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infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Information architecture:
Structure, content, and form
Peter J. Bogaards (BogieLand.com)
Information designer & information architect
“Sharing knowledge is better than having it.”

Media Studies - University of Amsterdam
November 14, 2003



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                   1
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Introduction

• Background in instructional design (UvA 1987)
• Design of (tech) facilities to enhance human
  learning processes
• Interface, interaction, and information designer
  (Informaat)
• WWW: Electronic documentation and user interface
  design merger
• Information designer and information architect
  (Razorfish EU)
• InfoDesign blog (1997): infodesign.bogieland.com -
  >230,000 visits
• BogieLand (2003): Information design &
  information architecture company



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                   2
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Questions to answer

•   What is user experience, (information) design / architecture?
•   What is a document?
•   What are dimensions of a document? The document triangle.
•   What do you get when you abstract these dimensions?
•   What is the impact of computation and connectivity on these
    dimensions?




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                   3
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




User experience



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                   4
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                   bbc




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                   5
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                       Ebay




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                   6
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                     google




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                   7
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                  Iceberg
                                  A




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                   8
infodesign.bogieland.com           InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                           Iceberg UX




Nov. 14, 2003               Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                   9
infodesign.bogieland.com                     InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




What is user experience?
                           The elements of user experience
                           J.J. Garrett 2002




Nov. 14, 2003                         Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 10
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Information design



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 11
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




What is information design?

• Understanding, useful, making sense (‘complexity’)
• User-centered design: Thinking ‘outside in’ versus ‘inside out’
• To design is to decide: To provide a design rationale (reasoning on
  decisions)
• Reference to context, constraints, goals, and requirements
• Products: Conventional (signage/wayfinding) and information artifacts
  (paper/digital e.g. CUI/GUI, sites, handhelds, and documentation)
• History: Minard (1861), Zwaga, Tufte, Jacobson, IDJ/IIID, and STC ID
  SIG (>3000 members)
• Relation with graphic design, document design, interaction design,
  technical writing, interface design, sound design, and information
  architecture...




 Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 12
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Information design history




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 13
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Information architecture



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 14
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




What is information architecture?

• Concept of ‘space’: (atoms) buildings (e.g. house,
  office, factory, museum) and (bits) sites (e.g. intranet,
  blog, company site, search engine, auction site)
• Naming, labeling, organizing, and structuring of
  information
• Navigation (3 Qs: source point/location, target
  point/location, and path to follow) and browse/search
  (findability)
• Strong position in design and development for WWW
• Information architecture history: Wurman 1976
  (Information architects), LIS (Rosenfeld/Morville),
  ASIS&T IA Summit, AIfIA



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 15
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




The Winchester mystery house




Courtesy of Alan Cooper

  Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 16
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




The document



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 17
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                     Docs




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 18
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




The document concept

•   Obvious and non-obvious ones
•   Monolithic documents
•   ‘Paper’ versus electronic documents
•   Conceptual, logical and physical layers of documents
•   Fixed document (PDFs) / assembled ‘on-the-fly’ (e.g. search results)
•   Bottom-up (blog posts) / top-down (enterprise IA/digital libs)
•   Technology: DOM, .doc, .txt, .htm, .exe, .etc




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 19
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




The document triangle




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 20
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Structure



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 21
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                                             structures




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 22
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




The structure dimension

• Creating a conSTRUCtion
• To identify the wholes and parts - (de)composition -
  category criteria and mistakes – hierarchy -
  identification of objects and its composites
• A noun and verb: To structure - to create structure -
  to bring more structure to its structure
• Similarities and (quantity/quality) differences
• Relationship(s) between objects - dependencies
• R.S. Wurman: LATCH-principle
• Cognition (‘conSTRUCtionism’), granularity, and order
• Technology: DTD, Schema




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 23
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Content



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 24
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                    content




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 25
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




The content dimension

• The dynamic interests, needs, and wants of the information
  consumer (people) and producer (editor): the prosumer
• Data (‘factoids’) versus instructions/explanations
• Domain knowledge (dependent and independent)
• Facts -> interpretations -> opinions -> theories
• Referential: References to reality (De Saussure)
• Technology: (X)HTML, XML, RDF, DC, OIL, ...




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 26
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                           Peter J. Bogaards




From data to wisdom




                                                                    Courtesy of N. Shedroff




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                           27
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Form



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 28
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                                                           Forms




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 29
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




The form dimension

• Formats:
   – textual (e.g. typography)
   – visual (diagrams/stills/moving)
   – auditive (voice, FXs, music)
   – motion (input/output mechs)
• Visual design -> sensorial design (N. Shedroff)
• Meta(media) specific attributes
• Form is the manifestation of an underlying 'model'
• 'Form follows function'
• Technology: DSSSL, CSS, XSL(T), SVG/PNG, ...




