Case Study: Enterprise Information Architecture


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Presented at the IA Summit 2002. A case study of the integrated information architecture redesign project. Co-presented with Peter Merholz.

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  • Case Study: Enterprise Information Architecture

    1. 1. Case Study Enterprise Information Architecture March 16, 2002 Chiara Fox, PeopleSoft Peter Merholz, Adaptive Path
    2. 2. What We’ll Talk About <ul><li>I. Project Overview </li></ul><ul><li>II. The Role of the IA In the Enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>III. Merging Top-Down and Bottom-Up IA </li></ul><ul><li>IV. Content Analysis Methodologies </li></ul>
    3. 3. I. Project Overview: The Problem <ul><li>Three separate web properties with different architectures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>, Customer Connection, and Alliance Connection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No unified user experience and quality varies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources are duplicated (sometimes triplicated) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard for users to find things cross-site due to differences in IA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to share content that is the same across sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each site has separate technical backend </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sites published with FutureTense, Lotus Notes, and other relational databases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three sites, three search engines, no structured content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two Internet Systems teams to support the different platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to plan for implementation of PeopleSoft Portal </li></ul>
    4. 4. Project Overview: The Team <ul><li>Consultants – Adaptive Path and Lot21 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Indi Young, Janice Fraser, Peter Merholz, Marcus Haid </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In-house – Web development team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chiara Fox, Information Architect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Camille Sobalvarro, Manager Design & Information Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>11 web producers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 member migration “posse” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 thesaurus developer/IA/indexer consultants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 designers + 2 design consultants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 usability and metrics specialists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15 technical developers + 3 CMS consultants </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Project Overview: The Process
    6. 6. Project Overview: Implementation Tracks <ul><li>Visual design and site style guide </li></ul><ul><li>Content migration, including ROT removal </li></ul><ul><li>Installation and preparation of Interwoven’s TeamSite (templates, workflow, scripting) </li></ul><ul><li>Metadata development (schema, vocabularies, indexing) </li></ul><ul><li>Training (on using system, creating and using templates, architecture, indexing) </li></ul><ul><li>Refining IA at a highly detailed level as content was migrated </li></ul>
    7. 9. II. The Role of the IA in the Enterprise <ul><li>Hub of the entire process </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison between many teams </li></ul><ul><li>Migrator training </li></ul><ul><li>One title, many roles </li></ul>
    8. 10. Role of the IA: Hub of Process <ul><li>Only team member with detailed knowledge of all content on all sites </li></ul><ul><li>Had vision of how sites should function when complete </li></ul><ul><li>Understood every aspect of the architecture, wireframes, blueprint, and other specifications </li></ul>
    9. 11. Role of the IA: Liaison Between Many Teams <ul><li>Consultants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information architecture, CMS implementation, graphic design </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Internet Systems </li></ul><ul><li>In-house designers </li></ul><ul><li>Other departments within PeopleSoft, such as product marketing </li></ul>
    10. 12. Role of the IA: Migrator Training <ul><li>Understand new architecture </li></ul><ul><li>How content fits into wireframes </li></ul><ul><li>Use of CMS templates </li></ul><ul><li>“Ask Dr. IA” newsletter </li></ul>
    11. 13. Role of the IA: One Title, Many Roles <ul><li>Project manager </li></ul><ul><li>XML coder </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary editor </li></ul><ul><li>Content migrator </li></ul><ul><li>Copyeditor </li></ul><ul><li>Directory creator </li></ul><ul><li>CMS system architecture designer </li></ul>
    12. 14. III. Merging Top-Down and Bottom-Up IA <ul><li>Two primary approaches to developing the new information architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Top-Down </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Driven by user research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop mental models of audience types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Derive main site organization from this understanding of approaches to the task </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bottom-Up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foundation for designing architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building product module pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metadata development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site and product indexes </li></ul></ul>
