Labeling Systems


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Labeling Systems

  1. 1. Labeling Systems Information Architecture
  2. 2. Labeling Systems <ul><li>Labels are the most obvious way of showing the user your organization and navigation systems. Where do you see labeling systems??? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Examine the labels used on United State Postal Service's home page. Identify each of the labels used and briefly discuss each one considering the following: Do the prominent labels on this page stand out to you? If they do, why? If a label is new, unanticipated, or confusing, is there an explanation? Or are you required to click through to learn more? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Bad Labeling Systems <ul><li>Problems with the labels: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Labels are not representative and don’t differentiate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Labels are jargony, not user-centric </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Labels waste money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Labels don’t make a good impression Try….. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Labeling Systems <ul><li>Variety of labels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contextual links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Headings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation scheme choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Index terms </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Labels as Contextual Links <ul><li>Should be more representational of the contents they connect to. </li></ul><ul><li>They rely on the context / draw meaning from the surrounding text </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of good contextual links: </li></ul>
  7. 7. Labels as Headings <ul><li>Used to describe chunks of Information </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchical relationships between headings is establish using numbering, font, sizes, colors and styles. </li></ul><ul><li>Have to be obvious and convey sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul>
  8. 8. Labels as Navigation Systems <ul><li>Demand more consistency in their application than any other type of labels. </li></ul><ul><li>There are no standards but common variants exists: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Main, Main Page, Home </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Search, Find, Browse, Search/Browse </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Site Map, Contents, Table of Contents, Index </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contact, Contact Us </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Help, FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>About, About Us, About <company name>, Who We Are </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Labels as Index Terms <ul><li>Also referred as keywords, descriptive metadata, taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, thesaurus. </li></ul><ul><li>Index terms support precise search than searching the full text </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used to make browsing easier </li></ul><ul><li>Metadata: Invisible index terms/labels </li></ul>
  10. 10. Iconic Labels <ul><li>A picture is worth a thousand words. But which thousand? </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently used as navigation labels (not good practice) for small sites </li></ul><ul><li>Are more limited that textual labels </li></ul><ul><li>Can be confusing to users </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul>
  11. 11. Designing Labels <ul><li>This is probably the most difficult aspect of Information Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Language is too ambiguous </li></ul><ul><li>Can not assume that a particular label will work for every web site </li></ul>
  12. 12. Guidelines for Design <ul><li>Narrow the scope whenever possible </li></ul><ul><li>Develop consistent systems, not labels </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Style </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Syntax (consider using a single syntactic type for each system) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Granularity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensiveness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Sources for Labeling Systems <ul><li>Your site </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gather labels in your current web pages and look for consistency with the content and title of each page </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Arrange labels in a table for a more condensed, complete and accurate view of your site’s navigation labels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Comparable and competitive sites </li></ul>
  14. 14. Sources for Labeling Systems <ul><li>Controlled vocabulary and thesauri </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look for narrowly focused vocabularies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vocabularies specific to your audience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sources: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ThesauriOnline (American Society of Indexers) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Creating New Labeling Systems <ul><li>Content Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Content Authors </li></ul><ul><li>User advocates subject mater experts </li></ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of tuning and tweaking </li></ul>
  16. 16. Creating New Labeling Systems <ul><li>With Users you can use the following techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Card Sorting – Open/Closed card sorting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>w/o natural context, label’s ability to represent meaning is diminished </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free-listing – list a subject and have users brainstorm words to describe it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Logs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tag Analysis </li></ul></ul>