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Practical Modeling: Making the Invisible Visible w/o speaker notes

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From pre-conference 4 hour workshop at Information Architecture Summit 2015

Brochure description
IA practitioners are encountering problem spaces that are more complex than ever before. Cross-channel ecosystems, huge enterprise platforms, and decentralized content delivery are just a few challenges we are having to explore, understand, and gain direction around with stakeholders, before it’s wise to dive into the particulars of interfaces. But how can we collaborate on architecture without the entanglements of design detail? Enter modeling.

Modeling allows us to work with abstraction as tangible objects; it brings physicality to language, decisions, and conceptual relationships that make up and underpin the ecosystems we work with. It allows us to analyze and collaborate more efficiently, with less effort and distraction. It is especially valuable for:
Discovering and defining “why” we should do something and “what” we should do before jumping into “how” we should do it
Untangling complex concepts in order to explain something to yourself
Collaborating about (and deciding on) functional capabilities as a group prior to fussing with interfaces
Grappling with abstract and quantitative data and their intersections
Understanding and relating the parts of big, complex systems
Exploring and creating semantic structures and frameworks

Published in: Design

Practical Modeling: Making the Invisible Visible w/o speaker notes

  1. 1. Practical Modeling: Making the Invisible Visible Elmendorf | Hinton | Hoff 1
  2. 2. Hello! 2 #ias15 #model We are information architects at The Understanding Group (TUG) where we get to model messes Andrew Hinton Kaarin HoffJoe Elmendorf @josepilove @inkblurt @kaarinh
  3. 3. Intended Take Aways • Confidence in your modeling ability • Understanding of why modeling benefits a project • Knowledge of some major modeling modalities • Ability to use modeling to help you better understand complex problems • Insight into when collaborative model creation and discussion works and why 3
  4. 4. Agenda • Welcome • What do we mean when we say Practical Modeling? • Why Model? • Activity: Warm-Up • What Types of Conceptual Models? • How to Get Started • Activity: Modeling Complex Systems • Modeling for Sharing • Activity: Sharing is the Goal • Modeling, Not Just for Breakfast Anymore • Conclusion 4 9:30 8:30 11:30 12:30 10:30
  5. 5. Today… 5
  6. 6. Say hello to the person next to you 6
  7. 7. Modeling is freedom 7
  8. 8. What do we mean when we say Practical Modeling? 8
  9. 9. 9 Abstract Models Physical Models Mathematical Models Scientific Models Conceptual Models Many kinds of models Our Focus Today
  10. 10. Scientific Models 10 • Manipulate ideas as objects • Explore their relationships • Work with complex systems Conceptual Models help us
  11. 11. Conceptual is not the opposite of practical. 11
  12. 12. 12 Why Model?
  13. 13. 13 IA is big
  14. 14. To get at the “what”… IAs do a lot of modeling 14 Semester - Based Activity Cycle Enroll for semester Pay BillCourse Planning Add/Drop classes VETERAN: A Enrollment Verification Start classes Warning grades Final grades State Intent To Attend university Admissions Financial Aid Enrollment DIAGRAM KEY Warning grades Final gradesResearch and Selection Considering all aspects of university Apply to university Considered for some merit based scholarships Acceptance to university Take Placement Exams Attend Orientation Visit Campus (Attend an Event) Register for Placement Exams and Orientation UNDERGRADUATE TRANSFER or high school dual enrollment: Request Official Transcripts from College(s) Send to university Get book vouchers Add/Drop classes Pay Bill TRANSFER: Receive Worksheet Notification of Merit- Based Scholarship Award Request Information Apply for Private Scholarships Special Event VETERAN: VA Enrollment Verification Start classesPay Enrollment Deposit Varies by Applicant Ideal Path Calendar Year - Bas Apply for Current Scho Specific Aid & Other op Apply for Private Schol Prospective Student First Semester Student at UMD Second through Final Semester Student Cycle Course Planning Change Colleges Track Grades & monitoring progress to degree Update Personal Ino Academic Calendar and Deadline Dates Ongoing Readmission TRANSFER: Transfer Orientation INCOMING FRESHMEN or TRANSFER with <24 credits: Take ACT or SAT & Request Official Highschool(s) Transcripts Send scores to university TRANSFER: Petition for courses to be transferred if previously denied TRANSFER: Special Event Applying for Financial Aid Receive Comprehensive Award Letter If selected for Verification Complete Verification process Applying for Financial Aid Rec Lett If selecte Verificati Complete Verificatio Meet with Academic Advisor Complete College & Program-specific requirements INTERNATIONAL: fulfill additional requirements Accept Loan(s) Accept Scholarship(s) Course Planning Change Colleges Track Grades & monitoring progress to degree Update Personal Ino Academic Calendar and Deadline Dates Ongoing Get book vouchers Cart with Purchasable Items Messaging asking users if they would like to keep their cart Cart empty Cart deleted No? Yes? Cart with Purchasable Items & Non-Purchasable Items Cart Non-Purchasable Items Checkout Confirmation of Purchase Page Purchasable Items purchased
  15. 15. 15 WHATHOW WHAT How Project
  16. 16. Models establish understanding throughout the project 16 project Before During After
  17. 17. What.………………….How 17
  18. 18. 18 Facets! Location! Search! Learning! Relevance! Cross-selling! Utilities! Channels!
