Process And Methodology Research


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Process And Methodology Research

  1. 1. Process and Methodology: Research Information Architecture
  2. 2. Methodology Overview <ul><li>Designing a web site is similar to designing any software or information system. It is hard work and requires a phased approach. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Process of Information Architecture Development Project Research Strategy Design Implementation Administration Program Simplified view of the development process
  4. 4. Research Framework Context Content Users Business goals, Funding, politics, culture, technology, human resources Audiences, tasks, needs, information seeking behavior, experience, vocabularies Document/data types, content objects, metadata, volume, existing structure Information Ecologies
  5. 5. Tools and methods for Research Background Research Presentations and meetings Stakeholder Interviews Technology Assessment Context Heuristic Evaluation Metadata And content analysis Content mapping Benchmarking Content Search log and Clickstream analysis Use cases and personas Contextual Inquiry User interviews and user testing Users
  6. 6. Tools and methods for Research: Context <ul><li>Background Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a good idea to begin by reviewing background materials. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For example gather documents related to the site’s mission, goals, intended audiences, and content. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization Charts capture components of the user’s mental model of the organization. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Tools and methods for Research: Context <ul><li>Introductory presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be sure that authors, software developers, graphic designers, marketing folks, and managers understand: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is IA and why is it important? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How will the IA relate the the other components of the site and organization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the major milestones and deliverables? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Tools and methods for Research: Context <ul><li>Research meetings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategy team meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Working group in charge of the management of the web site effort </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content management meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content Owners and managers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Detailed discussions about content management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information technology meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>System administrators and software developers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Tools and methods for Research: Context <ul><li>Stakeholder Interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews with senior executives and managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open ended questions about the current information environment and their vision for the organization web site. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Tools and methods for Research: Context <ul><li>Technology Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of IT resources available for the project. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This should be done early in the project </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Tools and methods for Research: Content <ul><li>Content includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio and video files </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Tools and methods for Research: Content <ul><li>Heuristic Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have an existing web site, do an analysis to see what is worth keeping. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some guidelines for heuristic evaluation: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple ways to access information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Indexes and sitemap </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The navigation should provide users with sense of context </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use language consistently and appropriate for audience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integration of searching and browsing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Tools and methods for Research: Content <ul><li>Content Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a bottom-up approach to IA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It involves careful review of documents and object that actually exists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It can be: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>High level content survey at the beginning of the project </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Page by page content audit latter in the project </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Tools and methods for Research: Content <ul><li>Content Analysis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gathering content: Use intuition and judgment, balancing the size of your sample against the time constrains of the project. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the “Noah’s approach” (two samples of each kind) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Tools and methods for Research: Content <ul><ul><li>Dimension to use for sampling: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Format (text, software, audio and video files, archived mail </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Document Type : capture diverse set of documents. (catalogs, annual reports, technical reports, marketing, etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Source (engineering, marketing, customer support, finance, human resources, etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Subject (use a broad range of subjects) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Existing architecture (but don’t get overly influenced) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Tools and methods for Research: Content <ul><li>Analyzing content </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get familiar with the subject matter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide data that is critical for the development of a solid IA. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Tools and methods for Research: Content <ul><li>Analyzing content: </li></ul><ul><li>For each object note: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structural metadata(Information hierarchy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Descriptive metadata (topic audience format) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Administrative metadata (how the object relates to the business context.) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Research <ul><li>Content Mapping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual representation of the existing information. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High-level and conceptual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool for understanding rather than a deliverable </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Content Mapping Content sources Content model Content types Content templates Marketing Customer Support Legal Product Process Reference Contact Handling System How to Steps Table
  20. 20. Benchmarking <ul><li>Systematic identification, evaluation, and comparison of IA features of web sites and intranets. </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive Benchmarking </li></ul><ul><li>Before-and-after benchmarking </li></ul>
