Organizing Web Content, or, the Web is not Aunt Mildred's closet
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Organizing Web Content, or, the Web is not Aunt Mildred's closet

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A little talk on the basics of Information Architecture given at Grand Valley State University Libraries on April 19, 2011.

A little talk on the basics of Information Architecture given at Grand Valley State University Libraries on April 19, 2011.

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Organizing Web Content, or, the Web is not Aunt Mildred's closet Organizing Web Content, or, the Web is not Aunt Mildred's closet Presentation Transcript

  • ORGANIZING WEB CONTENT OR: The Web is not Aunt Mildred’s Closet Matthew Reidsma April 19, 2011
  • THE WEB IS A BUNCH OF DOCUMENTS
  • ORGANIZING DOCUMENTS IS EASY, RIGHT?
  • Paul Freund in his office, courtesy of Harvard Law School Special Collections
  • I WROTE A DOCUMENT
  • I WROTE A WEBSITE
  • I BUILT A WEBSITE
  • THE WEB FEELS LIKE A PLACE
  • ARCHITECTURE
  • INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
  • ARCHITECTSORGANIZE BUILDINGS • FUNCTIONAL • TECHNICAL • SOCIAL • AESTHETIC
  • INFORMATION ARCHITECTS ORGANIZE WEBSITES • FUNCTIONAL • TECHNICAL • SOCIAL • AESTHETIC
  • ARCHITECTS ARE CAREFUL
  • ARCHITECTS ARE METHODICAL
  • ARCHITECTS PLAN AHEAD
  • ARCHITECTS HAVE GOALS
  • ALL BUILDINGS REQUIRE PLANS
  • ALL BUILDINGS REQUIRE PLANSLARGE BUILDINGS REQUIRE ARCHITECTS
  • ALL WEBSITES REQUIRE PLANS
  • ALL WEBSITES REQUIRE PLANSLARGE WEBSITES REQUIRE INFORMATION ARCHITECTS
  • HARD TO ADD A ROOMAFTER CONSTRUCTION
  • EASY TO ADD A WEBPAGE AFTER LAUNCH
  • JUST BECAUSE IT’S EASY DOESN’T MEAN IT’S A GOOD IDEA
  • CAN WE PUT THISON THE WEBSITE SOMEWHERE?
  • EASY TO JUSTSHOVE IT IN THE CLOSET
  • BUT
  • IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE IT SHOULD GO HOW WILL YOUR USERS FIND IT?
  • THE WEB IS NOTAUNT MILDRED’S CLOSET
  • GREAT.
  • NEED TO ORGANIZEOUR WEB CONTENT
  • HOW?
  • I’M GLAD YOU ASKED.
  • 01 WHY DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE?
  • 01 WHY DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE?02 WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
  • 01 WHY DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE?02 WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?03 WHO ARE YOUR USERS?
  • 01 WHY DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE?02 WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?03 WHO ARE YOUR USERS?04 WHAT ARE THEIR GOALS?
  • 05 WHAT CONTENT WILL YOU HAVE?
  • 05 WHAT CONTENT WILL YOU HAVE? • LETS USERS MEET THEIR GOALS • LETS YOU MEET YOUR GOALS
  • BUT THIS WEBPAGE DOESN’T HELP ANYONE MEET THEIR GOALS. WHERE DO I PUT IT?
  • TWO APPROACHES
  • TWO APPROACHES • TOP DOWN • BOTTOM UP
  • TOP DOWN
  • HIERARCHY OF CONTENT
  • DECIDE ON CATEGORIESFIT YOUR CONTENT IN THEM
  • (HELPS WITH BROWSING)
  • BOTTOM UP
  • INVENTORY OF CONTENT
  • SEE WHAT CONTENT YOU HAVECREATE CATEGORIES THAT FIT
  • (HELPS WITH SEARCHING)
  • BOTH APPROACHES AT ONCE