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 30
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




  Abstraction



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 31
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                        Peter J. Bogaards




                                  abstract


                                                                                    By Pablo Picasso




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                        32
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Meta-level thinking




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 33
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




A thought experiment

• Reflection
• Abstraction of the 3 dimensions: meta-level thinking
• Meta-structure: knowledge representation, conceptual or knowledge
  structures, pattern expressions - control structures (if ... then ... else
  ...)
• Meta-content: meta data (‘data about data’)
• Meta-form: Strategic declarations on form
  - visual: Robert Horn's ‘Visual Language’
  - audio: Earcons (sound FXs) / techno?
  - textual: Hypertext




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 34
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




  Computation



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 35
infodesign.bogieland.com                      InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                             comp
                             utatio
                             n


                     Charles Babbage
                       1791-1871




Nov. 14, 2003                          Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 36
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




The computation attribute

• Machine-attributes: Features and functions
• Manipulation of symbol systems: Algorithms vs.
  heuristics
• Input/Output - Emergent adaptation
• Computing the structure, content, and form of
  documents
• User modelling
• Knowledge engineering, artificial intelligence, the
  semantic web initiative




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 37
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




  Connectivity



Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 38
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                 connect




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 39
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




The connectivity attribute

• Information, communication, coordination,
  collaboration
• n-1, 1-1, 1-n, n-n
• Hardly any space and time constraints
• Trends: p2p, wireless, mobile, ubicomp
• Impact on people, groups, organizations, states
• Exchange of information
• Online webservices




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 40
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Conceptual model of thinking




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 41
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




Wrap-up

• Objective ID/A: To find, use, and understand information
• What’s the document and the process?
• What’s its structure and how to structure?
• What’s its contents and how does it serve human needs?
• What’s are the representational forms in use and how do they make
  optimal use of the media specific attributes?
• What are structure, content, and form in conceptual terms?
• How to integrate computation and connectivity in the document
  dimensions?




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 42
infodesign.bogieland.com          InfoDesign: To surf the community                 Peter J. Bogaards




                                       questions

                           infodesign.bogieland.com




Nov. 14, 2003              Information architecture: Structure, content, and form                 43

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The Document Triangle: A Guest Lecture

