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Closing the Findability Gap: 8 better practices from information architecture
 

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Closing the Findability Gap: 8 better practices from information architecture Closing the Findability Gap: 8 better practices from information architecture Presentation Transcript

  • Closing theFindability Gap8 better practices frominformation architectureLou Rosenfeld •  Rosenfeld Media •  rosenfeldmedia.com
  • Hello, my name is Lou www.louisrosenfeld.com | www.rosenfeldmedia.com
  • The state ofcontemporary findability
  • Some questions that youprobably can’t answer• Who are your content’s primary audiences?• What are the five major tasks and needs each has?• Are you satisfying those tasks and needs?• What data support your thinking?• How do you measure success?
  • Why can’t we getfindability right?
  • Why can’t we getfindability right?
  • Why can’t we getfindability right?• We don’t know how to diagnose
  • Why can’t we getfindability right?• We don’t know how to diagnose• We don’t know how to measure
  • Why can’t we getfindability right?• We don’t know how to diagnose• We don’t know how to measure• Siloed organizations
  • Why can’t we getfindability right?• We don’t know how to diagnose• We don’t know how to measure• Siloed organizations• Ill-equipped decision-makers
  • Why can’t we getfindability right?• We don’t know how to diagnose• We don’t know how to measure• Siloed organizations• Ill-equipped decision-makers• Short-term thinking
  • Why can’t we getfindability right?• We don’t know how to diagnose• We don’t know how to measure• Siloed organizations• Ill-equipped decision-makers• Short-term thinking• Semantic illiteracy
  • Data is binaryInformation isn’t
  • Data is binaryInformation isn’t
  • Information architecture:8 better practices for findability 1. Diagnosing the important problems 2. Balancing our evidence 3. Advocating for the long term 4. Measuring engagement 5. Supporting contextual navigation 6. Improving search across silos 7. Combining design approaches effectively 8. Tuning our designs over time
  • #1Diagnosing theimportant problems
  • A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long waydocuments meet the needs of your most important audiences
  • A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long waydocuments meet the needs of your most important audiences Not all queries are distributed equally
  • A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long waydocuments meet the needs of your most important audiences
  • A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long waydocuments meet the needs of your most important audiences Nor do they diminish gradually
  • A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long waydocuments meet the needs of your most important audiences
  • A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long waydocuments meet the needs of your most important audiences 80/20 rule isn’t quite accurate
  • (and the tail is quite long)
  • (and the tail is quite long)
  • (and the tail is quite long)
  • (and the tail is quite long)
  • (and the tail is quite long)
  • The Long Tail is(and the tail is quite long) much longer than you’d suspect
  • Zipf Distribution in text
  • It’s Zipf’s World;we just live in it A little... • queries • tasks • ways to navigate • features • documents ...goes a long way
  • UNVERIFIED RUMOR:
  • UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of
  • UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% ofMicrosoft.com content
  • UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com contenthas never been accessed...
  • UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com contenthas never been accessed... not even once
  • UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com contenthas never been accessed... not even once TAKEAWAY:
  • UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com contenthas never been accessed... not even once TAKEAWAY: FOCUS ON
  • UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com contenthas never been accessed... not even once TAKEAWAY: FOCUS ON THE STUFF
  • UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com contenthas never been accessed... not even once TAKEAWAY: FOCUS ON THE STUFFTHAT MATTERS!
  • #2Balancing our evidence
  • from Christian Rohrer: http://is.gd/95HSQ2
  • Balanced research leads to true insight, new opportunitiesfrom Christian Rohrer: http://is.gd/95HSQ2
  • Lou’s TABLE OFOVERGENERALIZED Web Analytics User Experience DICHOTOMIES Users intentions and What they Users behaviors (whats motives (why those things analyze happening) happen) Qualitative methods for What methods Quantitative methods to explaining why things they employ determine whats happening happen Helps users achieve goals What theyre Helps the organization meet (expressed as tasks ortrying to achieve goals (expressed as KPI) topics of interest) Uncover patterns and How they use Measure performance (goal- surprises (emergent data driven analysis) analysis) Statistical data ("real" data Descriptive data (in smallWhat kind of data in large volumes, full of volumes, generated in lab they use errors) environment, full of errors)
  • #3Advocating for the long-term
  • Steward Brand’s Pace Layeringmodel Typical design focus Stuff that gets ignored: mission, vision, charter, goals, KPI, objectives
  • #4Measuring engagement
  • Measuringconversions?No problem...
