IA 3: Information Architecture Concepts


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Information Architecture concepts as presented at the University of Applied Sciences/ Communication Design faculty and the Bavarian Academy for Advertising and Marketing between 2003 and 2008.

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  • IA 3: Information Architecture Concepts

    1. 1. IA Concepts
    2. 2. ⁄  Information architecture is defined by the Information Architecture Institute as: 1.  The structural design of shared information environments. 2.  The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities, and software to support findability and usability. 3.  An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.
    3. 3. ⁄  What is IA? 1.  content architecture (Polar Bear style) 2.  interaction design (Cooper’s About Face) 3.  information design (Wurman's Information Architects)
    4. 4. User Needs Strategy Design Documentation Documentation Documentation •  Personas •  Competitive •  Site Maps •  Usability Test Analyses •  User Flows Plans •  Concept •  Wireframes •  Usability Models •  Screen Reports •  Content Designs Inventories
    5. 5. The Nine Pillars of Successful Web Teams Jesse James Garrett <jjg@jjg.net> project management 9 July 2003 The most successful Web teams build their team structures and their processes on these nine essential competencies: Project Management: The hub that binds all the tactical competencies together as well as the engine that drives the project forward to completion, project management requires a highly specialized set of skills all its own. concrete Neglecting this area often results in missed deadlines and cost overruns. d i design Concrete Design: Before the abstract design can become a fully realized user experience, you must determine the specific details of interfaces, navigation, information design, and visual design. This realm of concrete design is essential to creating the final product. tactical Content Production: Knowing what content you need isn't enough. You also technology content need to know how you'll produce it. Gathering raw information, writing and editing, and defining editorial workflows and approvals are all part of content implementation production production. Technology Implementation: Building technical systems involves a lot of hard work and specialized knowledge: languages and protocols, coding and debugging, testing and refactoring. The more complex your site, the more important a competency in technology implementation becomes. abstract bstra Abstract Design: Information architecture and interaction design translate d design strategic objectives into a conceptual framework for the final user experience. These emerging disciplines addressing abstract design are strategic increasingly recognized for their value in the Web development process. Content Strategy: Content is often the reason users come to your site. But what content can you offer to meet your users' expectations? How much technology content content is appropriate, and what form should it take? What style or tone should it have? Before you can produce that content, you need to answer strategy strategy fundamental content strategy questions such as these. Technology Strategy: Web sites are technologically complex, and getting more intricate all the time. Identifying the technology strategy for the site – platforms, standards, technologies, and how they can all interoperate – is essential to avoiding costly mistakes. site Site Strategy: Defining your own goals for the site can be surprisingly strategy trateg tricky. Arriving at a common understanding of the site's purpose for your organization, how you'll prioritize the site's various goals, and the means by which you'll measure the site's success are all matters of site strategy. User Research: User-centered design means understanding what your users need, how they think, and how they behave – and incorporating that understanding into every aspect of your process. User research provides the raw observations that fuel this insight into the people your site must serve. user research adaptive path http://www.jjg.net/ia/pillars/ http://www.adaptivepath.com/
    6. 6. Call History - Compiled Task Analysis Before Scene After Scene Future Scene The spare bedroom (office) of Jenny’s two bedroom townhome in suburban Indianapolis. The spare bedroom (office) of Jenny’s two bedroom townhome in suburban Indianapolis. The spare bedroom (office) of Jenny’s two bedroom townhome in suburban Indianapolis. Jenny comes home from a weekend away and wants to see if there have been any important phone calls or messages that she missed. She Jenny comes home from a weekend away and wants to see if there have been any important phone calls or messages that she missed. She Jenny comes home from a weekend away and wants to see if there have been any important phone calls or messages that she missed. She sees the voicemail indicator on her phone and begins the lengthy process of calling and listening to her voicemail. looks at her Comcast Message Center Dashboard she quickly sees that she has five new voicemails. Through the Comcast Message Center’s looks at her Comcast Message Center Dashboard she quickly sees that she has five new voicemails. Through the Comcast Message Center’s dashboard, she is able to see that the third voicemail is from her mother and plays the message instantly. dashboard, she is able to see that the third voicemail is from her mother and plays the message instantly. The Comcast Message Center’s presence indicator, Jenny can see that her mother may not be