  • 1. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Information architecture: Structure, content, and form Peter J. Bogaards (BogieLand.com) Information designer & information architect “Sharing knowledge is better than having it.” Media Studies - University of Amsterdam November 14, 2003 Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 1
  • 2. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Introduction • Background in instructional design (UvA 1987) • Design of (tech) facilities to enhance human learning processes • Interface, interaction, and information designer (Informaat) • WWW: Electronic documentation and user interface design merger • Information designer and information architect (Razorfish EU) • InfoDesign blog (1997): infodesign.bogieland.com - >230,000 visits • BogieLand (2003): Information design & information architecture company Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 2
  • 3. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Questions to answer • What is user experience, (information) design / architecture? • What is a document? • What are dimensions of a document? The document triangle. • What do you get when you abstract these dimensions? • What is the impact of computation and connectivity on these dimensions? Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 3
  • 4. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards User experience Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 4
  • 5. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards bbc Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 5
  • 6. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Ebay Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 6
  • 7. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards google Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 7
  • 8. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Iceberg A Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 8
  • 9. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Iceberg UX Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 9
  • 10. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards What is user experience? The elements of user experience J.J. Garrett 2002 Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 10
  • 11. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Information design Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 11
  • 12. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards What is information design? • Understanding, useful, making sense (‘complexity’) • User-centered design: Thinking ‘outside in’ versus ‘inside out’ • To design is to decide: To provide a design rationale (reasoning on decisions) • Reference to context, constraints, goals, and requirements • Products: Conventional (signage/wayfinding) and information artifacts (paper/digital e.g. CUI/GUI, sites, handhelds, and documentation) • History: Minard (1861), Zwaga, Tufte, Jacobson, IDJ/IIID, and STC ID SIG (>3000 members) • Relation with graphic design, document design, interaction design, technical writing, interface design, sound design, and information architecture... Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 12
  • 13. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Information design history Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 13
  • 14. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Information architecture Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 14
  • 15. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards What is information architecture? • Concept of ‘space’: (atoms) buildings (e.g. house, office, factory, museum) and (bits) sites (e.g. intranet, blog, company site, search engine, auction site) • Naming, labeling, organizing, and structuring of information • Navigation (3 Qs: source point/location, target point/location, and path to follow) and browse/search (findability) • Strong position in design and development for WWW • Information architecture history: Wurman 1976 (Information architects), LIS (Rosenfeld/Morville), ASIS&T IA Summit, AIfIA Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 15
  • 16. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards The Winchester mystery house Courtesy of Alan Cooper Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 16
  • 17. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards The document Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 17
  • 18. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Docs Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 18
  • 19. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards The document concept • Obvious and non-obvious ones • Monolithic documents • ‘Paper’ versus electronic documents • Conceptual, logical and physical layers of documents • Fixed document (PDFs) / assembled ‘on-the-fly’ (e.g. search results) • Bottom-up (blog posts) / top-down (enterprise IA/digital libs) • Technology: DOM, .doc, .txt, .htm, .exe, .etc Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 19
  • 20. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards The document triangle Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 20
  • 21. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Structure Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 21
  • 22. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards structures Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 22
  • 23. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards The structure dimension • Creating a conSTRUCtion • To identify the wholes and parts - (de)composition - category criteria and mistakes – hierarchy - identification of objects and its composites • A noun and verb: To structure - to create structure - to bring more structure to its structure • Similarities and (quantity/quality) differences • Relationship(s) between objects - dependencies • R.S. Wurman: LATCH-principle • Cognition (‘conSTRUCtionism’), granularity, and order • Technology: DTD, Schema Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 23
  • 24. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Content Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 24
  • 25. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards content Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 25
  • 26. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards The content dimension • The dynamic interests, needs, and wants of the information consumer (people) and producer (editor): the prosumer • Data (‘factoids’) versus instructions/explanations • Domain knowledge (dependent and independent) • Facts -> interpretations -> opinions -> theories • Referential: References to reality (De Saussure) • Technology: (X)HTML, XML, RDF, DC, OIL, ... Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 26
  • 27. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards From data to wisdom Courtesy of N. Shedroff Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 27
  • 28. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Form Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 28
  • 29. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Forms Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 29
  • 30. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards The form dimension • Formats: – textual (e.g. typography) – visual (diagrams/stills/moving) – auditive (voice, FXs, music) – motion (input/output mechs) • Visual design -> sensorial design (N. Shedroff) • Meta(media) specific attributes • Form is the manifestation of an underlying 'model' • 'Form follows function' • Technology: DSSSL, CSS, XSL(T), SVG/PNG, ... Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 30
  • 31. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Abstraction Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 31
  • 32. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards abstract By Pablo Picasso Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 32
  • 33. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Meta-level thinking Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 33
  • 34. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards A thought experiment • Reflection • Abstraction of the 3 dimensions: meta-level thinking • Meta-structure: knowledge representation, conceptual or knowledge structures, pattern expressions - control structures (if ... then ... else ...) • Meta-content: meta data (‘data about data’) • Meta-form: Strategic declarations on form - visual: Robert Horn's ‘Visual Language’ - audio: Earcons (sound FXs) / techno? - textual: Hypertext Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 34
  • 35. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Computation Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 35
  • 36. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards comp utatio n Charles Babbage 1791-1871 Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 36
  • 37. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards The computation attribute • Machine-attributes: Features and functions • Manipulation of symbol systems: Algorithms vs. heuristics • Input/Output - Emergent adaptation • Computing the structure, content, and form of documents • User modelling • Knowledge engineering, artificial intelligence, the semantic web initiative Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 37
  • 38. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Connectivity Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 38
  • 39. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards connect Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 39
  • 40. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards The connectivity attribute • Information, communication, coordination, collaboration • n-1, 1-1, 1-n, n-n • Hardly any space and time constraints • Trends: p2p, wireless, mobile, ubicomp • Impact on people, groups, organizations, states • Exchange of information • Online webservices Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 40
  • 41. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Conceptual model of thinking Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 41
  • 42. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards Wrap-up • Objective ID/A: To find, use, and understand information • What’s the document and the process? • What’s its structure and how to structure? • What’s its contents and how does it serve human needs? • What’s are the representational forms in use and how do they make optimal use of the media specific attributes? • What are structure, content, and form in conceptual terms? • How to integrate computation and connectivity in the document dimensions? Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 42
  • 43. infodesign.bogieland.com InfoDesign: To surf the community Peter J. Bogaards questions infodesign.bogieland.com Nov. 14, 2003 Information architecture: Structure, content, and form 43