Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Make Sense
Information Architecture for Everybody
by:
Abby the IA
What the
#$%@ is the
information
age?
- my dad
Our world is a mess.
A large part of this mess is made of
information.
A tsunami of information
is still headed our way...
*HT Richard Saul Wurman
No matter
what our job,
our world is
full of messes
we must make
sense of
The majority of messes we
face are made of information
(and people)
In 2014 the average
American will spend
40+ hours a month
wading through...
...places made
of information
and make approximately 70
conscious decisions every day
*HT Sheena S Iyengar
We are all experiencing information overload
...and with that comes information anxiety
*HT Richard Saul Wurman
We have to
have a
website
But our
users still
like printed
things
that website
needs to talk
to the
inventory
system
And b...
Every thing
is complex.
We have to get
comfortable with
making sense of
complexity
Rabbit Hole
of Complexity
Everyone has an opinion
and it can be frustrating to
really talk things out
Frustration occurs when
people have different models
in their minds
Creating
objects
allows us to
discuss &
compare
differing
models
When we have something in
common to point to we can
reach consensus more easily
With consensus
comes momentum
But often it is more than
two people, and more than
two models to reconcile...
A mess like this can
easily feel impossible
to make sense of
Many people get
overwhelmed at this point
They think of ways to hide
the mess...
Or they think of ways to
pretty up the mess...
New User
tutorial to
explain the mess
Incentive
structure
for dealing
with ...
...the mess is still a mess.
...but they have bought time.
Until the mess grows
(as all messes do when given time)
Information Architecture (IA)
tools and concepts help people make sense
of messes made of information (and people)
IA tools and concepts are NOT hard to learn.
NOR are they expensive to teach.
Yet IA tools and concepts
are not taught (or used) as often
as they ought be.
As a result many adults don’t understand the
very basics of architecting information
Yet they architect information daily, for either
their job or their life or both.
Results vary ;)
Everyone
Architects Information
Information
Architecture
in 5 basic lessons
What isn’t information?
Lesson 1
Thinking about
information
as material is hard
Every thing has
information
Information can be
made from the lack
of physical material
There is no true
information
There is only spin
Data is mined
Information is architected
All information
has place(s)
within a
nested set of
architectures
The level of
focus changes
the details you
can see
These levels of
place are deeply
“intertwingled”
*HT Ted Nelson
Change at one level
can have implications
at another level
1. Know your material & level
2. Start to unravel “truth”
Next Steps:
Language Matters
Lesson 2
Ontology
Taxonomy
Choreography
*HT	
  Dan	
  Klyn
Lexicography vs Ontology
• Lexicography is the practice of compiling
dictionaries. Lexicographers collect
different meanin...
Meaning is subjective
Meaning is demographic
Meaning is socio political
Meaning gets lost in translation
Meaning is complex
h"p://6thfloor.blogs.ny2mes.com/2011/05/20/words-­‐we-­‐dont-­‐say/
Controlled Vocabularies
• A controlled vocabulary is a list of approved terms and
definitions for a particular context and/...
