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Introduction to Information Architecture & Design - 2/13/16


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Introduction to Information Architecture & Design - Workshop as presented by Robert Stribley at SVA's School of Continuing Education, February 13th, 2016

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Introduction to Information Architecture & Design - 2/13/16

  1. 1. Introduction to Information Architecture & Design School of Visual Arts | February 13, 2016 Robert Stribley
  2. 2. Today’s presentation will be available on SlideShare following the workshop:
  3. 3. Butterfly on the New York City Highline Pattern Recognition: In cognitive psychology, the ability to identify familiar forms within a complex arrangement of sensory stimuli
  4. 4. Butterflies Labeled by Species
  5. 5. Intro Robert Stribley @stribs • I’m an Associate Experience Director at Razorfish • I like literature, cinema, music, photography, cycling • I drink coffee Introduction My clients have included: • Bank of America, PNC, Wachovia • JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Oppenheimer Funds, PNC, Prudential, Smith Barney, T. Rowe Price • Boston Scientific, Nasonex • Brizo, Delta Faucets • Choice Hotels, RCI, Reaology/Sotheby’s International • Computer Associates, EMC • Ford, Lincoln, Mercedes Benz, smart • FreshDirect • AT&T, Nextel • Day One, Red Cross • Pearson, Travel Channel, Women’s Wear Daily
  6. 6. About You •What’s your name? •What do you do for work? •What do you do for fun? •Coffee, tea or bottled water? Introduction
  7. 7. Intro Goals of this workshop •Understand the basic concepts of information architecture •Experience the general process and techniques used on a design project •Review the basic deliverables an information architect develops within a project Introduction
  8. 8. Agenda
  9. 9. Agenda Morning • Background • Design Process • Our Project • User Research • Competitive Review • Personas • Lunch Agenda
  10. 10. Afternoon • Card Sorting • Site Maps • Page Types • Navigation • Sketching • Wireframes • Q&A Agenda
  11. 11. Background
  12. 12. Background: History A Brief History of IA 1975 • Richard Saul Wurman coined the term “information architecture” to describe the field now more often described as “information design” 1994 • Argus Associates founded in Ann Arbor, MI, the first firm devoted to IA 1998 • First edition of Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld’s Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, affectionately known as “The Polar Bear” book 2000 • First IA Summit, Boston, MA – Defining Information Architecture
  13. 13. Partially adapted from: “A brief history of information architecture” by Peter Morville and Information Architecture: Designing information environments for purpose, edited by Alan Gilchrist and Barry Mahon A Brief History of IA 2002 • Boxes & Arrows, online journal for information architects goes live • 3 new books on IA published, including Jesse James Garrett’s The Elements of User Experience 2014 • Capital One purchases Garrett’s UX-consulting firm Adaptive Path 2015 • 15th Annual IA Summit held in Minneapolis, MN, April 22-26 • 4th edition of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web … coming soon! Background: History
  14. 14. in•for•ma•tion ar•chi•tec•ture n. • The combination of organization, labeling, and navigation schemes within an information system. • The structural design of an information space to facilitate task completion and intuitive access to content. • The art and science of structuring and classifying web sites and intranets to help people find and manage information. • An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (1st Edition), p. 4, Rosenfeld and Morville Navigation Interaction Art/Science Discipline/ Community Background: Defining IA
  15. 15. “It's hard to say who really is an information architect. In some sense, we all are.” — Alex Wright, Glut Background: Defining IA
  16. 16. userscontent context IA Background: Defining IA
  17. 17. Interface (skin) information architecture (skeleton) Background: Defining IA
  18. 18. Design Process metaphor: architectural plans Cornell University Background: Defining IA
  19. 19. information architecture Background: User Experience interaction design content strategy usability testing user research user experience
  20. 20. Image by Oliver Reichenstein on flickr
  21. 21. Design Process Project phases by Harold Kerzner
  22. 22. Discovery Definition Design Development Design Process
  23. 23. Discovery Definition Design Development • Stakeholder Interviews • Business Requirements • Feature Prioritization Matrix • Competitive/Comparative Audit • User Research • Site Inventory • Site Map Design Process
  24. 24. Discovery Definition Design Development • Personas • Content Audit • Card Sorts • Use Cases • Site Map • User Journeys • Sketching • Conceptual Wires/Design • Experience Brief Design Process
