability—“Dont make me think!”
  • 215IBM Total Information ExperienceWhy models? Models help communicators thinkAbstract models remove the guesswork for technical communicatorsAbstract models provide a framework for teams to think through thingslike:AccessDeliveryContentPresentationCurrencyMaintenanceInvaluable for teams new to information architecture or who lack adedicated information architect on their projectsAbstract models encapsulate lots of helpful theoryThe best abstract models reflect current theory and research intohuman cognition, user information-seeking and processing behaviors,and so onThis enables teams to focus less on theory and more on the specifics oftheir target users and their needs, and how best to apply the models intheir design contextsTeams learn by experience, with a solid foundation
  • 216IBM Total Information ExperienceWhy models? Models help IAs thinkAbstract models encourage an IA to:Keep user needs and business strategy in the forefront of herthinkingTake risks and be creative in an intelligent, calculated, data-centered, purpose-driven mannerMaintain the integrity of the overarching experience—that is,ensure that the fundamental purpose, form, and structure of theinformation experience remain the sameTailor an information experience to meet specific user needs orbusiness challenges—that is, allow freedom in the details asdictated by user needAvoid confining an information experience to templateboundariesKeep the focus on outcomes—results, not rules
  • 217IBM Total Information ExperienceKey types of modelsUse ModelContent ModelAccess ModelInformation ModelDefines ideal interactions between users and information—what theyneed, why they need it, what they’re doing when they need it, andhow they’ll use it.Defines standard building blocks of content, from the atomic level tolarger “deliverables,” including subject, presentation, taxonomy, andmetadata.Defines a vision for how users will find your information, includingorganization, structure, relationships between chunks of informationand full deliverables, and a big picture view of navigation strategies.Defines a vision for how users will find your information, includingorganization, structure, relationships between chunks of informationand full deliverables, and a big picture view of navigation strategies.
  • 218IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Use Model1. Develop use scenariosDescribe user interactions with the system.Develop a scenario for each type of system/subsystem in offering/solution.List the high-value tasks (vs. system features)2. Develop information-use scenariosDescribe the ideal user interaction with content.Ensure that information scenarios follow use scenarios.3. Validate the modelResult:A standard set of scenarios that describe an optimal user experience withinformationA standard set of user information requirements for specific product orsystem contexts.A document describing how the use model can be applied to produce anoffering-specific information architecture.
  • 219IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Content Model, part 11. Identify and standardize common subjects of information,or a common collection of terms that describe what theinformation is about, in an enterprise-level taxonomy2. Identify and standardize your list of required atomic unitsof information, or the information objects that you can’tbreak down into smaller pieces without making themmeaningless3. Define standard information deliverables and deliveryvehicles, or how you combine atomic units of informationand common subjects to deliver understandable, stand-alone information products that humans will see andtouch.4. Develop presentation templates, or how you will usemedia to present the information deliverables for humanconsumption.
  • 220IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Content Model, part 26. Leverage your use model to determine users’ information needsWhat subjects and atomic units of information will your users need?How can you structure and combine these building blocks ofinformation in ways that reflect the user’s task flow?What presentation form and media will best communicate thisinformation to users given their skills and the tasks they’re trying toaccomplish?What deliverable (or delivery vehicle) will work best?7. Validate your modelResult:A document describing required and optional deliverables (collectionsof information atoms), how they relate to one another and are usedand delivered, and how the content model can be applied to producean offering-specific information architecture.A collection of templates—one for each deliverable—describing therequired and optional elements of each.