    13. 15. Top-Down IA: User Interviews <ul><li>19 subjects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6 potential customers, 7 current customers, 6 alliance partners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Four slices – C-level, Director, Manager, Implementer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hour-long task analysis interviews, probing how the person was involved in the process of purchasing enterprise-level software </li></ul>
    14. 16. Create a “mental model” for an audience
    15. 17. For each set of tasks, map the content that could be used to support it
    16. 18. Which still resembles…
    17. 19. Bottom-Up IA: Forms the Foundation <ul><li>Closely linked with the content analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding and describing the content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding the patterns and groupings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matching content with user needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Results are leveraged in different ways </li></ul>
    18. 20. Bottom-Up IA: Building Product Module Pages <ul><li>Went through the site and pulled together all information related to products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upgrades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Used sticky notes to gather the items into logical groups </li></ul><ul><li>Logical groups became the tabs on the module pages </li></ul>
    19. 23. Bottom-up IA: Metadata Development <ul><li>12 attribute schema developed based upon patterns found and functionality we wanted </li></ul><ul><li>10 controlled vocabularies developed of varying complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Individual thesauri were developed for the products, services, and subject attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-automatic indexing tool used to tag content, as well as manual tagging </li></ul>
    20. 24. FINANCIALS [Financial Analytics]   FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT [Financial Analytics] Analytic Forecasting {Financial Analytic Forecasting} {Financial Forecasting} Asset Liability Management {Liability Management} Asset Management {Managing Assets} Balanced Scorecard Billing {Bills} Budgeting {Budgets} CFO Portal {Portal for CFO} {Chief Financial Officer Portal} {Portal for Chief Financial Officer} Contracts {Contracting} Deduction Management {Deductions} {Managing Deduction} eBill Payment {e-Bill Payment} {Bill Payment} Expenses Financial Insight [Financial Analytics] General Ledger {G/L} Payables {Accounts Payable} {A/P} Projects Purchasing Receivables {Accounts Receivable} {A/R}   MARKETPAY [MarketPlace]   TREASURY MANAGEMENT Deal Management {Managing Deals} {Management of Deals} Risk Management {Risk} {Managing Risk} {Management of Risk}
    21. 25. Bottom-up IA: Site Index & Product Index <ul><li>Alternative to the primary navigation for getting to content </li></ul><ul><li>Indexed just like a back of the book index </li></ul><ul><li>Product index based upon the product vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Australian Indexers Society award for Web Indexes </li></ul>
    22. 27. IV. Content Analysis Methodologies <ul><li>Many methodologies of content analysis were employed </li></ul><ul><li>Content inventory </li></ul><ul><li>Unified content map </li></ul><ul><li>Product matrix </li></ul><ul><li>Classification scheme analysis </li></ul>
    23. 28. Content Analysis: Content Inventory <ul><li>Clicked through thousands of pages across the three properties (8,000 lines in the Excel spreadsheet) </li></ul><ul><li>Automated attempts insufficient—manual attention required </li></ul><ul><li>Tagged each piece of content with metadata, preparing it for both IA and CMS migration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where it lives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link Ids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul></ul>
    24. 30. Content Analysis: Unified Content Map <ul><li>Graphical representation of content on the sites </li></ul><ul><li>Shows redundancies and gaps in content between the sites </li></ul>
    25. 31. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Connection </li></ul>
    26. 32. Content Analysis: Product Matrix <ul><li>Began as a way to understand how products fit together </li></ul><ul><li>Illustrates the atom –> molecule –> crystal model </li></ul><ul><li>Forms the basis of the product hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Now used in other departments to understand how products are structured </li></ul>
    27. 34. Content Analysis: Classification Scheme Analysis <ul><li>Done early in project </li></ul><ul><li>Compare terms used across the different sites </li></ul><ul><li>Great for building a case for the project by showing inconsistencies </li></ul><ul><li>Used to discover alternate terms for vocabularies </li></ul>
    28. 36. Thank You <ul><li>Chiara Fox </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architect, PeopleSoft </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Merholz </li></ul><ul><li>Partner, Adaptive Path </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
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