Information Architecture - Concepts + Applications

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Free webinar as part of the #UXconnect series from Kent State University and the IA Institute on December 2, 2013

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  • My name is Dan Klyn and I’m a co-founder and information architect at The Understanding Group in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Shari Thurow is founder and chief awesome officer at Omni Marketing Interactive in Chicago
  • We’re currently both serving on the board of Directors for the IA Institute, and are glad for the opportunity to talk about information architecture with usability and UX folks like yourselves, and if you become interested in what we present today and would like to learn more about IA the IAI is a great place to learn more.
  • This book – IA for the WWW – was published in February of 1998 and WIAD was created in part to commemorate and recognize this book and its importance in socializing the concept of information architecture as a critical part of the design of large-scale websites.The last – and as far as I know final edition of the polar bear book was published in 2007. And many of us who’re teaching IA in colleges and universities have found the book to be increasingly less comprehensive as the years go by and as the ways that people interact with information become pervasive, and multiply in complexity.
  • In 1998, if you were talking about the architecture of “places made of information” you’d have been told that that’s a nice metaphor. And if you’d have asked a political scientist to name the places in the world where the most important social and political events were happening, you’d have heard about Eastern Europe or The Middle East or North or North and South Korea. Today, ask that same question… if you were to ask “where did the Arab Spring happen”…. you might hear Tunisia or Egypt but more likely you’d hear Facebook and Twitter. This is not a metaphor. These are real places, made of information. Places we inhabit. And many of these places, like some of the buildings we live and dwell in, require specific architectures to support the activities people want or need to engage in in these places.
  • At the advent of the WWW, you might look to an information architect to devise an organization scheme for your website, and to develop a sitemap to explain the hierarchy of the information to be navigated on the site. Today, many of the products and services we work on can’t be represented in a sitemap, or be effectively structured on the basis of hierarchies (especially fixed hierarchies). The complexity and contradiction of what people and businesses want to see happen among users and across channels and devices in digital space is breathtaking.
  • So how does IA earn its keep if we’re no longer able to make a sitemap or “do the navigation”? For some of us, including my friend Jorge Arango, IA has never been primarily about sitemaps or wireframes or doing the navigation. And while some of the tactical stuff in the Polar Bear Book might be mostly played out in 2013, underneath it and connecting it back to the IA work done in the 1960s and 1970s is the idea that IA is and has always been about meaning. And about making structures to support, enhance and extend that meaning.
  • I realize that Arango’s definition of IA may be different than the one you came to the session with today. And that’s OK. What I’d like to do is propose a model for understanding information architecture that obtains in any context. In any decade. For any matter of communication: print or digital or hybrid. A way to identify the elements of products and services that’re information architectural in nature and to ensure what Louis Kahn called “a society” among those elements.The model is ontology, taxonomy and choreography.I used to work as a bicycle mechanic in High School, and one thing I learned doing that job was about how gears work, and the perhaps counter-intuitive way that the littlest gear does most of the work in the system of a bicycle. The littlest and most important gear in this system is ontology. Our particular meaning. What we mean when we say what we say.
  • Information Architecture - Concepts + Applications