  • 221IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping an Access Model, part 11. Define the overarching strategy for user access toinformation.2. Describe how the model supports users employing theseaccess methods:Searching for and finding relevant informationFollowing leads when searchingScanning an information space to develop a sense of its contents3. Continued from the previous chart—How the model supportsusers employing these access methods:Staying informed about updates or new contentEvaluating information for relevanceUsing information to achieve a goal
  • 222IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping an Access Model, part 24. Depict how a collection of access methods work together to accommodatethe wide range of user behaviors when navigating to and within aninformation space.5. Validate your modelResult:A document describing the overall access strategy, how multipleaccess methods work together, and the details about how specificareas of access can be supported, as well as how the content modelcan be applied to produce an offering-specific information architecture.Any technology, business requirements, and user needs that emergefrom the detailed access-related patterns, schemes, and strategies.
  • 223IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping an Information Model, part 11. Start with the output of the other three modeling processes—use each ofthe other models as input to the Information Model.2. Define a high-level information architecture that defines the entireinformation strategy and experience.3. Define one or more low-level information architectures that are focusedon the details of specific pieces of the total information solution.4. Validate your model.Results:A written description of an information strategy—that is, a documentdescribing the abstract model that includes:How all dimensions of the information experience fit togetherHow content teams can apply product-, solution-, project- or other kindsof offering-specific details to the abstract information model in order toproduce a concrete, project-specific, and user-centered informationarchitecture
  • 224IBM Total Information ExperienceUsing your modelsModels have value only when they can be applied in a useful way:They enable IAs to develop usable architectures that in turn make it easy forusers to accomplish their goals with your product, project, solution or otherkind of offeringThey provide a consistent information experience across multiple products,product families, or enterprises—even if information in various places aredeveloped by different writers and architects, or if offerings have differentproduct strategies or goals.They also help writing teams by providing a framework for discoveringimportant details such as:The order of user tasksWhich tasks to emphasize (and not)The appropriate level of detail to includeThe type of information to provide (expertise vs. “click this”)The potential for gaps between tasks or across components or productsContent to include in any examples or samplesIt’s important to validate across several different instances of the appliedmodel to ensure that it works when instantiated with various types ofproducts or systems.The key to applying the models is in the process of developing youroffering-specific information architecture.
  • 225IBM Total Information ExperienceAdditional resourcesWeb resources:The Society for Technical Communication—http://www.stc.orgBe sure to check out Intercom magazine’s regular column, “The Strategic IA,” writtenby Andrea Ames and Alyson Riley. In particular, check out and leave your thoughts onthe January 2012 edition—a special edition devoted to information architecture!Boxes and Arrows—http://www.boxesandarrows.comThe Information Architecture Institute—http://iainstitute.orgPrint resources:James Kalbach. “Designing for Information Foragers: A Behavioral Model forInformation Seeking on the World Wide Web.” Internetworking, InternetTechnical Group newsletter. 27 January 2001. Available atwww.sandia.gov/itg/newsletter/dec00/article_information_foragers.html.William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler. (2010) Universal Principles ofDesign. Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers. (ISBN 978-1592535873)Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld. (1998) Information Architecture for theWorld Wide Web. Sebastopol, CA: OReilly Media. (ISBN 978-0596527341)Jeffrey Rubin and Dan Chisnell. (2008) Handbook of Usability Testing, 2nd ed.Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing, Inc. (ISBN 978-0470185483)Richard Saul Wurman. (1997) Peter Bradford, ed. Information Architects. NewYork: Graphis. (ISBN 978-1888001389)
  • 226IBM Total Information ExperienceBackup charts for Modeling sectionDetails of model-development steps
  • 227IBM Total Information ExperienceKey types of modelsContent ModelAccess ModelInformation ModelDefines ideal interactions between users and information—whatthey need, why they need it, what they’re doing when they needit, and how they’ll use it.Defines standard building blocks of content, from the atomic level tolarger “deliverables,” including subject, presentation, taxonomy, andmetadata.Defines a vision for how users will find your information, includingorganization, structure, relationships between chunks of informationand full deliverables, and a big picture view of navigation strategies.Defines a vision for how users will find your information, includingorganization, structure, relationships between chunks of informationand full deliverables, and a big picture view of navigation strategies.Use Model
  • 228IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Use Model, part 11. Develop use scenariosDescribe user interactions with the system.Develop a scenario for each type of system/subsystem inoffering/solution.Be sure the scenarios provide insight into questions such as:Who are the users? What are their goals?What’s the purpose of the product, system or solution?What tasks will users do with the product? (Be sure to decomposehigh-level tasks into lower-level tasks or procedures. Identifyprerequisite tasks and any dependencies for successful taskcompletion.)Which tasks are the high-value ones necessary for achieving abroader goal, and which ones are tasks merely required as a resultof product design or system features?