  19. 19. 19 “culture”! “love”! “fun”! “nature”! “jazz”! “economy”! “smart”!
  20. 20. 20 Facets! Location! Search! Learning! Relevance! Cross-selling! Utilities! Channels!
  21. 21. Models can do things interfaces can’t… 21 (relationships/ideas) (pixels/atoms) Models Interfaces
  22. 22. 22 Models Interfaces Why are we doing this? What is it? How do all the parts relate? How will someone use each part? What will it look like?
  23. 23. People are visual 23
  24. 24. What is this? • 6 legs • 4 wings • 2 eyes • Long abdomen • Powerful jaws 24
  25. 25. 25
  26. 26. Conceptual models allow very different kinds of information to get along 26 0" 2" 4" 6" 8" 10" 12" 14" 1" 2" 3" 4" 5" 6"
  27. 27. Too busy NOT to model 27 Agile Waterfall Wireframes=my job “I am involved beginning to end.” “I do user research, I don’t make structural decisions.”
  28. 28. Products/services exist in a landscape 28 Competition / Time-to-Market Brand / Reputation Technology / Infrastructure Service Product
  29. 29. 29 Models become molds for making.
  30. 30. 30 Warm-Up Activity! Model the way you get or make coffee/tea, as system 20 minutes to work independently 5 minutes each to share
  31. 31. 31 Conceptual Models help us work with relationships.
  32. 32. 32 Similarities Influences Dependencies Sequences Systems Abstract Concrete
  33. 33. Vague vs Firm relationships 33 A C 2 A B owned by
  34. 34. Circles can help avoid implying structure prematurely … 34 no sides, no lines sides imply lines
  35. 35. Architects’ “bubble” diagrams 35
  36. 36. Architects’ “bubble” diagrams 36
  37. 37. From functional model to conceptual architecture … 37 ARTMAX HOME [Visual Showcase] Topical / curated spotlight of brand- representative products. PRODUCTS COMMUNITYLEARNING ACCOUNT [Brand Statement / Description (Links to "About")] Latest News Aggregated from learning, social media, community, etc. - Editorially curated (can have sticky posts) - Item from a given org links to that org's new or home. - Link to the main News area in "About" Social Media Links Promotion Spot Sharing (curated) - Art - Tips / Ideas (more tbd) Events Calendar (cross-ref w/ store finder) Intro / Overview About the community, policies, etc. Cross-channel connections directions / kiosk locations s to ‘find store’ facet. Store Managers’ Blog - Most Recent Tutorials - cross-ref w/ Products when specific to a particular catalog item For Each Product … (Specifics TBD) - Attributes should include editorial ranking + user ranking Browse by tree hierarchy + facets. (Account Specifics TBD) 2.0 3.0 3.1 4.0 5.0 Learning Blog / Stories Related products
  38. 38. Examples 38
  39. 39. 39 Example: Relationships between various challenges, and how they affect scalability and growth.
  40. 40. Example: Finding functional priorities & centers of gravity … 40 … before locking down structure.
