Information Architecture & Findability

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Presentation by Peter Morville given in Oslo January 24. 2007 for NetLife Research (uploaded on behalf of Peter Morville, and with his consent)

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Information Architecture & Findability

  1. 1. Information Architecture & Ambient Findability Information that’s hard to find will remain information that’s hardly found. Peter Morville, Oslo, Norway, 2007
  2. 2. Peter Morville <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Library and Information Science </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architecture Pioneer </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Author, IA for the World Wide Web (1998, 2002, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Current Roles </li></ul><ul><li>President, Semantic Studios </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Founder, Information Architecture Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty, UM School of Information </li></ul><ul><li>Author, Ambient Findability (2005) </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>in•for•ma•tion ar•chi•tec•ture n. </li></ul><ul><li>The structural design of shared information environments. </li></ul><ul><li>The combination of organization, labeling, search, and navigation systems in web sites and intranets. </li></ul><ul><li>The art and science of shaping information products and experiences to support usability and findability. </li></ul><ul><li>An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape. </li></ul>
  4. 5. business goals, funding, politics, culture, technology, human resources document and object types, metadata, volume, existing site, structure, relationships audiences, goals, tasks, information needs, experience, behavior, vocabularies
  5. 6. Invisible Information Architecture
  6. 7. Why is IA Important? <ul><li>Cost of finding (time, frustration) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of not finding (bad decisions, alternate channels) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of construction (staff, technology, planning, bugs) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of maintenance (content management, redesigns) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of training (employees, turnover) </li></ul><ul><li>Value of brand (identity, reputation, trust) </li></ul><ul><li>Value of education (related products, projects, people) </li></ul>
  7. 8. Marcia Bates: Berrypicking, Evolving Search (1989) http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/berrypicking.html
  8. 9. Why is IA Difficult? <ul><li>Language is Ambiguous </li></ul><ul><li>Organization is Subjective </li></ul><ul><li>Research is Limited </li></ul><ul><li>Complex Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple Stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Multidisciplinary Teams </li></ul>
  9. 12. Location  Trust  Hits Location Location
  10. 13. Major IA Systems Organization – Labeling – Navigation – Search
  11. 14. Organization Structures <ul><li>Hierarchy : taxonomies, top levels, mental model </li></ul><ul><li>Database : structured content and relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Hypertext : cross-references, contextual </li></ul>hierarchy database hypertext
  12. 15. Organization Schemes <ul><li>Exact </li></ul><ul><li>Everything has a place. </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to create and maintain. </li></ul><ul><li>Great for known-item searches. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., white pages, geography, chronology </li></ul><ul><li>Ambiguous </li></ul><ul><li>Fuzzy and full of overlap. </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to create and maintain. </li></ul><ul><li>Great for subject searches, associative learning. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., yellow pages, topic, audience </li></ul>
  13. 18. Labeling <ul><li>Types </li></ul><ul><li>Purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Sources </li></ul>
  14. 19. Where’s Diabetes ? Where’s Graves’ Disease ?
  15. 20. Navigation <ul><li>Support task flow </li></ul><ul><li>Provide context and flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid drowning content </li></ul>
  16. 21. Global Local Contextual
  17. 22. Supplemental Navigation <ul><li>Sitemaps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Table of contents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Top few levels of hierarchy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope / organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploratory browsing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Indexes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A-Z index (back-of-book) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finely grained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relatively non-hierarchical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Known-item finding </li></ul></ul>
  18. 23. The Right Number by Scott McCloud
