Information Architecture for SharePoint


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Presented by Andrew Wright and Johanna Dietrich on January 24, 2012.

Published in: Technology, Education

Information Architecture for SharePoint

  1. 1. InformationArchitecture forSharePointJohanna Dietrich & Andrew J Wright#ia4sp
  2. 2. Why are you here?
  3. 3. Because…You use SharePoint •  … and you’ve had problems in the pastYou hear things like: •  “I know it’s there but I can’t find it” •  “The intranet doesn’t work” •  “I don’t get it” – new employee
  4. 4. You want to makeyour SharePoint site better.
  5. 5. Information architecture n. The combination of organization, labeling, search, and navigation systems within web sites and intranets.* Excerpt from Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Peter Morville & Louis Rosenfeld
  6. 6. SharePoint is a powerful* tool ü  Sites ü  Communities ü  Content ü  Search * when you have a plan Plan ü  Insights ü  Composites
  7. 7. The Plan•  Context and users•  Content analysis•  Labeling and navigation•  Content attributes•  Search•  Evaluation
  8. 8. Context Information Architecture Users Content
  9. 9. Users•  Develop a list of audiences/users•  Identify the tasks and/or information needs of each group
  10. 10. User research methods
  11. 11. ContextDefine your context by answeringthese questions: •  What is the purpose of your site? •  Be specific •  What expectations exist for your site?
  12. 12. Broader Context•  Resourcing (budget, hardware, software, people, expertise)•  Timelines•  Technology
  13. 13. Content•  Content review •  Inventory •  Analysis•  Content ownership•  Content planning•  Content migration
  14. 14. Content Review Content Content Inventory AnalysisCan beAutomatedMust beManualDetails •  a list of all •  the current state of current the content content •  whether content can be leveraged, deleted or archived •  content gaps
  15. 15. A completed content analysis will allow you to:•  evaluate the volume and quality of existing content•  identify : •  content owners •  the structures in which the content resides •  types of content •  file types •  content duplication, and •  content gaps
  16. 16. Content Owners•  Identify•  Confirm•  Engage them early
  17. 17. MigrationOptions for planning content migration Manual Hybrid Automated
  18. 18. Migration Considerations•  Volume of content •  By type •  By location on current site•  Site structure similarity•  Types of resources available
  19. 19. Migration Considerations •  State of content •  Types of resources available (technical vs. business/content owners)
  20. 20. Organizing Content•  There is no single “right” way•  Understand the user’s perspective•  Laying the groundwork for navigation
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Navigation TypesStructural Associative * Adapted from Fiorito and Dalton’s model, after James Kalbach
  23. 23. Global Navigation•  Easy access to top level categories•  Takes the form of SharePoint sites•  Backbone of your IA
  24. 24.
  25. 25. Local Navigation•  Browse more specific categories•  Sites, pages, document libraries*, lists*, discussions*, …•  Only show what’s relevant
  26. 26. Associative Navigation•  Teleport between topic areas•  Push related content
  27. 27.
  28. 28. “My Links”•  We all play “favourites”•  Provide personalized shortcuts
  29. 29. Labels•  Headings, link text, and navigation•  Speak the language of the end-users•  Validate and Evaluate
  30. 30. <title>Metadata</title>•  Data about data.•  Taxonomy or Folksonomy?•  Managed Metadata ( a.k.a. controlled vocabularies )
  31. 31. Ya, but what’s metadata good for?
  32. 32. It’s good for…•  Defining meaningful Content Types•  Effective document storage and document retrieval•  Associative navigation
  33. 33. Search•  Search is only as good as the information it has to work with (Garbage IN = Garbage OUT)
  34. 34. What is…Garbage* Not Garbage •  Expired content •  Meaningful, healthy content •  Poorly named pages and sites •  Clear, concise page titles •  Overuse of “Create site” button •  A sitemap that users understand •  Absence of metadata •  Consistent metadata application •  Inconsistent metadata •  Managed metadata terms (a.k.a. Tagging free-for-all) * Not necessarily “garbage,” just not very good for SharePoint search
  35. 35. Scopes = Structure + Content Types Refiners = Metadata Results = Content Metadata + Structure + Content = a great SP search experience
  36. 36. Context Investigated Context Users Researched UsersContent Inventoried/Analyzed Content Evaluate Planned Migration Organized Content Created Navigation Defined Metadata Defined Content Types
  37. 37. Takeaways•  Plan to plan.•  Don’t assume anything•  SharePoint doesn’t manage itself.•  Follow the process.
  38. 38. SharePoint is a powerful* tool * when you have a plan Plan
  39. 39. Thank you.Andrew J Wright | @andrewjwrightJohanna Dietrich