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Eight Principles of Information Architecture

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Does information architecture have a set of universal principles we can draw from to facilitate the design process? Beats me, but these are eight that I use.

For more information, see my article in the ASIS&T August 2010 Bulletin: http://asis.org/Bulletin/Aug-10/AugSep10_Brown.pdf

Published in: Design

Eight Principles of Information Architecture

  1. 8 Principles of Information Architecture Dan Brown EightShapes, LLC hashtag: #8principles
  2. 8
  3. What do IAs design? http://www.flickr.com/photos/inajeep/23647427/sizes/l/
  4. IAs design structures
  5. 1 Treat content as objects http://www.edenfoods.com/store/product_details.php?products_id=102950#nutrition
  6. 1 Treat content as objects http://www.edenfoods.com/store/product_details.php?products_id=102950#nutrition
  7. 2 Paradox of Choice http://ny.racked.com/uploads/2007_03_wf_matzos.jpg
  8. 2 Paradox of Choice http://ny.racked.com/uploads/2007_03_wf_matzos.jpg
  9. 3 Progressive Disclosure
  10. http://neads.org/graduation/photos/ 4 Exemplars
  11. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49024304@N00/2435212284/sizes/l/ backdoor 5 Multiple front doors
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  14. http://marvelsuperstars.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/hulk.jpg 6 Growth
  15. THE WHITEBOARD Search: PLAY BALL: President Obama tossed the first pitch at Nationals Park Monday afternoon, throwing high and wide to start the Washington team's opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. Obama drew cheers and boos from the crowd as he strolled onto the field wearing a Chicago White Sox cap, in a nod to his hometown team. Continue Reading All of today's posts Your afternoon speed-read Specter sport 'Room' for discussion on yuan Reuters | YAO & BUCKLEY Monday Apr. 5, 2010 All Times Eastern Pressure mounts on USDA claims The Hill | KEVIN BOGARDUS 7:00 AM Jobless benefits expire for thousands CNN | BRIANNA KEILAR 8:00 AM Do voters care about unemployment? Atlantic | DEREK THOMPSON 9:00 AM Service sector gauge grows faster AP | TALI ARBEL 9:30 AM Obama receives the
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  17. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pliabletrade/331020282/sizes/o/ 7 Multiple classi cation schemes
  18. 8 Navigation by function http://www.flickr.com/photos/mvjantzen/377111497/sizes/o/
  19. Hanley-Wood CMS Information Architecture 10 Version 1.2 published October 22, 2007 by Dan Brown (dan@eightshapes.com) 4.0 Dynamic Navigation To respond to breaking news or to escalate crucial categories, the global navigation includes a space to highlight lower-level topics. Hanley-Wood CMS Information Architecture Version 1.2 published October 22, 2007 by Dan Brown (dan@eightshapes.com) 8 [MagazineTitle] Current Issue • Archive • Subscriptions Default View [CategoryName] [topic] [topic] [topic] 2.0 Magazine Navigation links toarea contains three [topic] The hot topics Search or four [topic] lower-level topics. [topic] Products & Reviews Hot Topics: [topic], [topic], [topic] [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • more... These topics should be consistent The web site and the print version of the site, and should throughout the change: magazines are distinct entities but must reflect When there’s breaking news in a and support each other. new category At a predetermined interval CMS Information Architecture Hanley-Wood to Version 1.2 published October 22, 2007 by Dan Brown (dan@eightshapes.com) 9 reflect the topics with the latest Default View [MagazineTitle] stories Issue • Archive • Subscriptions Current [CategoryName] Search These links take users to a table of [topic] [topic] Hot Topics: [topic], [topic], [topic] [topic] [topic] Service Navigation [topic] [topic] Products & Reviews 3.0 [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • more... contents for the current issue of the print magazine, a list of every issue, and a page of subscriptions options. Hanley Wood’s sites offer more than just article- based content. Services provide useful tools and data to the building industry. Hanley-Wood CMS Information Architecture 7 Version 1.2 published October 22, 2007 by Dan Brown (dan@eightshapes.com) [MagazineTitle] Current Issue • Archive • Subscriptions Default View Why No Categories? [CategoryName] Search Every site has a set of 3-4 primary Leaving services uncategorized Products services, drawn by the editors from affords Hanley Wood several [topic] [topic] Hot Topics: [topic], [topic], [topic] [topic] [topic] [topic] Topical Navigation [topic] & Reviews 1.0[Service] • [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • more... the master list of services. By varying the exposed services by site, editors advantages: Scalability: When it comes time can meet the needs of individual The primary navigation element across all Hanley to addbe hamstrung Hanleyexisting won’t new services, Wood audiences. The “more...” link provides by an Wood sites is topical navigation, which allows set of categories. access to a comprehensive list of services. Junk-Drawer Syndrome: quick access to specific topics. Awards Inevitably, some services will be orphaned, forcing the need for a Books catch-all