  41. 41. Example: Looking for emergent patterns in all the elements … 41 Analytics Digital Marketing Video / Production / Technical Availability Cross-Channel Customer Relationship / History Hardware / Devices Contract Identification CUSTOMERS ▪ Personnel (Actors etc) ▪ Genre, Sub-genres ▪ User Ratings, Comments ▪ Availability (dates, channels) ▪ Format / Aspect Ratio ▪ Digital Assets (Posters etc) ▪ Personnel (Actors etc) ▪ Genre, Sub-genres ▪ Series, Season, Episode ▪ User Ratings, Comments ▪ Availability (dates, channels) ▪ Multi-channel content ▪ Related programming (e.g. "Talking Dead") ▪ Games / Schedule ▪ Channels, Packages ▪ Blackout areas ▪ Players & other Personnel ▪ Connectors to statistics ▪ Social media (hashtags, chat room links, etc.) INTERNAL IMDB Rotten Rovi Products Promotions Recommendations (Curated) Curated Content (Quality + Recency) Toolset Targeted Ads Engine Recommendations (Automated) Audience Measure Data Clickster TMS ID / Channel ID Asset Name Provider Creation Date Run time Aspect Ratio Codec Frame Rate Bit Rate Top Box Office Top DVD Sales Social Sign-on Preferences Behaviors Favorite ProductsWishlist Loyalty / Heart Score Social Graph Social Favorites Ratings First-screen Second- screen Segment + Persona Device CapabilitiesAuthorizations Customer TV Remote Code Addressable DVR Data Home/ Receiver IP Billing Problem Resolution Touchpoints Service History Transactions Installation Notes Order History (PPV etc) OPPV vs IPPV (box vs online) Channel Hardware Protection Eligibility Hardware Segment Account Number Other IDs Email AddressSocial Email Phone / SMS GPS Location Device Management Device Management Clickstream Email Preferences / Opt-In Churn Risk Score Commitment Date Auto bill-pay Acct Type (Res, Biz, Pending) Credit Band Connected Box Y/N Zip/DMA Region Package Bundle Channels Consolidated Profiles & Sub-Accounts HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNT ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT Programming Packages Premiums Licensing Windows PPV: Exp Date, Window, Price Rights Mgmt Start Date INTERNAL ROLES Product Placement RSN (Regional Sports Network) Buy Window Movies Series Sports
  42. 42. Example: illustrating information overwhelm & overlapping contexts 42
  43. 43. 4 15 3 18 22 2 4 29 20 32 31 30 28 19 21 1 14 2 16 5 6 7 17 25 26 27 8 9 10 11 12 13 Industry Find Personal Optimize Persona 2 Persona 3 Persona 5 Persona 4 Persona 1 2A 1A Something B Something A Something C Example: X-Y Plane, Color, & Shape to determine user research trends and representative personas 43
  44. 44. Example: An “Info Model” for a large non-profit 44 Advocacy (Generates Awareness) Initiative 3 Volunteers Initiatives Initiative 4 is a Grant is a is a is a is of type Initiative 1 Initiative 2 for is aimed at is a is a prepare agenda for the have Government Unit 6 State & Federal Organization* make aware Law Violators make Congress Board of Delegates is an feed content and the best practices in is primarily aimed at help in driving the organizes EHS focused Award Dinner has is an DB for Volunteers DB are placed in Initiative 5 Division Delegates two are delegates to the get appointed to form two are part of Members* (Organizations) five together form a feed best best practice, policy recommendations Commercial Direct Support Unit 6 are acquired by Territory Chapters Locations Companies Training Centers Members (Organizations) Have Participation Record Trade Associations Organizatio n* ▪ Direct Email Campaigns ▪ Sales Teams (Field and Internal) ▪ Direct Marketing (SEM, Organic Searches) can be participants in LMS DB Classroom Training Onsite Training Online Training Librarians have Knowledge Management and Creation KMS DB take care of Course-books, Classes, Videos, Work-books, Training Materials Reference Librarian Services (alerts, emails) use Inventory Products deliveres supplied to Sales Team are also sold by International Council is a subsidiary of Companies Outside US owns VAR Distributor Partner Engaged Chapters are labeled into Internal Team (Subject Matter Experts) External Team Content Vision Creative Packaging and Products Modules and Training Material handles handle Contact (primary, training center) Person is a belongs to belongs to Intranet Employees of Organization Online Interface search, do research on has a limited functionality call, email Archived