  • 229IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Use Model, part 22. Develop information-use scenariosDescribe the ideal user interaction with content.Ensure that information scenarios follow use scenarios.Be sure the scenarios provide insight into questions such as:What information do users need to complete the tasks defined inthe product- or system-usage scenarios, and at what points duringproduct use is the information needed?What information do users need to achieve their broader businessor personal objectives?How will users experience or interact with that information, bothfor their own goals and as required by product or system tasks?Be sure to address this question for each of the necessary tasksyou have defined in your product or system lifecycle.How close to the product or system user interface does theinformation need to be? Is it the interface? Or does it supportthe interface? Is it task-disruptive to take the user away from theprimary product or system interface to access the information theyneed?
  • 230IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Use Model, part 33. Validate the model. Socialize it. Conduct reviews withmembers of your IA community. Validate withcustomers, in several concrete contexts, if possible.
  • 231IBM Total Information ExperienceKey types of modelsUse ModelAccess ModelInformation ModelDefines ideal interactions between users and information—what theyneed, why they need it, what they’re doing when they need it, andhow they’ll use it.Defines standard building blocks of content, from the atomiclevel to larger “deliverables,” including subject, presentation,taxonomy, and metadata.Defines a vision for how users will find your information, includingorganization, structure, relationships between chunks of informationand full deliverables, and a big picture view of navigation strategies.Defines a vision for how users will find your information, includingorganization, structure, relationships between chunks of informationand full deliverables, and a big picture view of navigation strategies.Content Model
  • 232IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Content Model, part 11. Identify and standardize common subjects of information, ora common collection of terms that describe what theinformation is about, in an enterprise-level taxonomy2. Identify and standardize your list of required atomic units ofinformation, or the information objects that you can’t breakdown into smaller pieces without making them meaninglessHint: Consider DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) andits information types (concept, task, and so on) and specializations.
  • 233IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Content Model, part 23. Define standard information deliverables and deliveryvehicles, or how you combine atomic units of informationand common subjects to deliver understandable, stand-alone information products that humans will see and touch.4. Develop presentation templates, or how you will use mediato present the information deliverables for humanconsumption.Consider the templates necessary to ensure an integrated,consistent user experience.Develop new templates by starting with those that are mostimpactful to your user’s information experience or that supportbusiness priorities.
  • 234IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Content Model, part 35. Leverage your use model to determine users’ information needsWhat subjects and atomic units of information will your users need? Forexample:Do they need help manipulating elements of the product or system?Do they need help completing a complex task with serial sub-tasks?Do they need help determining how known concepts are expressed inthe product or system?Do any of their tasks in the product or system require learning a newconcept?How can you structure and combine these building blocks of information inways that reflect the user’s task flow?What presentation style and media will best communicate this information tousers given their skills and the tasks they’re trying to accomplish? Forexample, interaction or information? Text or images? Static images ormoving images? Audio? Combinations thereof?What deliverable (or delivery vehicle) will work best? Product- or system-embedded information? Topics and multimedia in a hypertext environment?Animation with voice-over? Podcast?
  • 235IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping a Content Model, part 46. Validate your model: Socialize it. Conduct reviews withmembers of the enterprise-wide IA community. Validatewith customers, in several concrete content contexts, ifpossible.
