Introduction to Information Architecture

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A presentation to help technical communicators understand what IA is all about.

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  • Introduction to Information Architecture

    1. 1. Information Architecture: An Introduction Joe Sokohl
    2. 2. Information Architecture is About... <ul><li>Information findability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How easily can I find what I‘m looking for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What type of search am I conducting: am I just browsing around, or do I know exactly what I want? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information usability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the information I retrieve in a format and context I expect? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I use what I find? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I go to the information I expect? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I know where the information is in relation to other elements? </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Organizing Information <ul><li>Put things together that belong together </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find organizational schemes that make sense to your users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: Chronology, topics, tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid organizing by political groups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allow for the differences of information structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hierarchy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hyperlink </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Database </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Communicating Info Architecture <ul><li>Write clear, maintainable documents </li></ul><ul><li>Define and describe: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search/retrieval strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User profiles and their mental models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A site map is not an architecture—it is the expression of an architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Use blueprints to illustrate structure </li></ul><ul><li>Edit, refine, and model </li></ul>
    5. 5. Sample Blueprint
    6. 6. Some Findings and Guidelines <ul><li>Experientia docet </li></ul><ul><li>Know your users‘ mental models </li></ul><ul><li>Think like an outsider </li></ul><ul><li>Be methodological and diligent </li></ul>
    7. 7. Using the Web - “I’m Lost….” Layout and navigation
    8. 8. Using the Web - Layout <ul><li>53% of subjects had problems with the page layout </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to find what they need on the page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links - where to go next… </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Using the Web: Navigation <ul><li>42% of subjects had difficulty with the classification of the information </li></ul><ul><li>“ Categories should be </li></ul><ul><li>more friendly” </li></ul>Where is the milk? This web site (and the logos on it) is/are the property of Admart These visuals are the property of the brands represented
    10. 10. This web site is/are the property of Sainsbury’s UK These visuals are the property of the brands represented
    11. 11. Strategies <ul><li>Determine your users </li></ul><ul><li>Determine their information needs </li></ul><ul><li>Determine expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Define communication flow </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Iterate classification </li></ul><ul><li>Chunk information </li></ul><ul><li>Iterate blueprints </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver </li></ul>
    12. 12. Sources and Links <ul><li>Information Architecture for the World Wide Web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Louis Rosenfeld & Peter Morville </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information Architects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Richard Saul Wurman </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Building Enterprise Information Architecture: Reengin-eering Information Systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Melissa Cook </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ASIST SIGIA Listserv </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.asis.org/Conferences/Summit2000/Information_Architecture/listserv.html </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Final Words <ul><li>Many thanks! </li></ul><ul><li>Joe Sokohl [email_address] </li></ul>

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