content (brochures, magazines, articles etc.) dating back to Organization inception contains Sponsorship is a is of type for Business Units Unit 2 Unit 1 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 3 Unit 6 Unit 8 Unit 7 Products Product 7Product 2 Product 4 Product 5 Product 3 Product 1 Product 8 Product 9 Product 6 get assisted by offer drives is aimed at for other offer is offered on delivered by delivered by delivered by Members Non Members Safety and Health ePublications CD Version Monthly Emails is also available in is of types are available as is of type are purchased primarily by are subscribed to by have Channels Distributors Direct (Inside, Field Sales) Chapters Public Instructors are are being sold using assist in creation of has has connect to have links to assist in creation of are acquired by are acquired by solve queries of CRM DB are placed in are placed in are of type assist in creation of take give services to offers offers gain access to/ can modify based on permissions CMS (Wordpress, Sharepoint) DB Shopping Cart is build using Shared Services Lead Generation Awards Packaged Training Research & StatisticsMarketing Communication Publications are of types are of types offers Purchasers is a purchase through are sold via are sold via purchase through archives Magazines Books Facts NewsletterWebinars Pay-wall Free Members only provide Compu-System (data and campaign management)Organizatio n* are are being sold using to present on provide take Campaigns Campaign 1 Campaign 2 Awesome Award are published on are of type is a is a Great Plains - Accounting System DB Email Campaigns Tool export emails to Marketing used for sales data are accessed viahandle advertising data is stored in sales data Course Course 1 Course 5 Course 4 Course 3 Course 2 Court Corporate State give
  45. 45. MID Case Call Corporate Contact Business Nam Status (state) Related MIDs Interaction History Action History Escalated Resolved Category Notes Agent InfoMID Value Agent Value Equipment Documents …has associated… …has a… …has a set of… …has… …has... … is based on… …has… …can be… …can be… …is associated with a least one… …is assigned a… …has corresponding… …has... …is with a… …is associated w one or more… …is associated with one or more… …has a… …has a… …has a… Agent …has… …is a… …is created for each… …is an action in the… …has a… …has an… …based on… …based on… Example: An “Info Model” for one part of a complex financial institution 45
  46. 46. 46 Example: “Dumb” architecture, deciding the basics.
  47. 47. State Intent To Attend university Admissions Financial Aid Enrollment DIAGRAM KEY Warning grades Final gradesResearch and Selection Considering all aspects of university Apply to university Considered for some merit based scholarships Acceptance to university Take Placement Exams Attend Orientation Visit Campus (Attend an Event) Register for Placement Exams and Orientation UNDERGRADUATE TRANSFER or high school dual enrollment: Request Official Transcripts from College(s) Send to university Get book vouchers Add/Drop classes Pay Bill TRANSFER: Receive Worksheet Notification of Merit- Based Scholarship Award Request Information Apply for Private Scholarships Special Event VETERAN: VA Enrollment Verification Start classesPay Enrollment Deposit Varies by Applicant Ideal Path Prospective Student First Semester Student at UMD Course Planning Change Colleges Track Grades & monitoring progress to degree Update Personal Ino Academic Calendar and Deadline Dates Ongoing Readmission TRANSFER: Transfer Orientation INCOMING FRESHMEN or TRANSFER with <24 credits: Take ACT or SAT & Request Official Highschool(s) Transcripts Send scores to university TRANSFER: Petition for courses to be transferred if previously denied TRANSFER: Special Event Applying for Financial Aid Receive Comprehensive Award Letter If selected for Verification Complete Verification process Meet with Academic Advisor Complete College & Program-specific requirements INTERNATIONAL: fulfill additional requirements Accept Loan(s) Accept Scholarship(s) Example: Describing complex workflow before making the system 47
  48. 48. 48 Example: behavior patterns and correlating IA approaches
  49. 49. Example: Created to clarify structure of checkout for developers 49 Cart with Purchasable Items Messaging asking users if they would like to keep their cart Cart empty Cart deleted No? Yes? Cart with Purchasable Items & Non-Purchasable Items Cart Non-Purchasable Items Checkout Confirmation of Purchase Page Purchasable Items purchased