  • 236IBM Total Information ExperienceKey types of modelsUse ModelContent ModelInformation ModelDefines ideal interactions between users and information—what theyneed, why they need it, what they’re doing when they need it, andhow they’ll use it.Defines standard building blocks of content, from the atomic level tolarger “deliverables,” including subject, presentation, taxonomy, andmetadata.Defines a vision for how users will find your information,including organization, structure, relationships between chunksof information and full deliverables, and a big picture view ofnavigation strategies.Defines a vision for how users will find your information, includingorganization, structure, relationships between chunks of informationand full deliverables, and a big picture view of navigation strategies.Access Model
  • 237IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping an Access Model, part 11. Define the overarching strategy for user access to information.2. Describe how the model supports users employing these access methods:Searching for and finding relevant information—consider:How do your chosen approaches for information delivery impact itsfindability?What are the likely entry points into your information architecture—marketing pages, out-of-box materials, Google, “likes” on Facebook?How will your information architecture promote search engine optimization(SEO)?Following leads when searching—consider:How will users find their way through your information space once they’vefound it?Where do your users want or need to go next?How will you enable discovery?Scanning an information space to develop a sense of its contents—consider:How will you enable users to develop a good mental model of theinformation within a particular space?How will users self-locate within a navigation hierarchy or other structure?
  • 238IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping an Access Model, part 23. Continued from the previous chart—How the modelsupports users employing these access methods:Staying informed about updates or new content—consider:How will you ensure that users have the most up-to-date content?How will you communicate the availability of fresh or refreshedcontent?Evaluating information for relevance—considerHow will you help users discover the value of your information asit relates to their goals and needs?What techniques will you use to distinguish information objectsfrom one another?Will you allow users to apply their own metadata to helpthemselves and others with differentiation?Using information to achieve a goal—considerWhat techniques will you use for in-page or in-task wayfinding anddiscovery?Will you allow users to customize the information or the space fortheir own use, and if so, how?
  • 239IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping an Access Model, part 34. Depict (with text, images, wireframes and prototypes) howa collection of access methods work together toaccommodate the wide range of user behaviors whennavigating to and within an information space. Drill downinto the user experience and interface associated withspecific areas of access, and define things typicallyassociated with IA work like navigation patterns, labelingschemes and linking strategies.5. Validate your model: Socialize it. Conduct reviews withmembers of the enterprise-wide IA community. Validatewith customers, in several concrete content contexts, ifpossible.
  • 240IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping an Access Model, part 4Result:A document describing the overall access strategy, how multipleaccess methods work together, and the details about howspecific areas of access can be supported, as well as how thecontent model can be applied to produce an offering-specificinformation architecture.Any technology, business requirements, and user needs thatemerge from the detailed access-related patterns, schemes,and strategies.
  • 241IBM Total Information ExperienceKey types of modelsUse ModelContent ModelAccess ModelDefines ideal interactions between users and information—what theyneed, why they need it, what they’re doing when they need it, andhow they’ll use it.Defines standard building blocks of content, from the atomic level tolarger “deliverables,” including subject, presentation, taxonomy, andmetadata.Defines a vision for how users will find your information, includingorganization, structure, relationships between chunks of informationand full deliverables, and a big picture view of navigation strategies.Defines a vision for how users will find your information,including organization, structure, relationships between chunksof information and full deliverables, and a big picture view ofnavigation strategies.Information Model
  • 242IBM Total Information ExperienceDeveloping an Information Model, part 11. Start with the output of the other three modeling processes—use each of the other models as input to the InformationModel.2. Define a high-level information architecture that defines theentire information strategy and experience.3. Define one or more low-level information architectures thatare focused on the details of specific pieces of the totalinformation solution.Example: Business strategy or product usability issues might requirean information architect to give particular focus to the informationstrategy in support of a product out-of-box experience—one specificpiece within an overarching information architecture.4. Validate your model: Socialize it. Conduct reviews withmembers of the enterprise-wide IA community. Validate withcustomers, in several concrete content contexts, if possible.