  • ..measuringanything else? Good luck!
  • The missing metricsof in-betweenness• Orientation (“What can I do here?”)• Engagement (“I like this; do you?”)• Connection/cross-promotion (“What goes with this?”)• Authority (“I trust this”)• and many more...
  • #5Supportingcontextual navigation
  • Contextual navigation:your site’s desire lines
  • Contextual navigation: your site’s desire lines Determinethrough content modeling, site search analytics
  • Contextual navigation: your site’s desire lines Determinethrough content modeling, site search analytics Deep navigation requires content modeling: a better approach to deep IA and content structuring
  • Important content objects emerge concert calendar from content modeling (example: BBC) album pages artist descriptions TV listingsalbum reviews discography artist bios
  • Important content objects emerge concert calendar from content modeling (example: BBC) album pages artist descriptions TV listings Content that matters mostalbum reviews discography artist bios
  • Important metadata attributes emergefrom content modeling
  • Important metadata attributes emergefrom content modeling Metadata that matters most
  • #6Improving search across silos
  • Reconsidering the search UI...
  • ...by contextualizing “advanced”features, focusing on revision
  • ...by contextualizing “advanced”features, focusing on revision search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. how solar energy works
  • ...by contextualizing “advanced”features, focusing on revision search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. how solar energy works search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. energy
  • ...by contextualizing “advanced”features, focusing on revisionsearch session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. solar energy charts 2. how solar energy works search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. energy
  • ...by contextualizing “advanced”features, focusing on revision search session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. solar energy charts 2. how solar energy works search session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. explain solar energy 2. energy
  • ...by contextualizing “advanced”features, focusing on revision search session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. solar energy charts 2. how solar energy works search session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. explain solar energy 2. energy search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. solar energy news
  • Recognizingspecialized queries(e.g., proper nouns,dates, unique ID#s)
  • ...and designing specialized search results
  • ...and designing specialized search results
  • ...and designing specialized search results
  • Content objects from productcontent model...and designing specialized search results
  • Poor search results returned by search engineContent objects from productcontent model...and designing specialized search results
  • #7Combining design approacheseffectively
  • Yes, manual effort is still asimportant as tools
  • Yes, manual effort is still asimportant as tools Narrow, deep content access
  • Vanguard’s Tax Center is asimple, low-tech, editorial
  • Vanguard’s Tax Center is asimple, low-tech, editorial ...to editorially rich content
  • Manuallyselected results
  • Manuallyselected results ...complement raw results
  • Treat your content Each layer is cumulative; most important like an onion content is at the core informationlayer usability content strategy architecture indexed by search 0 engine leave it alone leave it alone squeaky wheel issues 1 tagged by users addressed refresh annually tagged by experts (non- test with a service 2 topical tags) (e.g., UserTesting.com) refresh monthly tagged by experts “traditional” lab-based titled according to 3 (topical tags) user testing guidelines content models for structured according 4 contextual navigation A/B testing to schema
  • #8Tuning designs over time
  • Your site is a moving targetbuilt on moving targets
  • Impact of change on design(queries)
  • Impact of change on design(queries) Interest in the football team: going...
  • Impact of change on design(queries) Interest in the football team: going... ...going...
  • Impact of change on design(queries) Interest in the football team: going... ...going... gone
  • Impact of change on design(queries) Time to Interest in the study! football team: going... ...going... gone
  • IRS before Tax Day
  • Before Tax DayIRS before Tax Day
  • IRS after Tax Day
  • After Tax DayIRS after Tax Day
  • Summary:8 IA better practices1. Diagnosing the important problems2. Balancing our evidence3. Advocating for the long term4. Measuring engagement5. Supporting contextual navigation6. Improving search across silos7. Combining design approaches effectively8. Tuning our designs over time
  • Summary:8 IA better practices1. Diagnosing the important problems2. Balancing our evidence3. Advocating for the long term4. Measuring engagement5. Supporting contextual navigation6. Improving search across silos7. Combining design approaches effectively8. Tuning our designs over time Let’s stop boiling the ocean
  • Say hello Lou Rosenfeld lou@louisrosenfeld.com Rosenfeld Media  www.louisrosenfeld.com | @louisrosenfeld www.rosenfeldmedia.com | @rosenfeldmedia