  50. 50. Example: Chef Searching Online for New Recipe 50 Determine which to work off of Modify View in browser tabs Save several options to hard drive Physically write notes Print Don’t Print Question Select starting point(s) ID nomenclature ScanSearch Refine Compare Candidates New / additional nomenclature Filter Sort Search within search results one or more Save to one or more Hard drive Network View on screen Blog Add print out to notebook along with original print ou with hand written notes Hard drive Network Make Recipe Print Troubleshoot Finalize Recipe Save to one or more Read & remember Chef Searching Online for New Recipe/Technique Select Candidates
  51. 51. Example: Scenario Touchpoints 51 Facebook Email welcoming her to TV Show Membership Watches TV and tells husband Watching TV Show on TV Watching TV Show on TV Sees Tweet about earning points, follows link About TV Show page Next time she watches TV Show she checks-in and earns points Hears promotion Visits TV Show website to find out more Follows TV Show Twitter to get alerts about the promotion Sees Game promotion & son asks to play Plays with son on TVShow.com Prompted to join TV Show Club to earn points Joins Creates wish list TV Show & game play becomes nightly ritual Husband joins TV Show Club Watch for TV Show together About TV Show page Sweepstakes page on TV Show Club page Signs up using Facebook login Shares on Facebook Social Key I understand Membership Benefits! Family friendly! I can get things I need! thought Signs up for TV Show club
  52. 52. 52 How to get started
  53. 53. Organize what you know and see what patterns emerge 53
  54. 54. 54 Take nothing for granted.
  55. 55. Keep things pliable 55
  56. 56. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, 
 it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness Alfred Korzybski 56
  57. 57. Paradox of Cartography: To present a useful and truthful picture, an accurate map must tell white lies. 57
  58. 58. All Models Have Limits 58 Create several models that provide specific perspectives.
  59. 59. Map out the relationships between the parts to better understand the whole. 59
  60. 60. Don’t worry about being messy 60
  61. 61. 61
  62. 62. 62 Activity! Things are getting harder 45 minutes to model independently 7 minutes per person to share with neighbor
  63. 63. • Organize what you know and look for patterns • Take nothing for granted • Keep things flexible • Create a representative view, not a perfect view • Create lots of small models • When you get stuck, focus on the relationships between the parts • Don’t worry about being messy or starting over • Keep track of questions and assumptions 63
  64. 64. 64 Sharing your Understanding
  65. 65. Others can benefit from our models too 65
  66. 66. Prioritize a focus and Align on strategic direction 66
  67. 67. Identify and confront assumptions 67
  68. 68. Keep participants on the same page 68
  69. 69. Making Models More Shareable 69
  70. 70. Clarity Matters 70
  71. 71. Set the Stage 71
  72. 72. Know Your Audience & Objective 72
  73. 73. Make it Look Good (maybe?) 73
  74. 74. 74 Activity! Sharing is the Goal 20 minutes to work independently 10 minutes 1 person per table share their model and then discuss
  75. 75. • Make sure you’re not doing too much • Provide a clear framing of what the model is doing • Collaboration and Validation or Presentation and Preservation • Make it look good enough for what you’re trying to achieve 75 Take your model from earlier and adapt it to be more shareable in a collaborative environment.
  76. 76. Modeling: Not just for breakfast anymore 76 - Modeling makes both small and big things clear - Models aren’t only useful for big messy things - Anything can be modeled, everything should be modeled
  77. 77. Example: High-level Model of Sale 77 SALE PRICE RETAIL PRICE MEN WOMEN PETITE JEWELRY & ACCESS ORIES SHOES FACTORY STORE BABY
  78. 78. 78 • Modeling is a kind of making: it’s the craft of understanding. • It can work at many levels of fidelity, from abstract to specific. • You can do it whenever, to figure out big / complex concepts. Practical Modeling
  79. 79. 79 THANK

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