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture Bootcamp:Your Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.Progressive information disclosure
  • 244IBM Total Information ExperienceAgendaProgressive disclosure (PD)Traditional information PDThe new twist – applying it to the informationexperience, in particular the UIBut first, we have to think moreand write lessQuick steps to PDResources244
  • 245IBM Total Information ExperienceAccording to Wikipedia… progressive disclosure (PD):“To move complex and less frequently used optionsout of the main user interface and into secondaryscreens“An interaction design techniqueOften used in human computer interactionHelps maintain the focus of a users attention byreducing clutter, confusion, and cognitive workloadImproves usability by presenting only the minimum datarequired for the task at handSequences actions across several screensReduces feelings of overwhelm for the userReveals only the essentials and helps the user managethe complexity of feature-rich sites or applicationsMoves from "abstract to specific" via “ramping up” theuser from simple to more complex actions
  • 246IBM Total Information ExperiencePD for interaction isn’t newAround since early 1980s (Jack Carroll, IBM)Jakob Nielsen has been discussing it for ages"Progressive disclosure is the best tool so far: showpeople the basics first, and once they understandthat, allow them to get to the expert features. Butdont show everything all at once or you will onlyconfuse people and they will waste endless timemessing with features that they dont need yet".In information development, PD can be applied tocontent
  • 247IBM Total Information ExperienceProgressive information disclosure, part 1In an information experience, enables you(the author) to provide the right informationin the right place at the right timeDefer display of novice information, background, concepts,extended reference material and examples, etc., until the userneeds and requests itReduces complexity by revealing only the essentials for acurrent task and then reveals more as users advance throughtasksDesigned around the ideal information experience–with noresource or time constraintsImplemented realistically with necessary constraints
  • 248IBM Total Information ExperienceProgressive information disclosure, part 2Reveals information in an ordered mannerEach layer builds on the previous one in a flowthat provides progressively more informationProvides only the details that are necessary at agiven time, in a specific contextProvides assistance when necessary--not informationcreated just to cover an empty widgetDo not repeat information; for example, do not repeatfield labels in hover text.“A guided journey, not a scavenger hunt” (Jennifer Fell)Assumes “competent performer” to “proficientperformer” is stage of use in which users will spendmost of their time when using the product–notnovices; not experts
  • 249IBM Total Information ExperienceSide bar: “Stages of use” in embedded assistance design, part 1
  • 250IBM Total Information ExperienceSide bar: “Stages of use” in embedded assistance design, part 2
  • 251IBM Total Information ExperienceSide bar: “Stages of use” cautionary note, part 1Stages of use apply to multiple user dimensions; forexample:Domain knowledgeComputer useYour toolTools like your toolA user who is a novice in your tool and tools like yourtool might be an expert in the domain and the use ofcomputers in general.The same user might be an expert with most parts ofyour UI and a novice in some, or might be an expert insome parts of a task flow and a novice in others.
  • 252IBM Total Information ExperienceThankfully, progressive disclosure enables youto support multiple levels of users throughout their useof the various parts of the product and throughtheir growth in domain and tool knowledge and experienceSide bar: “Stages of use” cautionary note, part 2You must consider the many dimensions of your usersbefore arbitrarily applying a single “stage of use” label tothemConsider the appropriate information for the point in time forwhich you are designing: does the user need toolinformation, domain information, or both?
  • 253IBM Total Information ExperienceA rose by any other name…Technical communicators have been “doing” PD fora long timeWe might not call it PDThe best example of traditional PD:Well-architected, traditional, online helpPrimary “layer”: Contextual and task topicsSecondary “layers”: Prereqs, background, relatedconcepts and reference, etc.
