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Information architecture and SharePoint


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An experience designer's view of information architecture within the context of SharePoint.

Published in: Design, Education, Technology
  • Great Presentation, thank you. SharePoint Governance is a complex topic to say the least. After many thousands of hours there is a simple solution to SharePoint Governance. Research suggests that people don't know what they need to know and that makes it a difficult and daunting task. There is a ready to go SharePoint Governance solution at, it's not free but it's well worth a look for businesses that are serious about governance and not SharePoint gurus.
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  • This is a great presentation to share with my new employees joining the SharePoint team. Thank you!
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  • the cartoon on page 15 is great. would you have it somewhere on the web as i would like to reference it directly.
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  • Very usefull insights. I like the definition of Sharepoint on page 10!
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  • Great work Lulu , really concise, good coverage of the important concepts and considerations.
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Information architecture and SharePoint

  1. 1. Information architecture & SharePoint An experience designer’s view on how information architecture fits within the SharePoint context. Lulu Pachuau 3 July 2009, SharePoint Conference Sponsored by 1
  2. 2. problem solver I’m NOT really a SharePoint person… strategist facilitator communicator evaluator critic mentor sales person implementer business person information architect interaction designer 2
  3. 3. SP SharePoint people or using it 3 Logos I could find...
  4. 4. Information architecture (IA) IA is a process IA is an outcome IA is one of elements of user experience (UX) Elements of User experience - Jesse James Garret 4
  5. 5. UX people flee at the sound of “SharePoint” 5
  6. 6. Business assumes IT will put it together 6
  7. 7. We just provide a service Where are we going with this? IT need clearer requirements directions 7
  8. 8. What’s so different about SharePoint projects? 8
  9. 9. SharePoint is like a DIY toolbox or warehouse 9
  10. 10. SharePoint is... “an enterprise information portal... to run intranets, extranets and internet sites... allows people, teams and expertise to connect and collaborate.” By SharePoint HQ 10
  11. 11. Features and ways to do it – LOTS!! 11
  12. 12. Demo – features you can use right out of the box! 12
  13. 13. Ready Set GO? 13
  14. 14. …before you get buried too deep 14
  15. 15. Common problem – Poor/lack of communication 15
  16. 16. Business Implementtttttttttttt t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t requirements SharePoint Business consultant IT/Tech team Typical project with SP 16
  17. 17. Business Business Business Implement requirements Implement requirements Implement requirements SharePoint Business consultant IT/Tech team Some projects start with implementing the product! 17
  18. 18. … end up with something no-one will use and $$$$$ 18
  19. 19. …or like this 19
  20. 20. Who you gonna call? 20
  21. 21. 21
  22. 22. Business Information architecture Implementation requirements (analysis design) Information SharePoint Business architect consultant IT/Tech team Fill the gap with information architecture 22
  23. 23. “ Look before you leap – plan and design the IA before you write a single line of code dig into SharePoint ... 23
  24. 24. So what is information architecture? 24
  25. 25. Information architecture is… “ the art and science of structuring, organising and labeling information to help people find and manage information.” - Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville, authors of the “polar bear” book 25
  26. 26. Information architecture for SharePoint instructs… •  How the site will be structured and divided into a set of sub- sites. •  How data will be presented in the site. •  How site users will navigate through the site. •  How information will be targeted at specific audiences. •  How search will be configured and optimised. 26
  27. 27. Context Content Users 3 areas of information architecture 27
  28. 28. Context Context Content Users 28
  29. 29. Business goals and vision: “intranet staff will love and find pleasurable to use” “A world class website” “a one-stop shop for all our customers. They will just come to our website for all their needs” Requirements expectations: One-stop-shop portal, hub, wikis, RSS, Blogs, Facebook, Google search, documents, dashboards… and a pony We need it next week – timeframes Limited budget resources – constraints We’ve already bought SharePoint – technology landscape Research and understand the context 29
  30. 30. Context SharePoint context Content Users 30
  31. 31. Information architecture rules (out of the box) 31
  32. 32. User interface patterns – adding content 32