Start with language
not interfaces
Remember
language is not
just words
I am sorry you have having issues using our
mobile site. I am sure I will be able to help
you...Can you see the hamburger ...
We call this an
“uncontrolled” vocabulary
Uncontrolled vocabularies
increase linguistic
insecurity
People suffering from
linguistic insecurity aren’t as
easy to talk things out with
1. Know your material & level
2. Start to unravel “truth”
3. Wipe out linguistic insecurity
4. List words you say/don’t sa...
Structure is Rhetoric
Lesson 3
There are
only 5
ways to
organize
anything
1. Location: Rome is a city in Italy
2. Alphabetical: Rome starts with “R”
3. T...
A facet is a particular aspect, or
feature about some “thing”
The more facets something has the more
ways it can be organi...
20 ways to organize a box of vegetables
1.!By cost at the grocery in the USA (Location)
2.!By cost at the grocery in the U...
There is “technically”
no right or wrong way
to structure information
There is “academically”
no right or wrong way
to structure information
There is “theoretically”
no right or wrong way
to structure information
All you can do is measure
your results against your
rhetorical intent
Information Architecture
always exists
How you architect your
information says something
about who you are
“It takes knowledge to know a
tomato is a fruit. It takes wisdom
to not put one in a fruit salad”
- Miles Kington
1. Know your material & level
2. Start to unravel “truth”
3. Wipe out linguistic insecurity
4. List words you say/don’t sa...
Define Good
Realistically
Lesson 4
Good depends
on intent
• Time: “I only have ___ left.”
• Resources: “I only have ________”
• Skill-set: “I know how to ________but I don’t know h...
• Users: People you intend to interact with whatever is being made
• Stakeholders: People who care about the outcome of wh...
1. Know your material & level
2. Start to unravel “truth”
3. Wipe out linguistic insecurity
4. List words you say/don’t sa...
Make Diagrams
& Prototypes
Lesson 5
Diagrams help us
Diagrams help us
compare our models
Diagram types should be
collected but also continually
invented for your context
Prototypes help us
h"p://usabilitygeek.com/wp-­‐content/uploads/2012/08/Introduc2on-­‐Website-­‐Usability-­‐Tes2ng-­‐Car.j...
Remember
to zoom in
and out as
you work
Remember that
when you are a
hammer...
...everything looks
like a wireframe
1. Know your material & level
2. Start to unravel “truth”
3. Wipe out linguistic insecurity
4. List words you say/don’t sa...
Information Architecture
is not just for Information Architects
If you make things,
you are probably already
practicing information
architecture
Practicing IA requires
bravery, but does not
require permission
But in case you need permission to go with
those next steps and few words of advice, I
can give you your membership card:
...
... Before you go ...
If you forget everything else,
please remember...
• We live amongst a mounting mess of information
• People make this mess...
...my hope is that the
world will make a whole
lot more sense.
If we all think a little harder about
the information we ar...
How to
Make Sense
of Any Mess
@Abby_the_IA
http://abbytheia.com/makesense/
Sign up to receive an email when pre sale opens...
How to Make Sense of Any Mess
How to Make Sense of Any Mess
How to Make Sense of Any Mess
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