  19. 24. Search <ul><li>“…studies show that search is still the primary usability problem in web site design.” </li></ul><ul><li>Common Usability Problems </li></ul><ul><li>1. Poorly organized search results </li></ul><ul><li>2. Poor information architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Flexible Search and Navigation using Faceted Metadata </li></ul><ul><li>(UC Berkeley SIMS) </li></ul>
  20. 25. <ul><li>“Most of the complaints we get are due to the way users search; they use the wrong keywords.” </li></ul><ul><li>Manufacturing Manager in Must Search Stink? </li></ul><ul><li>by Forrester Research </li></ul>
  21. 28. Search is a System <ul><li>http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/search.html </li></ul>
  22. 33. “ We can match 50% of users’ searches by manually matching fewer than 1000 unique search phrases – a manageable amount of editorial effort. But if we want to achieve 90% coverage, we must include over 30,000 phrases in our thesaurus.” Richard Wiggins Michigan State University The Accidental Thesaurus Best Bets
  23. 40. <ul><li>Findability Facts </li></ul><ul><li>For every search on cancer.gov, there are over 100 cancer-related searches on public search engines. </li></ul><ul><li>Of these searches, 70% are on specific types of cancer. </li></ul>
  24. 47. <ul><li>find ·a·bil·i·ty n </li></ul><ul><li>The quality of being locatable or navigable. </li></ul><ul><li>The degree to which an object is easy to discover or locate. </li></ul><ul><li>The degree to which a system or environment supports wayfinding, navigation, and retrieval. </li></ul><ul><li>am ·bi·ent adj </li></ul><ul><li>Surrounding; encircling; enveloping ( e.g., ambient air ) </li></ul>the ability to find anyone or anything from anywhere at anytime
  25. 48. Chained Libraries <ul><li>In the Middle Ages there were few books, and those that did exist were usually kept locked in chests or cupboards, or chained to desks in a church. </li></ul>“ This book belongs to the monastery of St. Mary of Robert's Bridge, whosoever shall steal it, sell it or in any way alienate it from this house, or mutilate it, let him be forever cursed.”
  26. 49. “ I love what Carnegie did, but the weakness of his model is that he only thought about one country. The need for education, and children’s love of reading, are both forces that are universal.”
  27. 51. A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention. Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate Economist
  28. 52. David Rose ambientdevices.com
  29. 55. Cisco Wireless Location Appliance “ A quick glance at the screen shows exactly where the tagged wheelchairs are located...Patients wait no more than a few minutes for a wheelchair, and we save $28,000 a month by eliminating searches.”
  30. 56. Automatic Locates Schedule an &quot;automatic locate&quot; to see where your child is at a given time. Breadcrumbing Feature This feature is great for identifying a specific route or series of destinations.
  31. 58. Reciprocal Transparency “ In the information age to come, cameras and databases will sprout like poppies – or weeds – whether we like it or not. Over the long haul, we as a people must decide the following questions: Can we stand living exposed to scrutiny, our secrets laid open, if in return we get flashlights of our own that we can shine on anyone who might do us harm – even the arrogant and strong? Or is an illusion of privacy worth any price, even the cost of surrendering our own right to pierce the schemes of the powerful?”
  32. 59. ABOUTNESS FINDABILITY
  33. 62. Revenge of the Librarians Metadata
  34. 64. The old way creates a tree. The new rakes leaves together. David Weinberger
  35. 68. <ul><li>Learns, Proposes, Innovates, Gets All The Attention </li></ul><ul><li>Remembers, Disposes, Integrates, Has All The Power </li></ul>PACE LAYERING
  36. 70. Go Paid search is the fastest growing business in the history of media; estimated to hit $23 billion by 2010. “ Search has become the new interface of commerce.” John Battelle
  37. 71. Faceted Classification Scoped Search Sort by Rating, Price, Sales Search Inside the Book See More by Manufacturer Discover Similar Items Customers Also Bought View Accessories Editorial & Customer Reviews Rate the Reviews Top Reviewers User-Created Guides Favorite People List Purchase Circles Recently Viewed The Page You Made Previously Placed Orders
  38. 72. Personal, Social, Profiles, Relationships, Tags, Bookmarks, Behavior, Social Search
  39. 79. “ I leave to several futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths.” Jorge Luis Borges
  40. 80. IA Therefore I Am <ul><li>Peter Morville </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Semantic Studios </li></ul><ul><li>http://semanticstudios.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Ambient Findability </li></ul><ul><li>http://findability.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>IA Institute </li></ul><ul><li>http://iainstitute.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>This Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>http://semanticstudios.com/norway.pdf </li></ul>

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