  33. 33. Feedback not most user friendly 33
  34. 34. Compartmentalisation of content (out of the box) 34
  35. 35. Metadata = site columns 35
  36. 36. 0% or min: less $$ 100% custom UI: $$$$ Levels of customisation 36
  37. 37. Summary – SharePoint context IA’s need to know •  Information architecture rules •  User interface patterns •  Feedback messages •  Compartmentalisation of content •  Customisation requirements •  SharePoint terminologies -  Themes aka skins -  Master Page -  Web parts Context -  Site columns – metadata -  Content types – bunch of metadata/columns -  Etc… Content Users 37
  38. 38. Context Content – analysis modelling Content Users 38
  39. 39. Content… •  Documents •  Images, photos •  Audio, Video •  Tools or applications – desktop, web based •  Services •  Physical items •  Communications – ministerials, meeting minutes, etc 39
  40. 40. Facets of content relevant to SharePoint •  Governance – Ownership, Retrieval, Security -  Who owns, creates content? when does content get created or removed? Is it centralised? Does it need approval? Who can view what when? •  Metadata (more later) -  How is content described? what makes them different from each other? •  Format (that content is in) -  Textual documents, databases and software applications, audio videos, books, people and so on •  Volume -  how big is your intranet/website going to be? How many pieces of content are there? •  Dynamism -  what is the rate of growth of content within your organisation? how long are they valid? How do you want to keep old records? * More on the Information Architecture for the World Wide Web book – Pete Morville Louis Rosenfield 40
  41. 41. The universe of content 41
  42. 42. Context Users Content Users 42
  43. 43. ? User research – behaviours, tasks, preferences 43
  44. 44. User research – Context of use 44
  45. 45. Context Information architecture Content Users High level to low level IA 45
  46. 46. Where am I? I know what How do I get I’m looking around? for, how do I search for it? What kinds of information do they have that is What’s going useful to me (as a one, what’s prospective popular? student or staff)? I need to get to my university email quickly Caters to different needs, info seeking behaviours 46
  47. 47. Organisation system e.g. by author, time, topic or geography Navigation system e.g. Global local nav, contextual, task based Metadata e.g. titles, desc, author, etc. Labelling system e.g. Food terms, scientific terms, etc Search system e.g. Scope, fields, keywords, tags, best bets Core components of information architecture * More on the Information Architecture for the World Wide Web book – Pete Morville Louis Rosenfield 47
  48. 48. Search Organisation system system Navigation system Organisation system Navigation system
  49. 49. Interface Information architecture components IA behind the scenes – impacts user experience * Information architecture iceberg concept from Information Architecture for the World Wide Web – Pete Morville Louis Rosenfield 49
  50. 50. Quick introduction to metadata 50
  51. 51. TradeMe – Metadata driven 51
  52. 52. Users provide metadata – drives the website 52
  53. 53. You can “See” the metadata 53
  54. 54. In summary… Context •  Three areas of IA •  Core components Content Users •  IA impacts user experience Organisation system Interface Navigation system Metadata Labelling system Information architecture Search system components 54
  55. 55. Keep in mind… 55
  56. 56. Business Information architecture Implementation requirements (analysis design) Information architect Information SharePoint Business architect consultant SharePoint consultant integrator IT/Tech team We don't need to do or know everything 56
  57. 57. What does the info architect create deliver? 57
  58. 58. Sitemap – organisation, labels hierarchy, top down Navigation pathways Content types, labels Metadata 58
  59. 59. Page templates layouts – content placement, metadata values Search – scope, which field, prefered terms, cv Specifications – components of IA 59
  60. 60. ? 60
  61. 61. Custom development on SharePoint 61
  62. 62. Intranet 62
  63. 63. MOT Intranet 63
  64. 64. Custom development on SharePoint 64
  65. 65. DIY store – tools to build anything you want… If you know what you’re going to build… If you know what you need to build it 65
  66. 66. Alex Dean Stephanie Beath SharePoint trainer, consultant and Experience design consultant implementer Information architect Information architect Isha Hartono Kate Smith SharePoint consultant, theme SharePoint information architect, expert, website integrator theme expert, interaction Interaction designer designer, website integrator Information architect Zef Fugaz Lulu Pachuau Experience design consultant Experience design consultant Information architect Information architect Interaction designer 66
  67. 67. References •  Information Architecture for the World Wide Web Peter Morville Louis Rosenfield •  Definition of SharePoint: •  Determine the information architecture of your site: •  Project cartoon: 67
  68. 68. Thanks!! Photos found on Flickr and Google images 68