Labeling Systems
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Labeling Systems

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  • 1. Labeling Systems Information Architecture
  • 2. Labeling Systems
    • Labels are the most obvious way of showing the user your organization and navigation systems. Where do you see labeling systems???
  • 3.
    • Examine the labels used on United State Postal Service's home page. Identify each of the labels used and briefly discuss each one considering the following: Do the prominent labels on this page stand out to you? If they do, why? If a label is new, unanticipated, or confusing, is there an explanation? Or are you required to click through to learn more?
  • 4. Bad Labeling Systems
    • Problems with the labels:
      • Labels are not representative and don’t differentiate
      • Labels are jargony, not user-centric
      • Labels waste money
      • Labels don’t make a good impression Try cingular.com…..
  • 5. Labeling Systems
    • Variety of labels
      • Contextual links
      • Headings
      • Navigation scheme choices
      • Index terms
  • 6. Labels as Contextual Links
    • Should be more representational of the contents they connect to.
    • They rely on the context / draw meaning from the surrounding text
    • Examples of good contextual links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page http://netsecurity.about.com/
  • 7. Labels as Headings
    • Used to describe chunks of Information
    • Hierarchical relationships between headings is establish using numbering, font, sizes, colors and styles.
    • Have to be obvious and convey sequence
    • Examples: http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-rdf-syntax-19990222/ http://www.southwest.com/
  • 8. Labels as Navigation Systems
    • Demand more consistency in their application than any other type of labels.
    • There are no standards but common variants exists:
        • Main, Main Page, Home
        • Search, Find, Browse, Search/Browse
        • Site Map, Contents, Table of Contents, Index
        • Contact, Contact Us
        • Help, FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions
        • About, About Us, About <company name>, Who We Are
  • 9. Labels as Index Terms
    • Also referred as keywords, descriptive metadata, taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, thesaurus.
    • Index terms support precise search than searching the full text
    • Can be used to make browsing easier http://www.sun.com/products-n-solutions/hardware/a-z.html
    • Metadata: Invisible index terms/labels
  • 10. Iconic Labels
    • A picture is worth a thousand words. But which thousand?
    • Frequently used as navigation labels (not good practice) for small sites
    • Are more limited that textual labels
    • Can be confusing to users
    • Example: http://www.expedia.com http://www.brightplanit.com/
  • 11. Designing Labels
    • This is probably the most difficult aspect of Information Architecture
    • Language is too ambiguous
    • Can not assume that a particular label will work for every web site
  • 12. Guidelines for Design
    • Narrow the scope whenever possible
    • Develop consistent systems, not labels
        • Style
        • Presentation
        • Syntax (consider using a single syntactic type for each system)
        • Granularity
        • Comprehensiveness
        • Audience
  • 13. Sources for Labeling Systems
    • Your site
        • Gather labels in your current web pages and look for consistency with the content and title of each page
        • Arrange labels in a table for a more condensed, complete and accurate view of your site’s navigation labels
    • Comparable and competitive sites
  • 14. Sources for Labeling Systems
    • Controlled vocabulary and thesauri
        • Look for narrowly focused vocabularies
        • Vocabularies specific to your audience
        • Sources:
          • ThesauriOnline (American Society of Indexers) http://www.asindexing.org/site/thesonet.shtml
  • 15. Creating New Labeling Systems
    • Content Analysis
    • Content Authors
    • User advocates subject mater experts
    • Users
    • A lot of tuning and tweaking
  • 16. Creating New Labeling Systems
    • With Users you can use the following techniques
      • Card Sorting – Open/Closed card sorting
        • w/o natural context, label’s ability to represent meaning is diminished
      • Free-listing – list a subject and have users brainstorm words to describe it
      • Search Engine Logs
      • Tag Analysis