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GETTING IA RIGHT   And what the heck is IA?Dale Cohen - General ManagerBigPond Network, Telstra Media
IA = INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE   What IA is   – Classification   – Grouping   – Hierarchy   What IA is not   – User interfa...
HOW DO YOU GET “IA” RIGHT?                             2`
START WITH THE BASICS  Who is your audience?  What do they need?  What do you need?  What are your site  goals?           ...
SO WHAT DO CUSTOMERS NEED?                             4`
CUSTOMER NEEDS  Understanding customers needs  – Ask yourself  – Ask them  – Measure what they do  Define customer scenari...
CUSTOMER BEHAVIOUR  Do not assume  – Watch what people actually do  – Structure information based on your    customers, no...
WHAT DO YOU NEED?                    7`
DEFINE BUSINESS OUTCOMES  What is the purpose of the site?  – What does the business requirements?  – What are the KPIs/me...
UNDERSTAND YOURSELF   What can you deliver?    – Don‟t try to be things you aren‟t    – Define a great experience but acce...
EXAMPLE – MICROSOFT DESIGNING THE IPODhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeXAcwriid0Search YouTube for “microsoft ipod”       ...
HOW DO YOU CREATE IA?                        11`
CREATING AN IA SPECIFICATION  Clearly define objectives  List content & functional requirements  Conduct a card sorting ex...
TYPICAL IA OUTPUTS  Sitemap  – Show site structure  – Define contextual relationships  – Define navigation  – Define hiera...
DON‟T MAKE ME THINK  Your audience isn‟t you  – They don‟t know what you do  – They don‟t have your commitment  Make it ea...
DESIGN? WELL THAT MATTERS TOO…                                 15`
DESIGN IS INTEGRAL  Engage UI designers early  Templates require design input  Overall usability requires good design  Des...
SUMMARY      Understand your customer      Understand yourself      Clearly define business objectives      Be practical, ...
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Getting information architecture right

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This is an presentation I gave at a website management conference to introduce the concept of information architecture. It's a talking point deck, so there's a lot of commentary that goes with it but it should give a basic outline of what IA is and how you practically approach it.

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Transcript of "Getting information architecture right"

  1. 1. GETTING IA RIGHT And what the heck is IA?Dale Cohen - General ManagerBigPond Network, Telstra Media
  2. 2. IA = INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE What IA is – Classification – Grouping – Hierarchy What IA is not – User interface designIA is the foundation your website isbuilt on 1`
  3. 3. HOW DO YOU GET “IA” RIGHT? 2`
  4. 4. START WITH THE BASICS Who is your audience? What do they need? What do you need? What are your site goals? 3`
  5. 5. SO WHAT DO CUSTOMERS NEED? 4`
  6. 6. CUSTOMER NEEDS Understanding customers needs – Ask yourself – Ask them – Measure what they do Define customer scenarios – Market segmentation – Typical use case scenarios – Create some stereotype „personas‟ Define information groups – Card sort – Customer led taxonomy 5`
  7. 7. CUSTOMER BEHAVIOUR Do not assume – Watch what people actually do – Structure information based on your customers, not your internal organisation Allow for multiple entry paths – Site navigation – Search (internal and external) – Links from the internet – Your site needs to make sense, no matter where people start. – Hierarchy of information (site, section) 6`
  8. 8. WHAT DO YOU NEED? 7`
  9. 9. DEFINE BUSINESS OUTCOMES What is the purpose of the site? – What does the business requirements? – What are the KPIs/measures of success? – Serve the business, not just the customer What will you report? – Understand your costs – Who will bear operational accountability? – What do you need to report to the CEO and board? 8`
  10. 10. UNDERSTAND YOURSELF What can you deliver? – Don‟t try to be things you aren‟t – Define a great experience but accept reality – Only Apple can be Apple Do your systems support your design? – Logistics – Organisational structure – Business systemsDesigning the perfect experience if it cannotbe delivered is pointless 9`
  11. 11. EXAMPLE – MICROSOFT DESIGNING THE IPODhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeXAcwriid0Search YouTube for “microsoft ipod” 10`
  12. 12. HOW DO YOU CREATE IA? 11`
  13. 13. CREATING AN IA SPECIFICATION Clearly define objectives List content & functional requirements Conduct a card sorting exercise Determine organising principles Create the outputs – Sitemap – Wireframes Do some user testing 12`
  14. 14. TYPICAL IA OUTPUTS Sitemap – Show site structure – Define contextual relationships – Define navigation – Define hierarchy – Consistent taxonomy – Site search Wireframes – Template layout – Define structural elements 13`
  15. 15. DON‟T MAKE ME THINK Your audience isn‟t you – They don‟t know what you do – They don‟t have your commitment Make it easy to find things – Include the homepage in navigation! – Use breadcrumbs for location reminders – Behave to audience expectations Don‟t make them wait – Flash intros must be optional – Flash websites should not exist 14`
  16. 16. DESIGN? WELL THAT MATTERS TOO… 15`
  17. 17. DESIGN IS INTEGRAL Engage UI designers early Templates require design input Overall usability requires good design Design is not the same as IA – Good UI designers can do IA, but IA must lead the design, not the other way around. Buildings, not monuments – Looking good is not the same as being good. Your site needs to survive the rigours of daily production. 16`
  18. 18. SUMMARY Understand your customer Understand yourself Clearly define business objectives Be practical, not perfect Create clear specifications IA is a specialised skill Get a designer involved early Do user testingDale.Cohen@team.telstra.comtwitter.com/daleclinkedin.com/in/dalecohen 17`
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