home, but has her cell phone with her. Jenny calls her mother back on her cell phone. Jenny returns home from a Jenny checks to see if anyone Jenny checks to see if anyone Jenny listens to her Jenny checks for missed calls Jenny adds the caller to her Jenny reviews her list of calls Jenny returns her phone Sub Tasks weekend away. called while she was away. left a voicemail message. voicemail. she needs to return. address book. to return. calls. Jenny returns home from a weekend Jenny walks into the office to check the Jenny checks the voicemail indicator and Jenny sees there are four new voicemail Jenny sees that her grandmother called, One of Jenny’s friends called from her Jenny has a list of calls to return. Each Jenny reviews the order of calls she Scenario away. She walks in the door, puts down caller id light on her phone to see if see’s the number six. She knows she had messages. The second new message is but didn’t leave a voicemail; she typically new mobile phone. Jenny wants to add item has the name, number, and a few needs to make and returns the phone her bags and takes a look around. anyone called while she was away. saved some messages, but doesn’t know from her mother. She would like to listen doesn’t leave messages. the number to her address book. brief notes about the call. calls she can now, saving the others for Everything appears to be right where she how many. to it first. later. left it. Can I be notified that I missed calls while Can I be notified quickly that someone Can I check quickly to see if I have any Can I listen to a specific message? Can I Can I check my missed calls quickly and Can I add the new number to my address Do I have enough time to return all these Do I have enough time to return these Considerations/Influencers I was away? Is it quick? Is it easy? Do I important called while I was away? messages waiting? listen to the message quickly? Can I save conveniently? Can I quickly determine book quickly and easily? If an entry calls now? Which calls should I return calls now? need any special equipment? How much or delete the message before it is which calls I need to return that don’t already exists, can I update it easily? Can first? does it cost? completed playing? have voicemails? I sync the address book with my mobile? Checking for missed calls and voicemail I have to go to my office to see if anyone How many of the messages are new? Listening to voicemail is time inconve- Checking for missed calls is inconvenient Keeping all my devices in sync is How do I know what each call is about? How do I keep track of which calls I’ve Pain-Points is laborious and inconvenient. called. Checking from the road is even Which ones are important? Can I pick a nient and time consuming. Why can’t I and time consuming. Can the system difficult. How can I keep my mobile How will I know that I’ve returned a call, returned? Do I have to use something more laborious and inconvenient. specific message to listen to? Which listen to a specific message without help me determine which calls need to be phone and email address books in sync? or marked it for “call back later?” else to return the calls? messages need immediate attention? listening to the ones before it? Do I have returned? time to listen to the messages now? C 2.1 View call history status. C 3.1 View voicemail status. C 4.1 Access the voicemail system. C 5.1 View new missed call history. C 6.1 Add to address book (update in C 7.1 Review call back list. C 8.1 Return calls. Checking voicemail is tedious and Functionality (1) The customer can view the status of (1) The customer can view the status of (1) The customer accesses the voicemail (1) The customer can view the new (1) address book). (1) The customer can review a call back (1) The customer can return calls from whether or not (s)he has any new whether or not (s)he has any new system to listen to new messages. missed calls history. The customer can add (update) a list, ordered by priority, and with within the message center. time consuming. I want a system missed calls. voicemail. name and number in the address notes for each call. that is quick, convenient, and easy book. for once. C 2.2 View new missed calls history. C 3.2 View new voicemail list. C4.2 Select a voicemail for playback. C 5.2 View call priority status. C 6.2 Sync address book. C 8.2 Mark call as returned. (1) The customer can view the call (1) The customer can view a list of new (1) The customer reviews the list of (4) The customer can view the (4) The customer can sync the address (2) Once a call has been returned, the history for new missed calls. voicemail messages with the name messages and related info and priority/importance of a call to help book across home phone, mobile message is automatically marked as (number) and date/time of each selects a message to play. them determine which calls need to phone, email, etc. returned. voicemail. be returned. C 2.3 View full missed call history. C 3.3 View full voicemail history. C 4.3 Play message. C 5.3 Delete. (2) The customer can view the entire (2) The customer can view the entire (1) Upon selection, the message (1) The customer can delete missed call history, including new and past voicemail history, including new and automatically begins playback. calls from the missed call history. missed calls. past voicemails. C 2.4 View full incoming call history. C 3.4 View similar or duplicate messages. C 4.4 Message notes. (3) The customer can view the entire (4) The customer can view if anyone (4) The customer can place notes incoming call history, including all who left a duplicate voicemail on and/or a description