  • 254IBM Total Information ExperienceTraditional, contextual help
  • 255IBM Total Information ExperienceThe problem with traditional methods, part 1Typical UI-text development process:Written by developers of the UIEdited by tech pubs (best case; often copy edit capturing onlycapitalization and punctuation issues and typos)Typical help development process:Writers attend (some) design meetings, keeping track of thenumber of UI panels in the product, which typically include onehelp button per panelWriters develop one help topic for each UI panel in the productPop-up help/hover help provided for all,or no, controlsTask help describes how to completethe fields in the UI panel:Pop-up/hover help content repeated intask helpWriters cut and paste from specs
  • 256IBM Total Information ExperienceThe problem with traditional methods, part 2Typical library design and development process:Deliverables developed based on development expectations andhistory vs. user needsOther (non-help) deliverable content identified without regardfor task help also being createdExtensive redundancy across UI text, help, and otherdeliverables (like books)Design process accomplished within resource and timeconstraints, not according to ideal or customer needs
  • 257IBM Total Information ExperienceThe next PD evolution/revolutionThe UIGet even closer to the task thanthe helpInfluence the design of the task andtask ecosystemDrive reductions in wordsPrioritize resources around client value
  • 258IBM Total Information ExperiencePD revolution prerequisite: Think More, Write Less“Think more” means…Owning and being responsiblefor the information experienceNot making our users thinkabout how to use the productNot falling back on oldparadigms:One help topic perUI screenHow many books arewe going to write?Not letting thedevelopers thinkfor youBeing assertive –making sure you’reinvolved throughoutthe design process“Write less” means…Ensuring that the UI is as easyto explain as possible bycontributing to designinginteraction the right way thefirst timeStarting from the user’simmediate task context andworking your way out to moregeneral information—make“looking for” the answer a lastresort (because it is)Not forcing users to read morethan they have toPrioritizing what you cover andwhere—for example, usingscenariosNot just “papering theproduct” with traditionaldocumentation
  • 259IBM Total Information ExperienceWhy we need to change, part 1Traditional deliverables, developed bytraditional methods, are not working:Reference that “papers the product”Generalized user-guide info“Type your name in the Name field” helpMost documentation focuses on functionalinformation,not domain information, or the mapping from domain toproduct function—written from the inside outMuch of that information covers the large number of tasks usersneed to do – such as installing, migrating, etc. – that are notbusiness goalsOnline libraries stuffed with everything we produceDocumentation is often compensation for unusableproducts—a finger in an eroding dam of bad productdesign
  • 260IBM Total Information ExperienceWhy we need to change, part 2Customers and users don’t read documentation—reading documentation is never abusiness goal ☺Information is difficult to find and often doesnot address the user’s issueCustomers do not perceive information asseparate from productCustomers look more and more to forums, knowledgebases, and other social sources of info vs. product docCan you afford not to change—do you have the resourceto continue building and maintaining content thatcustomers don’t need or use?
  • 261IBM Total Information ExperienceHow we can think more and write less, part 1Prioritize using deep understanding of users(scenarios, use cases, etc.)Sometimes this means not writing somethingMost often, it means covering it in an unfamiliarway (to the team, customers, and even you)Design deliverables to support users’efficient and effective use of information inthe context of their tasks (embeddedassistance, contextual information,examples, samples, concrete information,take cues from community-written info)Own your portion of the responsibility forthe usability of the product—the informationexperience begins in the product
  • 262IBM Total Information ExperienceHow we can think more and write less, part 2If the design discussion around an aspect of the product seemscomplicated or difficult to you, it probably is—this is where yourcustomers most need you!In the design discussion, raise the issue withthe team, contribute ideas for improving the design.Look for gaps in user-goal and user-task flows:between UI panels, between tasks, betweendifferent UIs (admin versus end user client, e.g.),between products.Ask questions about what you don’t know (theyare probably the same as user’s questions).If you can’t get product changes, or get themright away, find ways to improve the userexperience without adding topics… embeddedinformation, “show me” demo, or tutorial.Start with the user and provide the right information within the UI’stask flow (embedded assistance).Determine what’s highest-value for your users—examples, samples,tasks, tutorials—and focus on those; don’t try to cover every part ofthe product with every kind of info and deliverable.