    1. 1. Information Architecture: Concepts + Applications By Dan Klyn and Shari Thurow KSU UXD UXconnect – December 2, 2013
    2. 2. (c) 2013
    3. 3. (c) 2013
    4. 4. (c) 2013
    5. 5. World Information Architecture Day 2.15.14 http://worldiaday.org Buenos Aires, Argentina Antwerp, Belgium São Paulo, Brazil Zagreb, Croatia Hermoupolis, Syros, Greece Budapest, Hungary Tehran, Iran Milan, Italy Siracusa, Italy Tokyo, Japan Warsaw, Poland Johannesburg, South Africa Barcelona, Spain Bristol, United Kingdom Ann Arbor, MI, United States Chicago, IL, United States Charlotte, NC, United States Des Moines, IA, United States Los Angeles, CA, United States Miami, FL, United States New York, NY, United States Portland, OR, United States Washington, DC, United States
    6. 6. (c) 2013
    7. 7. © 2013
    8. 8. Places Made of Information (c) 2013
    9. 9. Places Full of Complexity and Contradiction (c) 2013
    10. 10. “information architecture is the only field I‟m aware of that is concerned with the structural integrity of meaning across contexts. Anyone who questions the relevance of IA by diminishing it to “just” website navigation in 2013 is talking about their understanding of the state of the profession 15 years ago” -- Jorge Arango past President of The Information Architecture Institute (c) 2013
    11. 11. 1. IA WTF A model for understanding information architectur 2. IA FTW Using information architecture to make search awesom
    12. 12. © 2013
    13. 13. A Model for Understanding Information Architecture Ontology Particular meaning. Taxonomy Arrangement of the parts. Choreography Rules for interaction among the parts. (c) 2013
    14. 14. Image pilfered from @inkblurt’s tweetstream (c) 2013
    15. 15. (c) 2013
    16. 16. (c) 2013
    17. 17. What Is The Meaning of App Store? (c) 2013
    18. 18. … How About Here? (c) 2013
    19. 19. What Is The Meaning of iTunes? (c) 2013
    20. 20. ontology taxonomy Particular meaning Arrangement of the parts (c) 2013
    21. 21. (c) 2013
    22. 22. Taxonomy = Arranging Meaning in Context (c) 2013
    23. 23. Taxonomy = Arranging Meaning in Context (c) 2013
    24. 24. Taxonomy = Arranging Meaning in Context (c) 2013
    25. 25. Taxonomy = Arranging Meaning Across Contexts (c) 2013
    26. 26. Taxonomy = Arranging Meaning Across Contexts (c) 2013
    27. 27. A Model for Understanding Information Architecture Ontology Particular meaning. Taxonomy Arrangement of the parts. Choreography Rules for interaction among the parts. (c) 2013
    28. 28. (c) 2013
    29. 29. (c) 2013
    30. 30. Choreography = Rules For How The Parts May Interact (c) 2013
    31. 31. © 2013
    32. 32. © 2013
    33. 33. Choreography: Appropriate Unfolding? (c) 2013
    34. 34. Choreography: Appropriate Unfolding? (c) 2013
    35. 35. Arrangement of the parts Ontology Particular meaning Rules for Choreography interaction among the parts. (c) 2013
    36. 36. A Model for Understanding Information Architecture Ontology Particular meaning. Taxonomy Arrangement of the parts. Choreography Rules for interaction among the parts. (c) 2013
    37. 37. 1. IA WTF A model for understanding information architectur 2. IA FTW Using information architecture to make search awesom
    38. 38. (c) 2013
    39. 39. (c) 2013
    40. 40. (c) 2013
    41. 41. Findability is critical facet of UX: useful desirable usable valuable accessible findable credible http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/000029.php (c) 2013
    42. 42. The facet I focus on: find•a•bil•i•ty [fahynd-duh-bil-i-tee] −noun a. The quality of being locatable or navigable. b. The degree to which a particular object is easy to discover or locate. c. (c) 2013 The degree to which a system or environment supports navigation and retrieval (search).
    43. 43. Query (search) Browse Ask Adapted from diagram in Morville and Callender’s Search Patterns. (c) 2013
    44. 44. Search engine optimization is… …optimizing an interface for search engines. (c) 2013
    45. 45. (c) 2013
    46. 46. Search engine optimization is… …optimizing an interface for people who use search engines. technologycentered design usercentered design SEARCH-ENGINE FRIENDLY People (Searchers) (c) 2013 Search Engines
    47. 47. SEO is not… “I overheard a senior vice president say, „…and then we‟ll get the SEO fairies to sprinkle magic pixie dust and everything will be swell!‟ It was a joke, but there‟s truth in every joke. What did he mean by magic pixie dust? There is no such thing in SEO.” -- http://searchengineland.com/why-seo-needs-its-ownreputation-management-64637
    48. 48. Search engine optimization is… • …optimizing a website for people who use search engines. • SEO professionals are concerned with: – – – – Labeling website content so that it is easy to find Organizing website content so that it is easy to find Ensuring search engines have access to desired content Ensuring search engines don’t have access to undesirable content • Applies to both: – Web search engines – Site search engines (c) 2013
    49. 49. Also applies: • Human users • Non-human users Desktop (c) 2013 Notebook Tablet Mobile
    50. 50. Fundamental building blocks of SEO: Keywords and Labels Link Development and Social (c) 2013 Architecture and Design Searcher Goals
    51. 51. (c) 2013
    52. 52. Architecture, navigation, and layout: Most important Least important (c) 2013
    53. 53. On-the-page criteria: Keywords and Labels Architecture and Design On-the-page criteria Link Development and Social (c) 2013 Searcher Goals
    54. 54. Off-the-page criteria: Keywords and Labels Architecture and Design Off-the-page criteria Link Development and Social (c) 2013 Searcher Goals
    55. 55. What searchers and search engines determine: Keywords and Labels Architecture and Design Aboutness Infrastructure & Scent = Link Development and Social (c) 2013 Searcher Goals Validation & Credibility Searcher Goals
    56. 56. Web searcher goals: Navigational Transactional (Where can I go?) (c) 2013 Informational (What can I learn/know?) (What can I do?)
    57. 57. Navigational queries: Known content/site Re-find (c) 2013
    58. 58. Go = navigational: (c) 2013
    59. 59. Even if a site has a #1 position: 3 (c) 2013
    60. 60. Searchers don’t want this: (c) 2013
    61. 61. Informational queries: C Quick fact Read reviews (c) 2013 Answer to question List
    62. 62. Know/learn = informational: (c) 2013
    63. 63. Transactional queries: C Listen to music Look at pictures (c) 2013 Download Watch a video
    64. 64. Do = transactional: (c) 2013
    65. 65. SEO professionals also want this: 3 (c) 2013
    66. 66. Mobile queries: Quick fact (c) 2013 Location Personal Information
    67. 67. IA and usability decisions have a direct impact on findability. • We all have search responsibilities: – – – – – (c) 2013 Keywords (labels) are important. Treat most pages as a point of entry. Don’t limit access to desired content. Accommodate searching as well as browsing behaviors. Be aware that some of your findability solutions can cause search engine problems (both web and site search engines).
    68. 68. The “blame” game: (c) 2013
    69. 69. Thank you! sthurow@search-usability.com @sharithurow Search Engine Visibility From New Riders Companion site at: SearchEnginesBook.com © 2013 When Search Meets Web Usability Companion site at: SearchMeetsUsability.com
    70. 70. World Information Architecture Day 2.15.14 http://worldiaday.org Buenos Aires, Argentina Antwerp, Belgium São Paulo, Brazil Zagreb, Croatia Hermoupolis, Syros, Greece Budapest, Hungary Tehran, Iran Milan, Italy Siracusa, Italy Tokyo, Japan Warsaw, Poland Johannesburg, South Africa Barcelona, Spain Bristol, United Kingdom Ann Arbor, MI, United States Chicago, IL, United States Charlotte, NC, United States Des Moines, IA, United States Los Angeles, CA, United States Miami, FL, United States New York, NY, United States Portland, OR, United States Washington, DC, United States

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