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Archaeology & IA: The Adventures of Information Jones

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Information architects have plenty in common with our colleagues who study the human activity of the past. Margaret Alldredge uses archeological processes to explain how she helped redesigned the information architecture for the FCC, the agency that regulates radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable communications in the United States.

Presented at IA Summit 2015

Published in: Technology
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Archaeology & IA: The Adventures of Information Jones

  1. 1. Archaeology & 
 Information Architecture The Adventures of Information Jones Presented by Margaret Alldredge, UX Analyst Special recognition to Andrew Schall and Caroline Little
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION TO THE PRESENTATION The Adventures of Information Jones and the… #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 2
  3. 3. Margaret Alldredge @arrteragram Current UX Analyst Recovering Archeologist #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 3
  4. 4. Archaeology Overview #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 4 Somewhere in Ohio
  5. 5. Define “Site” Information Architecture Archaeology #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 5 Print House Site HSMC
  6. 6. The Federal Communications Commission #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 6
  7. 7. The Federal Communications Commission #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 7
  8. 8. FCC Redesign Goals
 Combine multiple URLs #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 8 FCC Etc… Wireless Reboot
  9. 9. FCC Redesign Goals
 Shut down Transition site #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 9 transition.fcc.gov
  10. 10. FCC Redesign Goals
 Improve Unstructured IA Elements #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 10 Home The FCC Our Work Tools & Data Business & Licensing Bureaus & Offices Transition
  11. 11. FCC Redesign Goals
 Create unified content process #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 11 …or at least the proper place within the site’s informational structure
  12. 12. The Parallel Processes//Table of Contents Information Architecture/ 1.  Stakeholder Interviews 2.  Content audit 3.  Areas of interest 4.  Unorganized content 5.  Untagged pages 6.  IA Report /Archaeology Historical Research Shovel test pit survey Features Disturbed soil Unprovenienced artifacts Site Report #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 12
  13. 13. STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWS// HISTORICAL RESEARCH The Adventures of Information Jones and the… #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 13
  14. 14. Stakeholder Interviews//Historical Research Stakeholder interviews and Document review Historical Research and Document review #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 14 Maryland State Archives
  15. 15. Stakeholder Interviews//Historical Research FCC Redesign •  Stakeholder Interviews – Multiple groups of stakeholders – Grouped by common interests •  Bureau and Office •  Industry background #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 15
  16. 16. Stakeholder Interviews//Historical Research #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 16
  17. 17. Stakeholder Interviews//Historical Research FCC Redesign •  Materials Review – Previous transition project documents •  Excel documents with data on site transition – List of all sites •  Excel document with Site name, URL, and if they planned to transfer the site data to the new version #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 17
  18. 18. Stakeholder Interviews//Historical Research #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 18
  19. 19. Stakeholder Interviews//Historical Research FCC Redesign •  Plan creation – Use data collected to determine how to move forward •  What sites to look into first •  Know where we would need to pay more attention #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 19
  20. 20. Stakeholder Interviews//Historical Research Takeaway Be a historian •  Gather historical materials relevant to the site •  Talk to the locals when you can #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 20
  21. 21. CONTENT AUDIT// SHOVEL TEST PIT SURVEY The Adventures of Information Jones and the… #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 21
  22. 22. Content Audit//Shovel Test Pit Survey Content Audit Shovel Test Pit Survey #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 22 Field Survey
  23. 23. Content Audit//Shovel Test Pit Survey FCC Redesign •  Used site list provided by FCC – What sites were to be documented – How in depth to document the microsites #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 23
  24. 24. Content Audit//Shovel Test Pit Survey #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 24 Key Green Good to go White Lower priority good to go Orange Needed more info Red Unavailable Yellow Redirected
  25. 25. Content Audit//Shovel Test Pit Survey FCC Redesign •  Assembled a team of people to work together –  Divide and conquer –  Sites divvied up amongst team #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 25
  26. 26. Content Audit//Shovel Test Pit Survey FCC Redesign •  Used standardized headers for each document – Name – Level – Link – Etc #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 26
  27. 27. DRUPAL BACK END WITH ANALYTICS Bureaus and Offices Page Name Drupal Link Link Page Type Author Published Date Page Views Unique Page Views Content Audit//Shovel Test Pit Survey #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 27 BASIC SITE Home 0 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 URL URL Redirect
  28. 28. Content Audit//Shovel Test Pit Survey FCC Redesign •  Highlighted areas to return to – Concerning areas •  Highlighted •  Discussed •  Planned solutions #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 28
  29. 29. Content Audit//Shovel Test Pit Survey Takeaway Survey the area •  Have a standard method to your research, this helps determine when you need to go back and investigate an area further #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 29
  30. 30. AREAS OF INTEREST// FEATURES The Adventures of Information Jones and the… #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 30
  31. 31. Areas of interest//Features Areas of Interest Features #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 31 Plank House Site, Marcus Hook PA
  32. 32. Areas of interest//Features FCC Redesign •  Encyclopedia section was identified as an Area of interest –  Not all pages had a clear home •  Orphan pages •  Inaccurate locations #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 32