  25. 25. Discovery Definition Design Development • Site Map • Content Matrix • Task Flows • Sketching • Wireframes • Functional Specifications • Stakeholder Reviews • Visual Design • Prototype • Usability Testing Design Process
  26. 26. Discovery Definition Design Development • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) • Quality Assurance (QA) • Usability Testing Design Process
  27. 27. Our Project
  28. 28. wants to revamp its website to become the go-to online resource for people wanting to attend or promote events across the United States. Our Project
  29. 29. Discovery
  30. 30. User Research User Research in Copenhagen’s Elderly Homes
  31. 31. User Research “Through research, we aim to learn enough about the business goals, the users, and the information ecology to develop a solid strategy.” – Louis Rosenfeld & Peter Morville Discovery: User Research
  32. 32. Goals • Identify patterns and trends in user behavior, tasks, preferences, obstacles. Methodology • Focus Groups • Surveys • Interviews Discovery: User Research
  33. 33. “[I]n a delicate inquiry like this, little is to be gained by distributing circulars. A single patient with the right sort of lesion and a scientific mind, carefully cross-examined, is more likely to deepen our knowledge than a thousand circulars answered as the average patient answers them, even though the answers be never so thoroughly collated by the investigator.” - William James, “The Consciousness of Lost Limbs,” 1887 Discovery: User Research
  34. 34. Class Exercise: Survey Questions • How do you learn about events in NYC? • What type of events are you interested in? • What’s more important to you: – Price – Type of Event – Location – Date • Do you ever need to promote an event? • Do you ever invite people to an event? Discovery: User Research
  35. 35. Competitive Review image by brandon schauer
  36. 36. “This type of assessment helps set an industry ‘marker’ by looking at what the competition is up to, what features and functionalities are standard, and how others have solved the same problems you might be tasked with.” – Dorelle Rabinowitz Discovery: Competitive Review
  37. 37. Heuristic Evaluation … involves evaluators examining the interface and judging its compliance with recognized usability principles (the ‘heuristics’) - Wikipedia Self Study For a more detailed explanation of heuristic evaluation, see Jakob Nielsen’s Ten Usability Heuristics. Discovery: Competitive Review
  38. 38. Sample Usability Criteria These examples aren’t comprehensive. Appropriate criteria will depend on the project to be completed. Home Page • Elements are appropriately weighted and distributed • Information is clustered in meaningful ways Navigation • Navigation structure is concise and consistent • Paths to important information are intuitive and unobstructed Content • Content is content chunked appropriately • Headings and titles are scannable • Content is current. There are visible indications of content freshness. • Content is properly adapted for the Web. Tone of voice is consistent throughout. Design • Colors are appropriate for the Web. White space is used appropriately. Text is readable. Search • Search results are relevant and cleanly presented Functionality • Functionality and forms are efficiently designed Messaging • Errors messages are presented in clear language. Help readily available contextually to users • Appropriate channels are provided for user feedback Discovery: Competitive Review
  39. 39. Methodology •Review and analyze competitor sites according to particular criteria (heuristics) •Draw key findings, which can influence and guide IA through the design phase •Include a scorecard for high-level comparison of points across all sites Also: Comparative Reviews Discovery: Competitive Review
  40. 40. Discovery: Competitive Review
  41. 41. Competitive Review Competitors Discovery: Competitive Review
  42. 42. Competitive Review Key Findings • Search is fairly prominent on each site • Filtering on events is valuable, but not always easily available • Calendars are helpful, but not always prominent • Profiles and social features are handled with varying degrees of detail • Free events are often highlighted • Event detail pages may have maps, RSVP, sharing, rating, commenting functionality • Displaying other venues and restaurants adds utility • Option to add or promote an event isn’t always prominent Discovery: Competitive Review
  43. 43. What else have we learned? • Who are the audiences of these sites? • What are the strengths of these sites? • What are their weaknesses? • How might another event site differentiate itself from these sites? Discovery: Competitive Review
  44. 44. Definition
  45. 45. Personas Created at Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, recently on display at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab. It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.