  21. 21. Users <ul><li>If you have an existing web site: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usage statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search log analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer support data </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Users <ul><li>Other techniques involve selecting users to conduct qualitative analysis. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define the intended audiences of your site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select one or more methods for gathering information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop instruments and participants profiles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruit participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard work of gathering the data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data analysis and conclusion </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Users <ul><li>Techniques for performing user studies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contextual Inquiries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus Groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User research sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Card sorting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User testing </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Users <ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows to gather information from a large number of people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quick and inexpensive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results allows quantitative analysis </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Users <ul><li>Contextual Inquiry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technique used in ethnographic research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation of users in their own environment </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Users <ul><li>Focus Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gather groups of users (or potential users) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask scripted questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate prototype </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask questions about user’s perception </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get recommendations for improvement </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Users <ul><li>User Research sessions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Face-to-face sessions involving one user at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive and time consuming. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be combined with other methods such as user testing or card sorting. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Users <ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Types of questions: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intranet use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Document publishing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Suggestions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Users <ul><li>Card Sorting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Label cards with headings from categories, sub-categories and content. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask the user to sort them into piles that make sense to them and label these piles. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask them to talk out aloud while they work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take good notes and record labels and contents of their piles. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. User Testing <ul><li>Have the user sit in front of the computer to use your site for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding information or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Completing a task </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Take good notes </li></ul><ul><li>Capture what he says and where he goes </li></ul><ul><li>count clicks and measure his time. </li></ul>
  31. 31. User Testing <ul><li>Include a range of audience types </li></ul><ul><li>Have experts and novices </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the right tasks. For example </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to impossible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Known-item to exhaustive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Topic to task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Artificial to real </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spread tasks across multiple areas of your site </li></ul>
  32. 32. Strategy
  33. 33. Strategy <ul><li>Strategy is the bridge between research and design. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a high level conceptual framework for structuring and organizing your web site or intranet. </li></ul><ul><li>You can consider strategies for structuring and organizing information before you start your research </li></ul>
  34. 34. Strategy <ul><li>IA strategy provides high-level recommendations for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Architecture Administration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology Integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Top-down or Bottom-up emphasis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization and labeling systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Document type identification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metadata field definition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation system design </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Strategy <ul><li>You move from Research to strategy when you start to reach the “saturation point” in Research. </li></ul><ul><li>In strategy the emphasis changes from open-ended learning to design and testing. </li></ul><ul><li>You should use visuals to articulate your ideas. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Strategy Development Process Think (Convert research data into creative ideas) Architecture (Diagrams, metaphors stories, scenarios, blueprints, wireframes) Communicate (present, react, brainstorm) Test (closed card sorts, prototypes) IA Strategy Report (detailed strategy, direction,scope) IA Strategy Presentation (high level strategy, direction, scope) Project Plan for Design (teams, deliverables, schedule, budget) Strategy phase deliverables
  37. 37. Strategy work products and deliverables <ul><li>Scenarios </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrative pieces that show how people with different needs and behaviors will navigate your site. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually are easy and fun to write. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Case studies and stories </li></ul>
  38. 38. Strategy work products and deliverables <ul><li>Conceptual Diagrams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pictorial representation of the concepts in your Information Architecture. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blueprints </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show relations between your pages and other content components </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wireframes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quick and dirty visuals that show the content and major links of major pages on the web site. </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Strategy Report <ul><li>Executive summary </li></ul><ul><li>Audiences, mission and vision: </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons learned </li></ul><ul><li>Architectural strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Content management </li></ul>
  40. 40. Project Plan <ul><li>The project plan for the Information Architecture design is the last part of the Information strategy. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To ensure that information architecture is grounded in reality. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is a bridge between strategy and design. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Presentations <ul><li>It is a good idea to make one or more presentations to the people who needs to understand your recommendations. </li></ul><ul><li>Select highlights of your recommendations and organize your presentation around them. </li></ul><ul><li>Metaphor can be a good way to convey your ideas to the audience. </li></ul>