next to the missed, answered, and forwarded multiple phones, or email for a voicemail - useful when returning or calls. similar message. saving the call. C 2.5 View similar or duplicate calls. C 4.5 Set message priority and/or (4) The customer can view if anyone (4) reminder. placed a duplicate call to more than The customer can set a priority one phone. level, due date, and/or reminder for the message. Over time, the system learns and sets these automatically. C 4.6 Save message. (1) The message is automatically saved if the customer doesn’t delete it. C 4.7 Delete. (1) The customer deletes the message. They should be able to perform this action at any time during the message playback. C 4.8 Rewind and fast forward. (2) The customer can rewind and fast forward through the message during playback. C 4.9 Forward message. (4) The customer can forward the message to another number or email Glossary address. Ratings (1) High - address as soon as possible (2) Medium - address after priority 1 (3) Low - after priority 2 and if there is time in development cycle Compiled Task Analysis 1 (4) Future - consider for a future version of the product
    7. 7. PracticeUX Persona Diagram (Sample) Educated in Industry Not Educated in Industry How did we get here? 1 Marketing Director User has never worked with a like-client 3 1) Find the person in your client’s organization that has the IT Director consultancy most knowledge of their clients and prospects (if that’s who your site should speak to). In this case we spoke to Exclusionary Focal the Sales Director. 2) Get as much information related to the kinds of questions their clients and prospects ask. This will give you first-hand insight into the client/prospect knowledge of Familiar with Core Business the industry and their knowledge of your clients work. 3) Create a Persona chart that defines the client/prospect in terms of knowledge discussed above. 4) Discuss the chart with your client to see if you’ve missed anything and ask your client to chose a focal vs. exclusionary persona. Might be a client Might be a client CEO, CIO, Management, Director Focal Not Familiar with Core Business Knowledge Factor Exclusionary Focal Persona 2 Might be a client w/role in executive level 4 Where Persona should be !"Copyright Olga Howard 2005-2006
    8. 8. An Example LEGEND MILESTONE DELIVERABLE IDEA REVIEW CHECKPOINT Product / Software / Web Design Process Guide KEY MEETING INFORM PHASES concept discover definition refinement development launch preparation post launch conceptual MILESTONES start concept approval proposal approval and scheduling design review PRD approval UI design approval committed schedule visual design approval beta launch Communicate business needs Communicate business needs Brand Positioning Review Promotional & Marketing Needs Business development / partnering & brand identity & brand identity { Mockups to marketing Note: In some companies these roles are business owners encompassed by one person Collect team input Product Roadmap Promotion plan Describe problem or needs, Develop strategic rationale, business case, proposed solution, and benefits. financial analysis, policy considerations, implementation plans. Point release plan L Research: Solicit input from Business owners/ product Gather information for and brands - contact other associated stakeholders (legal, customer support, international) manager create the Concept Document Gather supporting market research, etc. Write Draft PRD and Review A Gather information for and create the Deliverables: ROLES Proposal Document Project kickoff Product Evangelize Post mortem Requirements Document (PRD) U Review user feedback on previous product Refine design concepts Wireframes and navigation maps UI's and analyze competitive products. (authored by a Final product { ui/id/ia Develop navigation model and Product Manager) Product prototype, e.g. paper, HTML, director, or flash Begin writing functional spec specification Design fidelity checks and bug fixes UI maintenance refine scenarios & handoff to design Provide input for level of effort UI Design Approval UI Revisions based on testing build team or two people. i.e. ui may do user research or visual designers may do ia, etc. N and Idea Deliverable: Deliverable: Deliverable: Define personas, usage scenarios, user Proposal Templates Concept goals, and perform task analysis I T E R AT I O N S I T E R AT I O N S Document Document Concept Design Review & Develop usage scenarios this step Navigation Concept C and/or design concepts and / or may be (authored by Note: In some companies these roles are blended into one optional Design UI / ID / IA Design) Provide input for level of effort Visual design explorations Refined Visual design explorations Art direction Visual Design Approval Handoff to build team Visual maintenance Materials Leads brainstorming Concept (authored by visual Prototype H blended design design team) Provide input for level of effort UCD research cont'd. (i.e. paper prototyping, Competitive usability testing Prototype usability test Prototype testing Write/update test plans for final usability participatory design, field studies, surveys, Usability test release product etc. capture issues for next release Define personas, usage scenarios, user user goals, and perform task analysis. Focus Group, Field Studies, research Survey Analysis, etc. Execute visual design Build/publish production Provide input for level of effort Build HTML QA credits Design based on earlier maps created by various UI design teams at America Online Incorporated. Revised and edited by Erin Malone, September 2003 for the AIfIA.