  46. 46. “Personas summarize user research findings and bring that research to life in such a way that everyone can make decisions based on these personas, not based on themselves.” – Steve Mulder, The User Is Always Right Definition: Personas
  47. 47. Methodology • Cluster Analysis Goals • Create a narrative based on real data to illustrate user behavior, motivations, goals Small Budget Big Budget PlannerPromoter Definition: Personas
  48. 48. Characteristics of Effective Personas • Varied and distinct • Detailed • Not weighed down with minutiae • Tied into business-specific goals • Backed by data Definition: Personas
  49. 49. Definition: Personas SabrinaJenny DonnyJerry
  50. 50. Sabrina, 27 The party planner Location: Gramercy Park Attitude: Organized, outgoing Financial Perspective: Generous, bit of spendthrift Online Habits: Avid user of social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook, etc Events: Wine tastings, gallery openings Quote: “I love getting bunches of friends together to attend all these NYC events. There’s so much great stuff to do in this city!” Small Budget Big Budget PlannerPromoter PersonasDefinition: Personas
  51. 51. Jerry, 44 The out-of-towner Location: Cincinnati, OH Attitude: Casual, yet adventurous Financial Perspective: Moderate spender Online Habits: Utilitarian use of the Web to research trips, read about the arts and pay bills Events: Museums, visiting landmarks, tours Quote: “I’m visiting the Big Apple with my wife and we want to check out some art-related events.” Small Budget Big Budget PlannerPromoter Definition: Personas
  52. 52. Donny, 38 The local comedian Location: East Village Attitude: Laidback, loosely organized Financial Perspective: Frugal, paycheck to paycheck Online Habits: Spends time networking, promoting his act online, haunts comedy sites Events: Comedy slams, variety shows Quote: “I land a few comedy gigs around the city and I want to promote them better.” Small Budget Big Budget PlannedPromoter Definition: Personas
  53. 53. Jenny, 33 The professional promoter Location: Williamsburg Attitude: Busy, disciplined, professional Financial Perspective: Healthy budget for promotions and advertising Online Habits: Heavy use of social networking sites both professionally and personally, shops online Events: Small gigs, big concerts, DJ sets Quote: “I manage a few bands and DJs and I have to ensure they’re listed in the right, targeted places.” Small Budget Big Budget PlannedPromoter Definition: Personas
  54. 54. Class Exercise: Personas Definition: Personas • What tasks might each persona attempt to complete on • What features can you imagine each persona might like on such a site? • What obstacles or pain points might they encounter? SabrinaJenny DonnyJerry Self Study ”Personas and the Role of Design Documentation" by Andrew Hinton, Boxes and Arrows, 2008/02/27
  55. 55. Lunch Break
  56. 56. Afternoon • Card Sorting • Site Maps • Page Types • Navigation • Sketching • Wireframes • Q&A Agenda
  57. 57. Card Sorting
  58. 58. “There are often better ways to organize data than the traditional ones that first occur to us. Each organization of the same set of data expresses different attributes and messages. It is also important to experiment, reflect, and choose which organization best communicates our messages.” – Nathan Shedroff, Experience Strategist Definition: Card Sorting
  59. 59. Methodology • Grouping and labeling with index cards, post it notes • Two types: Open – Participants sort cards with no pre-established categories. Useful for new architectures Closed – Participants sort cards into predetermined, provided groups. Useful for fitting content into existing architectures • Online card sorts –WebSort, OptimalSort, Socratic Goals • Organize content more efficiently • Find names for categories based on users’ perspectives Self Study "Card sorting: a definitive guide" by Donna Spencer and Todd Warfel, Boxes and Arrows, 2004/04/07 Definition: Card Sorting