  33. 33. Areas of interest//Features FCC Redesign •  Data gathered from back end #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 33 Bureaus and Offices Page Name Drupal Link Link Page Type Author Published Date Consumer & Governmental Affairs Advanced Communications Services (ACS) #node- 38823 www.fcc.gov/ encyclopedia/ advanced- communications- services-acs Encyclopedia Entry Anonymous published 4/10/12 11:28 Media Advertising #node- 61095 www.fcc.gov/ encyclopedia/ advertising Encyclopedia Entry Anonymous published 1/17/14 16:55 Wireless Alabama TRS #node- 42201 www.fcc.gov/ encyclopedia/ alabama-trs Encyclopedia Entry Anonymous published 9/12/12 15:01
  34. 34. Areas of interest//Features FCC Redesign •  Supplemental data gathered for point of comparison – Google Analytics •  Unique views to determine if pages were being visited or related terms were being searched #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 34
  35. 35. Areas of interest//Features #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 35
  36. 36. Areas of interest//Features Takeaway Dig deeper •  Determine where you need to focus in to research and analyze more #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 36
  37. 37. UNORGANIZED CONTENT// DISTURBED SOIL The Adventures of Information Jones and the… #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 37
  38. 38. Unorganized content//Disturbed soil Unorganized Content Disturbed Soil #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 38 Gotts Parking Lot Annapolis MD
  39. 39. Unorganized content//Disturbed soil FCC Redesign •  Encyclopedia section used as a catchall – Back end users •  Did not know where content fit •  Wanted customizable and unique elements #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 39
  40. 40. Unorganized content//Disturbed soil FCC Redesign •  Multiple content types represented – FAQs – Makeshift headline pages – Every topic the FCC covers – And much more #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 40
  41. 41. Unorganized content//Disturbed soil #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 41
  42. 42. Unorganized content//Disturbed soil #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 42
  43. 43. Unorganized content//Disturbed soil #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 43
  44. 44. Unorganized content//Disturbed soil #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 44
  45. 45. Unorganized content//Disturbed soil FCC Redesign •  Need for an improved Informational structure – Users making homes for content – Thought process needed for accommodating future content #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 45
  46. 46. UNTAGGED PAGES// UNPROVENIENCED ARTIFACTS The Adventures of Information Jones and the… #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 46
  47. 47. Untagged pages//Unprovenienced artifacts Untagged Pages Unprovenienced Artifacts #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 47 Artifacts from site in MD
  48. 48. Untagged pages//Unprovenienced artifacts FCC Redesign •  Encyclopedia section was not tagged – Taxonomy was unused – “Related” content, was not always related #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 48
  49. 49. Untagged pages//Unprovenienced artifacts FCC Redesign •  Encyclopedia contains information that is useful yet useless – Content was often helpful but the context was not – Unable to relocate materials consistently #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 49
  50. 50. Untagged pages//Unprovenienced artifacts FCC Redesign •  Impact on content migration – Quick automated process not an option #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 50
  51. 51. Untagged pages//Unprovenienced artifacts #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 51 Task Completed? Content inventory Yes Content prioritization No, in progress Finalize IA No, in progress Compare sitemaps, current to new No Assessment of content types No, in progress Define Templates No, in progress Finalize Taxonomy No Define Auto vs Manual page migration No
  52. 52. Untagged pages//Unprovenienced artifacts FCC Redesign •  Content needed to be analyzed and categorized to fit in the new site structure – Planning for content to have a home #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 52
  53. 53. Untagged pages//Unprovenienced artifacts #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 53
  54. 54. IA REPORT// SITE REPORT The Adventures of Information Jones and the… #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 54
  55. 55. IA Report//Site Report IA Report Site Report #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 55
  56. 56. IA Report//Site Report FCC Redesign •  Report – Included findings and recommendations #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 56
  57. 57. IA Report//Site Report #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 57
  58. 58. IA Report//Site Report FCC Redesign •  Documentation –  Content Audit •  Sites •  Microsites –  Drupal backend data •  All FCC •  Bureau and Office –  Google Analytics •  All FCC •  Bureau and Office –  Proposed Taxonomy List #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 58
  59. 59. IA Report//Site Report #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 59
  60. 60. IA Report//Site Report Takeaway Produce records •  Provide a framework to help future researchers so when they come back for the next round of improvements they know what has been done before and why #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 60
  61. 61. BEFORE AND AFTER The Adventures of Information Jones and the… #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 61
  62. 62. Before Information Architecture Archaeology #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 62 Print House Site HSMC
  63. 63. After Information Architecture Archaeology #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 63 Print House Site HSMC
  64. 64. Before FCC Site #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 64
  65. 65. TAKEAWAYS The Adventures of Information Jones and the… #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 65
  66. 66. Takeaways Be a historian –  Gather historical materials relevant to the site –  Talk to the locals when you can Survey the area –  Have a standard method to your research, this helps you determine when you need to go back and investigate an area further Dig deeper –  Determine where you need to analyze more Pay close attention to Features –  Realize when your site has areas that need to be investigated with more detail in order to be able to better understand the context Produce records –  Provide a framework to help future researchers so when they come back for the next round of improvements they know what has been done before and why #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 66
  67. 67. The End… Any Questions? #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 67
  68. 68. Contact Information Margaret Alldredge •  Email – margaret@sparkexperience.com •  Twitter – @arrteragram #ias15 spkr8.com/t/53391 Archaeology & Information Architecture 68

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