  • 263IBM Total Information ExperienceWhat we do requires thinking!There is no cookbook or recipe for implementing it!How we can think more and write less, part 3Document the UI in the UIDon’t rewrite what’s in the UI in hover help andhelp paneDon’t include unnecessary hover help and help-panecontentWhen considering additional documentationFocus on user tasks—not UI tasks—and then onsupporting reference and conceptual informationFocus concepts on the user’s task domain, not the toolDon’t duplicate UI help and hover-help content inother deliverablesWhen testing information, take user input into consideration, butdon’t just do whatever they sayUnderstand the root causes of their concernsDesign the right solution for the issue at hand and validate itTypically, users don’t know what the root cause is; they only know howto articulate what they like and don’t like; base design decisions onobservable performance, if possible
  • 264IBM Total Information ExperienceNow what?Start with the product: is it as obvious and self-evidentas possibleConsider your users’ stages of use (backup)Consider the types of content you need to provideControl assistancePanel assistanceAnd the types of mechanismsavailablePersistent UI text that doesn’t requirea user gestureSimple UI gestures your users will tolerateCan you improve “help?”How are you supporting use of theproduct with non-UI, task-oriented deliverables?
  • 265IBM Total Information ExperienceResourcesJakob Nielsen, AlertboxDemystifying Usability blogTime-Tripper UI patternsInteractionDesign.orgSTC proceedings paper on stages of use (backup):http://www.stc.org/images/proceedings/Documents/enablingprogressivei1.htm265
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture BootcampYour Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.Apply your models
  • 267IBM Total Information ExperienceApplying modelsApply models in order to do the following:1. Design a concrete information architecture for the mobileapp, including:Describe what information is neededDescribe where content is deliveredIn the productInstalled (separate from product)Hosted/WebCodeDescribe how the content is deliveredDelivery mechanismsCustomization and personalization2. Communicate to the group (pretend we’re your“stakeholders” and tell us the right story!).
  • 268IBM Total Information ExperienceComponents of a product-specific IAFocus: Detailed, prioritized, information architecture for aspecific product (or release of a product)Scope: Spans content types and deliverablesSpecifies:What information will be providedWhere/when in the users’ task flow it will be providedHow the information will be deliveredHow the information will be presentedHow users will find the informationPriorities for contentMock-ups and designs for specific high-focus informationcomponents, such as the Welcome experience
  • IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic InformationArchitecture BootcampYour Drill Instructors:Andrea L. AmesIBM Information Experience Strategist/Architect/DesignerAlyson RileyIBM Content StrategistCertificate Course―STC Summit4 & 5 May 2013© IBM Corporation 2013. All Rights Reserved.Conclusion
  • 270IBM Total Information ExperienceBootcamp themes1. The importance of systems thinking—analyze and strategize a completeexperience2. The importance of metrics—tell the right story in the right way to the right people3. The value of knowing who influences your success—identify the real decision-makers and figure out how to tie your strategy to theirs4. The difference between a requirement and “a good idea”—requirements identifybusiness-critical issues and help you ensure your vision is the right one5. The importance of soft skills—communication, evangelism, assertive outreach,networking, breaking down barriers6. The critical role that community plays in your success—managing yourstakeholders, building a shared vision for the information experience7. The wisdom of crawl-walk-run—don’t boil the ocean, but rather envision the runphase, start with crawl, and plan for walk8. The critical importance of audience analysis—every phase of the contentstrategy process, every deliverable, every communication9. The usefulness of modeling an information experience in the abstract—modelsare repeatable and scalable
  • 271IBM Total Information ExperienceStrategic IA Bootcamp: Complete!Now you’re ready to go forth and conquer!