Taxonomy & Metadata / Information     Architecture Consulting                                        The LIS Foundations o...
Who I Am Amy J. Warner, Ph.D. (warneramyj@yahoo.com)• Independent consultant in taxonomy & metadata  design and informatio...
Outline• What is IA?  – IA defined  – Why IA is important  – Basic concepts and building blocks of IA• IA in context  – IA...
Definition of IAThe art and science of structuring and organizinginformation systems to help people achieve theirgoals.The...
Why Is IA Important• Costs  – To the user     • Finding information (time, # of clicks,       frustration, precision)     ...
Why Is IA ImportantWeb Site Statistics• Wasted expense: most sites will waste between  $1.5M and $2.1M on redesign next ye...
Why Is IA Important  Intranet Statistics• Employees spend 35% of productive time searching for  information online (Workin...
Why IA Fails• ‘Internet time’• Cultural issues--developers, librarians,  managers• Project management• Underestimating the...
Why IA Is Hard• Expectations    – Underestimating time/cost    – Underestimating difficulty of task•   Diversity: goals, u...
Making IA a Manageable           Problem• Identify and address the major needs of  major audiences• Remove old, outdated c...
Basic Concepts/Components               of IA•   Organization systems•   Navigation systems•   Labeling systems•   Searchi...
Organization Systems• Organization scheme  – defines the shared characteristics of content items and    influences the log...
Organization Scheme, cont.• Organization structure   – defines the principle ways in which users can navigate   – often ca...
Navigation Systems• Hierarchical navigation systems--the information hierarchy is the  primary navigation system• Global n...
Vanguard.com Navigation                          15
Vanguard.com Navigation                          16
GlobalVolunteers.com Navigation                              17
Labeling Systems•   Synonymy and ambiguity•   Labels as links•   Labels and index/search terms•   Labels as headings on pa...
Subject/ContextualClarification of Labels                          19
Ambiguity of Index Terms                           20
Synonymy of Labels on Same          Page                         21
Inconsistency of Labeling     Across Pages                            22
23
Searching Systems• Support different types of search   – comprehensiveness vs accuracy   – exploration   – existence• Supp...
Integration of Search and          Browse                            25
Amazon.com Advanced      Search                      26
IA ‘Generations’• ‘Brochureware’• Pages served from database• Metadata-driven website               CMS                   ...
An Ecological Approach              Business              Context    Content              Users                           ...
IA From Top to BottomTop-Down                      Bottom-Up   portal                           sub-site   strategy       ...
Where Does IA Fit?            The Elements of            User Experience                  Jesse James Garrett             ...
Why Metadata-Driven Web         Sites              Users              Example                                 Personal Dig...
Epicurious.com                 32
Epicurious.com FacetsMain IngredientsBeans, Beef, Berries, Cheese, Chocolate, Citrus,                                     ...
Epicurious, First Facet   Browse > Picnics                                  34
Epicurious, Second Facet                      Browse > Picnics                      > Poultry                             ...
Search Term                          Bitpipe.comBroader Term               Narrower Terms                         Related ...
Bitpipe’s CVWeb Application Software     BT Internet Application Software             NT eBusiness Software               ...
Contact: Amy J. Warner         warneramyj@yahoo.comQuestions??                                38
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Metadata and Taxonomies for More Flexible Information Architecture

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Presentation by Amy J. Warner, Ph.D at Information Architecture Summit, March 16, 2002

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Metadata and Taxonomies for More Flexible Information Architecture