    9. 9. User Experience Design Process: Critical Path Kickoff Project Initiation Initial Design Cyc l e Design Iteration / Testing / Iteration / E a r l y R e f i n e m e n t Refinement / Copy / Final Visual Design / Robust Testing Production Build / Reviews / Design Team Sign Offs Meeting Project is Product Team meets - Product Team meets - Product Marketing Prod. Marketing does P&L, content evaluation, Product Team meets - inititated by Product Design meeting with Hand off to creates materials that describe needs, goals, Design presents functional Marketing with Prod. Mktg. feeds team Product Team meets - Product Marketing, Product Team production, objectives, dependencies, partnerships, user flow, potential user Product Team meets - Program any results from Marke t Review Engineering, and Approval cycle here engineering and business issues and any other relev a n t scenarios and high level Review revisions Management Resear c h recommendations from Usability to review operations mode of content or functionality issues, pulls together screens need e d testing recommendations the product cycle cross-functional tea m Approval cycle h e r e iteration cycle Detailed Product Feasability Studies / Field testing - both for Resear c h Expert advice on Functionality/ Usability functionality and What do Users w a n t previous research a n d feedback cyc l e Conceptual model new research need e d testing with early specific content and How do they want to do it Meeting visual design iteration cycle (Usability Conceptual Phase) (Usability 2nd Phase) prototypes coordinated by iteration cycle Program iteration cycle feedback cyc l e Management UE Team member Create D e s i g n Design takes assigned to Spec/Creative Rapid prototype for User Ed develops recommended Design works w i t h Experience Design project Brie f proof of concept user education plan changes and input Usability to provide Design team Final functionality & UE Team Design team attends meeting Material is from and early testing w/ from Team - prototype and presents visual design signoff brainstorms, iterates brainstorm with Initial concept MRP/PRD and Early functionality usability Design works w i t h including Product and collaborates on guidance of what Refine Visual wireframes a n d User Ed. delivers all - Production brainstorms wit h Takes input from Usability - led by Revises user fl o w brainstorming notes designs and User Education to Marketing, visual representation Visual Design Experience priorities of direction, copy, mockups to Help text and - Engineering all members as project team and works Product Marketing to and other definitions of Could be paper begin any Help and Engineering, Exp. of functionality and exploration, Design team discovery shoul d user instructions, production with full associate d - QA UE Team member assigned related to UI member through greater collect and gather requirements, distills pages needed for prototype, functional FAQs and other Design Team and screen design s copy writte n review Visual be - i.e. business help and UI set of style specs screenshots a n d - Partner (if applicable) to project design detail of individual requirements and info, looks at developed static HTML, Flash instructional text Usability Research Work can begin while and finetuned direction constraints, components as [font size & color, specs t o - Usability what's the best scree n s understand competitive functionality interaction, and all error user flow a n d technical necessary line spacing, Production - Creative Director Receives Requirements scenario fo r competitive landscape landscape, rev i e w s Mockups/ messages Revises user fl o w functionality is constraints, colors, images, - Product Marketing Document use r s scope in context of Wireframes as and works thro u g h iterating optional versions to links, etc] - VP (as necessary) Needs: network and sit e image maps greater detail of test List of team precedenc e individual screens members, contact info, initial schedule, approval process (people) Initial exposure to Production receives Production builds scope of design and approved mockups site and features functionality HTML and works w i t h working wi t h Design on product Engineering as Assess techn i c a l area as needed applicable limitations and alternatives Discussion with engineering Engineering informs Engineering Engineering might about any potential new Design if there are begin coding technology and its impact on changes, issues w i t h work from initial schedule and desired user planned functionality functionality tasks spe c s Credits: Erin Malone: Designed for AltaVista November 10, 2000
    10. 10. ⁄  Content: Document/ data types, content objects, volume, existing structure ⁄  Context: Business goals, funding, politics, culture, technology, resources, and constraints ⁄  Users: Audience, tasks, needs, informations seeking behavior, experience
    11. 11. ⁄  Usable. Ease of use remains vital, and yet the interface- centered methods and perspectives of human-computer interaction do not address all dimensions of web design. In short, usability is necessary but not sufficient. ⁄  Accessible. Just as our buildings have elevators and ramps, our web sites should be accessible to people with disabilities (more than 10% of the population). Today, it's good business and the ethical thing to do. Eventually, it will become the law.
    12. 12. ⁄  Useful. As practitioners, we can't be content to paint within the lines drawn by managers. We must have the courage and creativity to ask whether our products and systems are useful, and to apply our deep knowledge of craft and medium to define innovative solutions that are more useful. ⁄  Credible. Thanks to the Web Credibility Project, we're beginning to understand the design elements that influence whether users trust and believe what we tell them.
    13. 13. ⁄  Findable. We must strive to design navigable web sites and locatable objects, so users can find what they need. ⁄  Desirable. Our quest for efficiency must be tempered by an appreciation for the power and value of image, identity, brand, and other elements of emotional design. ⁄  Valuable. Our sites must deliver value to our sponsors. For non-profits, the user experience must advance the mission. With for-profits, it must contribute to the bottom line and improve customer satisfaction.