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Information architecture patterns

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Patterns are repeatable solutions to common problems. IA patterns are structures for different kinds of sites. A work in progress, presented at the IA Summit 2010

Patterns are repeatable solutions to common problems. IA patterns are structures for different kinds of sites. A work in progress, presented at the IA Summit 2010


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  • 1. Information architecture patterns
  • 2. About me • User experience (IA, IXD, user research, content etc etc)  for 10+ years • Freelance in Canberra, Australia • UX Australia (late August, in Melbourne) • 3 books Card sorting How to write great copy  A practical guide to  for the web information architecture
  • 3. IA patterns A pattern is an emergent  A pattern is an emergent p answer to a common problem
  • 4. Hierarchy
  • 5. Hierarchy • Good for:  Small sites – little need for anything else  When you are guiding, allowing people learn more and  more detail • The relationship between content chunks is naturally  hierarchical  b d broader and narrower d
  • 6. Database
  • 7. Database • Content chunks are independent  There are relationships, but not dependent on each other • Good for:  Single ‘product’ with consistent structure  Storing content once, display it in many ways
  • 8. Hypertext
  • 9. Hypertext • No planned structure • Content is linked together in context • Good for:  Content not known in advance  Developing content domains  Collaborative work • Main challenge ‐ knowing what is available to link to
  • 10. Linear
  • 11. Simple hierarchy & database
  • 12. Simple hierarchy & database • Very common pattern • Good for a wide range of medium sites that have a need  for some database‐style content
  • 13. Catalog
  • 14. Sub-sites
  • 15. Subsites • Good for big organisations with lots of separate  topics/responsibilities • Subsites may have a consistent structure/pattern or vary • Need to decide how often people need to cross between  subsites
  • 16. Focused entry points
  • 17. Why do patterns matter • Help you choose an appropriate way to structure your  content • Provide an overall concept
  • 18. Questions & thanks • http://maadmob.com.au/ htt // d b / • +61 409‐778‐693 • donna@maadmob.net donna@maadmob net • Twitter etc: maadonna