  1. 1. Taxonomy & Metadata / Information Architecture Consulting The LIS Foundations of IA A Presentation Made at the University of Arizona SIRLS Amy J. Warner, Ph.D. Amy J. Warner, Ph.D.
  2. 2. Who I Am Amy J. Warner, Ph.D. (warneramyj@yahoo.com)• Independent consultant in taxonomy & metadata design and information architecture• Formerly Thesaurus Design Specialist with Argus Associates, Inc.• Faculty member in library and information science at University of Wisconsin-Madison (1985-1988) and University of Michigan (1989-2000)• Co-author of Information Retrieval Today• Fortune 500 consulting 2
  3. 3. Outline• What is IA? – IA defined – Why IA is important – Basic concepts and building blocks of IA• IA in context – IA and users – IA and business context 3
  4. 4. Definition of IAThe art and science of structuring and organizinginformation systems to help people achieve theirgoals.The application of principles and methods of libraryand information science (LIS) to the design ofcorporate intranets and websites. 4
  5. 5. Why Is IA Important• Costs – To the user • Finding information (time, # of clicks, frustration, precision) • Not finding information (recall, frustration) – To the organization (lost revenue, competition)• Value of learning (related products, services, projects, people) 5
  6. 6. Why Is IA ImportantWeb Site Statistics• Wasted expense: most sites will waste between $1.5M and $2.1M on redesign next year• Forfeited revenue: poorly architected retail sites are underselling by as much as 50%• Lost customers: the sites we tested are driving away up to 40% of repeat traffic• Eroded brand: people who have a bad experience typically tell 10 others Forrester Research Why Most Web Sites Fail (Sept. ‘96) 6
  7. 7. Why Is IA Important Intranet Statistics• Employees spend 35% of productive time searching for information online (Working Council for Chief Information Officers)• Managers spend 17% of their time (6 weeks a year) searching for information (Information Ecology, Thomas Davenport & Lawrence Prusack)• Sun’s usability experts calculated that 21,000 employees were wasting an average of six minutes per day due to inconsistent intranet navigation structures. When lost time was multiplied by staff salaries, the estimated productivity loss exceeded $10M per year (Web Design and Development, Jakob Nielsen [Sept. 1997) 7
  8. 8. Why IA Fails• ‘Internet time’• Cultural issues--developers, librarians, managers• Project management• Underestimating the problem – Thinking it’s easy – Good IA is ‘invisible’ 8
  9. 9. Why IA Is Hard• Expectations – Underestimating time/cost – Underestimating difficulty of task• Diversity: goals, users, authors• Heterogeneous content / objects• Relevance is subjective and situational• Organization & language are ambiguous 9
  10. 10. Making IA a Manageable Problem• Identify and address the major needs of major audiences• Remove old, outdated content (ROT)• Enable precision• Design for the 80/20 rule 10
  11. 11. Basic Concepts/Components of IA• Organization systems• Navigation systems• Labeling systems• Searching systems 11
  12. 12. Organization Systems• Organization scheme – defines the shared characteristics of content items and influences the logical grouping of those items – identify through content inventory – types • exact--divide information into well-defined and mutually exclusive groups (alphabetical, chronological, geographical) • ambiguous--divide information into categories that are not exactly defined or necessarily mutually exclusive (topical, task- oriented, audience specific, metaphor driven 12
  13. 13. Organization Scheme, cont.• Organization structure – defines the principle ways in which users can navigate – often can be determined through user research – models • hierarchy--top down – polyhierarchies – depth vs. breadth • hypertext--nonlinear – chunking and linking • databases--relational 13
  14. 14. Navigation Systems• Hierarchical navigation systems--the information hierarchy is the primary navigation system• Global navigation systems--often enables greater vertical and lateral navigation within a site• Local navigation systems--often used for sub-sites• Ad hoc navigation--relationships between individual content items or groups of content items; usually embedded within a page• Mechanisms for producing navigation systems – navigation bars – frames – pull-down menus – tables of content, indexes, site map, guide pages 14
  15. 15. Vanguard.com Navigation 15
  16. 16. Vanguard.com Navigation 16
  17. 17. GlobalVolunteers.com Navigation 17
  18. 18. Labeling Systems• Synonymy and ambiguity• Labels as links• Labels and index/search terms• Labels as headings on pages• Sources for labeling systems – other web sites – controlled vocabularies outside, inside the organization – content – users and experts 18
  19. 19. Subject/ContextualClarification of Labels 19
  20. 20. Ambiguity of Index Terms 20
  21. 21. Synonymy of Labels on Same Page 21
  22. 22. Inconsistency of Labeling Across Pages 22
  23. 23. 23
  24. 24. Searching Systems• Support different types of search – comprehensiveness vs accuracy – exploration – existence• Support different search mechanisms – Natural language vs. controlled vocabulary – Searching fields – Retrieval models (boolean, statistical, etc.)• Integrate search and browse 24
  25. 25. Integration of Search and Browse 25
  26. 26. Amazon.com Advanced Search 26
  27. 27. IA ‘Generations’• ‘Brochureware’• Pages served from database• Metadata-driven website CMS 27
  28. 28. An Ecological Approach Business Context Content Users 28
  29. 29. IA From Top to BottomTop-Down Bottom-Up portal sub-site strategy objects hierarchy metadata primary path multiple paths portal Object X Name: Product Category: Topic: Stale Date: Author: Security: local subsites (HR, Engineering, R&D…) 29
  30. 30. Where Does IA Fit? The Elements of User Experience Jesse James Garrett 30
  31. 31. Why Metadata-Driven Web Sites Users Example Personal Digital Assistant Synonyms Handheld Computer "Alternate" Spellings Persenal Digitel Asistent Abbreviations / Acronyms Communication Chasm PDA Broader Terms Wireless, Computers Narrower Terms PalmPilot, PocketPC Related Terms WindowsCE, Cell Phones Documents and Applications 31
  32. 32. Epicurious.com 32
  33. 33. Epicurious.com FacetsMain IngredientsBeans, Beef, Berries, Cheese, Chocolate, Citrus, Season/OccasionDairy, Eggs, Fish, Fruits, Garlic, Ginger, Grains, Christmas, Easter, Fall, Fourth of July,Greens, Herbs, Lamb, Mushrooms, Mustard, Nuts, Hanukkah, New Years, Picnics, Spring,Olives, Onions, Pasta, Peppers, Pork, Potatoes, Summer, Superbowl, Thanksgiving,Poultry, Rice, Shellfish, Tomatoes, Vegetables Valentines Day, WinterCuisineAfrican, American, Asian, Caribbean, Eastern Course/DishEuropean, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Jewish, Appetizers, Bread, Breakfast, Brunch,Mediterranean, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Condiments, Cookies, Desserts, HorsScandinavian, Spanish Doeuvres, Main Dish, Salads, Sandwiches, Sauces, Side Dish, Snacks, Soup, VegetablesPreparation MethodAdvance, Bake, Broil, Fry, Grill, Marinade,Microwave, No Cook, Poach, Quick, Roast,Sauté, Slow Cook, Steam, Stir Fry 33
  34. 34. Epicurious, First Facet Browse > Picnics 34
  35. 35. Epicurious, Second Facet Browse > Picnics > Poultry 35
  36. 36. Search Term Bitpipe.comBroader Term Narrower Terms Related Terms 36
  37. 37. Bitpipe’s CVWeb Application Software BT Internet Application Software NT eBusiness Software eCommerce Software Portal Applications Software RT Internet Web Applications Architectures Web Development Tools Webmaster 37
  38. 38. Contact: Amy J. Warner warneramyj@yahoo.comQuestions?? 38

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