group. [MagazineTitle] Building Code Information Current Issue • Archive • Subscriptions Default View Top-Level Topics [CategoryName] Quick Access: Without an Cost vs. Value Search additional layer of navigation, appears Primary topical navigation To balance user needs with the Courses [topic] Products as a horizontal row in the global operational issues surrounding [topic] [topic] [topic] [topic] [topic] & Reviews users can quickly access these Hot Topics: [topic], [topic], [topic] Events navigation area. The current topic [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • more... useful tools. content management, every Hanley is highlighted, if relevant. Every Wood site should draw top-level Forms story should appear in one of the topics from this list: House Plans top-level topics. If a story appears in Jobs more than one topic, and there is no Operations and Finance Products pre-determined context, the story’s Construction and Installation primary topic is highlighted. Materials Project Galleries Sales and Marketing Research Reports Technology Subcontractors Trends Top Companies Design and Planning [MagazineTitle] Current Issue • Archive • Subscriptions Expanded View Videos Economics and Business [CategoryName] Search As users roll over each topic, an Weather By using the same top-level topics [topic] [topic] [topic] [topic] [topic] [topic] Products expanded menu appears to show Yellow Pages & Reviews across all sites, Hanley Wood also sub-topics. Given the flat hierarchy of Hot Topics: [topic], [topic], [topic] • • [subtopic001] [subtopic002] • [subtopic005] • [subtopic006] [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • more... Hanley Wood’s contolled vocabulary, facilitated content syndication and • [subtopic003] • [subtopic007] these subtopics should be chosen by sharing between them. • [subtopic004] • [subtopic008] an editor.
  20. Hanley-Wood CMS Information Architecture 10 Version 1.2 published October 22, 2007 by Dan Brown (dan@eightshapes.com) 4.0 Dynamic Navigation To respond to breaking news or to escalate crucial categories, the global navigation includes a space to highlight lower-level topics. Hanley-Wood CMS Information Architecture Version 1.2 published October 22, 2007 by Dan Brown (dan@eightshapes.com) 8 [MagazineTitle] Current Issue • Archive • Subscriptions Default View [CategoryName] [topic] [topic] [topic] 2.0 Magazine Navigation links toarea contains three [topic] The hot topics Search or four [topic] lower-level topics. [topic] Products & Reviews Hot Topics: [topic], [topic], [topic] [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • more... These topics should be consistent The web site and the print version of the throughout the site, and should change: magazines are distinct entities but must breaking news in a When there’s reflect and support each other. new category At a predetermined interval CMS Information Architecture Hanley-Wood to Version 1.2 published October 22, 2007 by Dan Brown (dan@eightshapes.com) reflect the topics with the latest [MagazineTitle] stories Current Issue • Archive • Subscriptions Default View [CategoryName] Search These links take users to a table of contents for the current issue of the [topic] [topic] Hot Topics: [topic], [topic], [topic] [topic] [topic] Service Navigation [topic] [topic] Products & Reviews 3.0 [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • more... print magazine, a list of every issue, and a page of subscriptions options. Hanley Wood’s sites offer more than just article- based content. Services provide useful tools and data to the building industry. Hanley-Wood CMS Information Architecture Version 1.2 published October 22, 2007 by Dan Brown (dan@eightshapes.com) [MagazineTitle] Current Issue • Archive • Subscriptions Default View [CategoryName] Search Every site has a set of 3-4 primary Products services, drawn by the editors from [topic] [topic] Hot Topics: [topic], [topic], [topic] [topic] [topic] [topic] Topical Navigation [topic] & Reviews 1.0[Service] • [Service] • [Service] • [Service] • more... the master list of services. By varyi the exposed services by site, editor can meet the needs of individual The primary navigation element across all H audiences. The “more...” link prov Wood sites is topical navigation, which al access to a comprehensive list of services. quick access to specific topics. Awards Books [MagazineTitle] Building Code InformationArchive Current Issue • [CategoryName] Cost vs. Value Search [topic] [topic] [topic] Courses [topic] [topic] [topic] Hot Topics: [topic], [topic], [topic] Events [Service] • [Service] • [Service] Forms
  21. A eory of IA?
  22. http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelcarpentier/4378016700/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  23. Agreement http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelcarpentier/4378016700/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  24. Agreement Interpretation http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelcarpentier/4378016700/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  25. Agreement Interpretation Internalization http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelcarpentier/4378016700/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  26. anks! email dan@eightshapes.com social networks brownorama

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