  • BOTH APPROACHES AT ONCEDESIGN A HIERARCHY BASED ON YOUR GOALS,BUT KNOW WHAT CONTENT YOU HAVE
  • OKAY.
  • HOW DO I MAKE CATEGORIES?
  • TWO APPROACHES
  • TWO APPROACHES • EXACT SCHEMES • AMBIGUOUS SCHEMES
  • EXACT SCHEMES
  • DIVIDE INFORMATION INTOWELL-DEFINED & MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE GROUPS
  • EXAMPLES:• ALPHABETICAL• CHRONOLOGICAL• GEOGRAPHICAL
  • AMBIGUOUS SCHEMES
  • DIVIDE INFORMATION INTOCATEGORIES THAT DEFY EXACT DEFINITION
  • EXAMPLES:• TOPIC• TASK• AUDIENCE
  • FRUIT VEGETABLE BERRY
  • WHICH SCHEME TO CHOOSE?
  • ASK
  • ASKWHAT MAKES SENSE?WHAT HELPS USERS?
  • OFFER BOTH APPROACHES
  • EXACT SCHEMES:• TITLE• AUTHORAMBIGUOUS SCHEME:• SUBJECT
  • GOT IT.
  • LET’S ORGANIZE OUR WEBSITE
  • LET’S ORGANIZE OUR WEBSITE • RESOURCES WITH MARC METADATA • MCNAUGHTON BOOKS • SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS WITH STANDING ORDERS • ELECTRONIC RESOURCES WE OWN • ELECTRONIC RESOURCES WE SUBSCRIBE TO
  • LABEL MUCH?
  • SPEAK THE USERS’ LANGUAGE
  • DESCRIBE THE CONTENT
  • BE CONSISTENT
  • IS THAT IT?
  • NOT QUITE.
  • NAVIGATION
  • EVER BEEN LOSTON A WEBSITE?
  • REMEMBER,WEBSITES FEEL LIKE A PLACE
  • ORGANIZATION IS ABOUT BUILDING ROOMS.
  • NAVIGATION ADDSDOORS AND WINDOWS
  • NAVIGATION SYSTEMSOFTEN MIRROR ORGANIZATION SYSTEMS
  • NAVIGATION SYSTEMSSHOULD MAKE SENSE TO YOUR USERS
  • USERS ARE ALWAYS ASKING WHERE AM I NOW?
  • THAT’S A LOT TO REMEMBER.
  • TOOLS OF THE TRADE
  • CONTENT INVENTORY KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE
  • CONTENT INVENTORY KNOW WHAT YOU HAVECONTENT STRATEGY KNOW WHY YOU HAVE IT
  • ALWAYS KNOW WHYEVERYTHING IS ON YOUR WEBSITE
  • CARD SORTS
  • LABEL INDEX CARDS WITHHEADINGS FROM YOUR CONTENT
  • ASK USERS TO ORGANIZE THEMIN WAYS THAT MAKE SENSE TO THEM
  • 10 MINUTES + 50 CENTS= HOW YOUR USERS THINK
  • USER INTERVIEWS
  • JUST ASK.
  • JUST ASK.WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM YOUR SITE?
  • PERSONAS & SCENARIOS
  • PERSONAS
  • PERSONAS• STAND IN FOR REAL USERS• BASED ON INTERVIEWS AND RESEARCH
  • Courtesy of Usability.gov
  • SCENARIOS
  • SCENARIOS• BRING YOUR PERSONAS TO LIFE• SEE HOW USER GOALS ARE ACCOMPLISHED
  • HELPS YOU SEE YOUR WEBSITETHROUGH YOUR USERS’ EYES
  • BLUEPRINTS
  • MAP OUT THEORGANIZATION LABELS NAVIGATION
  • (KIND OF LIKE SITEMAPS)
  • WIREFRAMES
  • TRANSLATE THE INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE INTO A VISUAL LAYOUT
  • Wireframe by Will Evans: http://blog.semanticfoundry.com/2009/01/01/shades-of-gray-wireframes-as-thinking-device/
  • Mockup by Mark Brooks: http://blog.semanticfoundry.com/2009/01/01/shades-of-gray-wireframes-as-thinking-device/
  • SO...HOW DOES THIS HELP ME?
  • DO YOU CREATEWEB CONTENT?
  • DO YOU WANTPEOPLE TO USE IT?
  • CREATE PERSONASFOR YOUR TYPICAL USERS
  • ALWAYS ASKWHAT WOULD MY USERS DO?
  • RARELY ASKWHAT WOULD I DO?
  • GET FEEDBACKFROM YOUR USERS
  • MAKE MISTAJES MISTAKES
  • MAKE MISTAKES
  • MAKE
  • MAKE MISTAKESGET FEEDBACK
  • IMPROVE SOMETHINGBASED ON FEEDBACK
  • RINSE.REPEAT.
  • QUESTIONS?
  • THANKS.I WRITE ABOUT THIS STUFF A LOT matthewreidsma.com @mreidsma