How to Make Sense of Any Mess

48,294 views

Published on

In a world where everything is getting more complex and we are all experiencing personal information overload, there is a growing need to understand the tools and processes that are used to make sense of complex subjects and situations. These tools aren't hard to learn or even tough to implement but they are also not part of many people's education.

Information Architecture is a practice of making sense. A set of principles, lessons and tools to help anyone make sense of any thing. Whether you are - a student or professional, a designer, technologist or small business owner, an intern or executive - learn how information architecture can help you make sense of your next endeavor.

Published in: Business, Technology

How to Make Sense of Any Mess

  1. Make Sense Information Architecture for Everybody by: Abby the IA
  2. What the #$%@ is the information age? - my dad
  3. Our world is a mess. A large part of this mess is made of information.
  4. A tsunami of information is still headed our way... *HT Richard Saul Wurman
  5. No matter what our job, our world is full of messes we must make sense of
  6. The majority of messes we face are made of information (and people)
  7. In 2014 the average American will spend 40+ hours a month wading through... ...places made of information
  8. and make approximately 70 conscious decisions every day *HT Sheena S Iyengar
  9. We are all experiencing information overload ...and with that comes information anxiety *HT Richard Saul Wurman
  10. We have to have a website But our users still like printed things that website needs to talk to the inventory system And be easy to update without a technologist Oh! Everything actually needs to be in 5 languages And the content should be controlled by our brand But don’t forget to let the users make content too Our creative director says the future is flat design Don’t forget our partnership with _____ We don’t like the word “cart” Our CEO hates flat design
  11. Every thing is complex.
  12. We have to get comfortable with making sense of complexity Rabbit Hole of Complexity
  13. Everyone has an opinion and it can be frustrating to really talk things out
  14. Frustration occurs when people have different models in their minds
  15. Creating objects allows us to discuss & compare differing models
  16. When we have something in common to point to we can reach consensus more easily
  17. With consensus comes momentum
  18. But often it is more than two people, and more than two models to reconcile...
  19. A mess like this can easily feel impossible to make sense of
  20. Many people get overwhelmed at this point
  21. They think of ways to hide the mess...
  22. Or they think of ways to pretty up the mess... New User tutorial to explain the mess Incentive structure for dealing with the mess Fancy Front end fluffing
  23. ...the mess is still a mess.
  24. ...but they have bought time.
  25. Until the mess grows (as all messes do when given time)
  26. Information Architecture (IA) tools and concepts help people make sense of messes made of information (and people)
  27. IA tools and concepts are NOT hard to learn. NOR are they expensive to teach.
  28. Yet IA tools and concepts are not taught (or used) as often as they ought be.
  29. As a result many adults don’t understand the very basics of architecting information
  30. Yet they architect information daily, for either their job or their life or both. Results vary ;)
  31. Everyone Architects Information
  32. Information Architecture in 5 basic lessons
  33. What isn’t information? Lesson 1
  34. Thinking about information as material is hard
  35. Every thing has information
  36. Information can be made from the lack of physical material
  37. There is no true information There is only spin
  38. Data is mined Information is architected
  39. All information has place(s) within a nested set of architectures
  40. The level of focus changes the details you can see
  41. These levels of place are deeply “intertwingled” *HT Ted Nelson
  42. Change at one level can have implications at another level
  43. 1. Know your material & level 2. Start to unravel “truth” Next Steps:
  44. Language Matters Lesson 2 Ontology Taxonomy Choreography *HT  Dan  Klyn
  45. Lexicography vs Ontology • Lexicography is the practice of compiling dictionaries. Lexicographers collect different meanings for words • Ontology represents the knowledge of terms and concepts within a domain
  46. Meaning is subjective Meaning is demographic Meaning is socio political Meaning gets lost in translation Meaning is complex
  47. h"p://6thfloor.blogs.ny2mes.com/2011/05/20/words-­‐we-­‐dont-­‐say/
  48. Controlled Vocabularies • A controlled vocabulary is a list of approved terms and definitions for a particular context and/or setting • This exercise can help teams to decide on things like: – Variant Spellings (i.e. American vs. British) – Scientific vs. Popular Term Use (i.e. Cockroaches vs. Periplaneta Americana) – Acceptable Synonyms (i.e. Automobile vs. Car) – Acceptable Acronyms (i.e. GE vs. General Electric) – Business vs. User Terms (i.e. What we say in meetings vs. what we say to customers) – Identification of homographs (i.e. the word “pool” can relate to “swimming pool” or “shooting”) 50
  49. Start with language not interfaces
  50. Remember language is not just words
  51. I am sorry you have having issues using our mobile site. I am sure I will be able to help you...Can you see the hamburger menu? Careful: We LOVE to use words anyways even if we have to make them up
  52. We call this an “uncontrolled” vocabulary
