Information Architecture by Chris Farnum - LA2M 9/9/09


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Chris Farnum leads a discussion at LA2M about Information Architecture - what is it, why it's important to marketers, and how it contributes to the process of creating great user experiences. He’ll introduce the fundamental concepts including site organization, labels, taxonomies, and navigation. He will also discuss the role IA plays in projects.

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Information Architecture by Chris Farnum - LA2M 9/9/09

  1. 1. Introduction to Information Architecture in Web Design Chris Farnum, Sr. Information Architect LA2M – September 9, 2009
  2. 2. A Web site’s “Information Architecture” is the way it is organized. Whether users are… –looking for an answer –finding something specific –communicating –being entertained –completing a task … the navigation, categories, links, and labels all contribute to the user experience. As an IA, I help make plans for Web sites that provide a guide for designing and building them. Definitions | What is IA? - Chris’ IA elevator pitch Intro to IA - 2
  3. 3. Definitions | Information Environment Business goals, brand, strategy, technology, politics, resources Context Content Users Audience, tasks, needs, info seeking behavior, experience Document types, content objects, volume, structure Based on Rosenfeld and Morville – Information Architecture for the World Wide Web Intro to IA - 3 IA
  4. 4. Definitions | The Information Architecture “Layer” From The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garret IA is the layer between objectives and page level design Intro to IA - 4
  5. 5. • Organization Systems How is content organized? By User Task, Subject Category, Audience Type, Metaphor… • Labeling Systems Links, buttons, labels, calls-to-action… • Navigation Systems Sitewide navigation, local navigation, utility navigation… • Search Systems Site search interfaces, results pages, indexing… • Thesauri, Controlled Vocabularies, and Metadata Systems of terms used to organize and tag content Elements of IA | What does the IA of a site include? Intro to IA - 5 Based on Rosenfeld and Morville – Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
  6. 6. • Brand Sites • E-commerce sites • Product Selectors & Configurators • Landing Pages • E-mail Templates • Rich Internet Applications • Expandable Banner Ads • Search Interfaces • Extranets • Intranets… Types of Projects | What kinds need IA-thinking? Intro to IA - 6
  7. 7. Customer Focus (good user exp. = good customer exp). Cost of finding (customer service, time, clicks, precision). Cost of not finding (lost visitors, lost sales, frustration). Cost of development (time, budget, staff, scalability). Measuring: Web and Search Analytics, Usability Testing, Surveys, ROI Value | Why is IA important in Web marketing? Intro to IA - 7 Based on Rosenfeld and Morville – Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
  8. 8. IA Techniques | Blueprint or High Level IA
  9. 9. IA Techniques | Wireframe Intro to IA - 9
  10. 10. IA Techniques | More… Prototyping Create a paper prototype or a rough click-able prototype to demonstrate to the internal team and for user testing. User Research & Testing Find out how your users think and what they need. See how they accomplish key tasks (or not). Personas Describe your most important types of users and their common tasks. Functional Specifications Document user interface requirements for the site including page types, page components, forms, navigation… Intro to IA - 10
  11. 11. IA Best Practices | A Few Key Concepts Reusable Components Consistent page types and components make the interface easier to use AND easier to develop. Top Down vs. Bottom Up Good designs consider both the high level view and from the most granular view of your content. Don’t Let Users Feel Lost Site navigation should provide a sense of where you are and where you can go (a la Instone’s Navigation Stress Test). Intro to IA - 11
  12. 12. Information Architect Interaction Designer User Experience Designer Usability Specialist Content Strategist Business Analyst Web Master Product Manager _____________ (insert title here) Job Titles | Do you need to be an IA to do IA? something you do vs. something you are Intro to IA - 12
  13. 13. Sources | Where Do I Learn How to Do IA? Library Science Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Project Experience Information Architecture Institute (prof. group) ASIST SIG-IA (prof. group) The Information Architecture Summit IDEA Conference Books Rosenfeld & Morville, Wodkte, JJ Garrett… Intro to IA - 13
  14. 14. In closing… Questions and Comments? Download This presentation is available online via Slideshare: Contact Chris Farnum Senior Information Architect User Experience Consultant ___________ (insert title here) Intro to IA - 14