  53. Uncontrolled vocabularies increase linguistic insecurity
  54. People suffering from linguistic insecurity aren’t as easy to talk things out with
  55. 1. Know your material & level 2. Start to unravel “truth” 3. Wipe out linguistic insecurity 4. List words you say/don’t say Next Steps:
  56. Structure is Rhetoric Lesson 3
  57. There are only 5 ways to organize anything 1. Location: Rome is a city in Italy 2. Alphabetical: Rome starts with “R” 3. Time: Rome started in 753 BC 4. Category: Rome is a Romantic city 5. Hierarchy: Rome is within Italy, which is within Europe, which is within the Eastern and Northern Hemisphere *HT  Richard  Saul  Wurman  -­‐  Informa9on  Anxiety  2
  58. A facet is a particular aspect, or feature about some “thing” The more facets something has the more ways it can be organized against other things.
  59. 20 ways to organize a box of vegetables 1.!By cost at the grocery in the USA (Location) 2.!By cost at the grocery in the UK (Location) 3.!By countries it is eaten in (Location) 4.!By first letter scientific names (Alphabetical) 5.!By first letter popular names (Alphabetical) 6.!By first letter cultural names (Alphabetical) 7.!By seasonality of harvest (Time) 8.!By length of season (Time) 9.!By cooking time (Time) 10.!By popularity today (Time) 11.!By popularity 100 years ago (Time) 12.!By color (Category) 13.!By taste (Category) 14.!By texture (Category) 15.!By size (Category) 16.!By growing style (Hierarchy) 17.!By climate (Hierarchy) 18.!By type (Hierarchy) 19.!By soil type (Hierarchy) 20.!By best storing technique (Hierarchy) 10 facets of a vegetable 1.! Color 2.! Texture 3.! Taste 4.! Season Planted 5.! Season Harvested 6.! Soil Grown In 7.! Class 8.! Subclass 9.! Countries Consumed in 10.!Cost by Country
  60. There is “technically” no right or wrong way to structure information
  61. There is “academically” no right or wrong way to structure information
  62. There is “theoretically” no right or wrong way to structure information
  63. All you can do is measure your results against your rhetorical intent
  64. Information Architecture always exists
  65. How you architect your information says something about who you are
  66. “It takes knowledge to know a tomato is a fruit. It takes wisdom to not put one in a fruit salad” - Miles Kington
  67. 1. Know your material & level 2. Start to unravel “truth” 3. Wipe out linguistic insecurity 4. List words you say/don’t say 5. Identify facets 6. Try on structures Next Steps:
  68. Define Good Realistically Lesson 4
  69. Good depends on intent
  70. • Time: “I only have ___ left.” • Resources: “I only have ________” • Skill-set: “I know how to ________but I don’t know how to ______, yet.” • Environment: “I am working within a market, serving an audience made of various user types, within an ecosystem, via a platform, using technology.” • Personality: “I want my work to say _____________________ about me” • Politics: “Others want my work to say _________________ about ________” • Ethics: “I want my work to do right by the world” • Integrity: “I want to be proud of the results of my work” Reality involves many factors
  71. • Users: People you intend to interact with whatever is being made • Stakeholders: People who care about the outcome of what is being made • Makers: People making whatever is being made WARNING: You may fall into all three categories yourself on a given project. Be extra careful when this is a case. Remember that in many cases, meeting our own needs can prevent us from meeting the needs of others. Reality involves many players
  72. 1. Know your material & level 2. Start to unravel “truth” 3. Wipe out linguistic insecurity 4. List words you say/don’t say 5. Identify facets 6. Try on structures 7. Deal with subjective reality Next Steps:
  73. Make Diagrams & Prototypes Lesson 5
  74. Diagrams help us
  75. Diagrams help us compare our models
  76. Diagram types should be collected but also continually invented for your context
  77. Prototypes help us h"p://usabilitygeek.com/wp-­‐content/uploads/2012/08/Introduc2on-­‐Website-­‐Usability-­‐Tes2ng-­‐Car.jpg test our ideas
  78. Remember to zoom in and out as you work
  79. Remember that when you are a hammer... ...everything looks like a wireframe
  80. 1. Know your material & level 2. Start to unravel “truth” 3. Wipe out linguistic insecurity 4. List words you say/don’t say 5. Identify facets 6. Try on structures 7. Deal with subjective reality 8. Diagram the damn thing Next Steps:
  81. Information Architecture is not just for Information Architects
  82. If you make things, you are probably already practicing information architecture
  83. Practicing IA requires bravery, but does not require permission
  84. But in case you need permission to go with those next steps and few words of advice, I can give you your membership card: Information Architecture helps me make sense of my messes. Your Name And suggest you think about joining the IAInstitute.org
  85. ... Before you go ...
  86. If you forget everything else, please remember... • We live amongst a mounting mess of information • People make this mess of information • Information architecture helps us make sense • Language matters • Structure is rhetoric • We must define good realistically • We must make diagrams and prototypes to understand each other's models of the world
  87. ...my hope is that the world will make a whole lot more sense. If we all think a little harder about the information we architect... (a girl can dream )
  88. How to Make Sense of Any Mess @Abby_the_IA http://abbytheia.com/makesense/ Sign up to receive an email when pre sale opens this fall: THANKS (Ships Fall 2014)

×