  60. 60. Case Studies: • Wachovia Wealth Management Group • American Red Cross • Mercedes Benz Definition: Card Sorting
  61. 61. Class Exercise: As individuals: • Take 5 minutes to think of all the events a person could attend • Write each event you come up with on a Post- It note Definition: Card Sorting
  62. 62. Class Exercise: Now, as a group: • Take a few minutes to organize your events into categories (group & label them) • Then we’ll share some categories Definition: Card Sorting
  63. 63. Characteristics & Findings: • Looking for redundancies • Lumping and splitting • Outliers and miscellaneous items • Placing items in multiple categories • Categories versus filters –E.g. Free, Family, Outdoors • Unique but intuitive labels –E.g. Geeks Definition: Card Sorting
  64. 64. Next Steps: With the results of a card sort we then can: • Build consensus • Refine terminology • Create a site map • Help define navigation Definition: Card Sorting
  65. 65. Post-It Plus This new app from 3M allows you to scan your Post-It Notes, organize and share them. Definition: Card Sort Tools
  66. 66. Design
  67. 67. Site Maps
  68. 68. Conceptual DesignDesign: Site Maps “A site map is a high level diagram showing the hierarchy of a system. Site maps reflect the information structure, but are not necessarily indicative of the navigation structure.” – Step Two Designs
  69. 69. Conceptual DesignDesign: Site Maps
  70. 70. Conceptual DesignDesign: Site Maps
  71. 71. Conceptual DesignDesign: Site Maps Site Map Tools: • Omnigraffle (Mac) • Microsoft Visio • InDesign
  72. 72. Page Types & Templates The Mercator Atlas of Europe From The British Library
  73. 73. Home Page Category Page Details Page Examples: Design: Page Types & Templates
  74. 74. Navigation Navigation Bridge, USS Enterprise by Serendigity, Flickr
  75. 75. Types of Navigation • Site Structure – major nav • Hierarchical – product families • Function – sitemap privacy • Direct – banner ad/shortcut • Reference – related links • Dynamic – search results • Faceted Navigation – filters results • Breadcrumb – location • Step Navigation – sequence through forms/results Self Study Adapted from Atsushi Hasegagwa’s The 7 Navigation Types of Web Sites Design: Navigation
  76. 76. Areas of Navigation • Global – universal header/footer • Local – left nav/right nav • Local content – text links, buttons Styles of Navigation • Rollover • Dropdown • Flyout • Tabs • Accordion Self Study Adapted from Atsushi Hasegagwa’s The 7 Navigation Types of Web Sites Design: Navigation
  77. 77. Mega Dropdowns Design: Navigation
  78. 78. Power Footers Design: Navigation
  79. 79. Sketching Aerial Screw by Leonardo da Vinci, 1485-1487
  80. 80. Can you guess what this is a sketch of? Design: Sketching
  81. 81. “twttr sketch” Twitter [This sketch] has very special significance – it's hanging in the office somewhere with one other page. Whenever I'm thinking about something, I really like to take out the yellow notepad and get it down. – Jack Dorsey, Twitter Design: Sketching
  82. 82. “There are techniques and processes whereby we can put experience front and center in design. My belief is that the basis for doing so lies in extending the traditional practice of sketching. ” - Bill Buxton Design: Sketching
  83. 83. Attributes of a Sketch •Quick •Timely •Inexpensive •Disposable •Plentiful •Clear vocabulary •Distinct gesture •Minimal detail •Appropriate degree of refinement •Suggest & explore rather than confirm •Ambiguity Design: Sketching
  84. 84. Goals for Collaborative Sketching • To communicate your ideas effectively by visualizing them • To benefit from the participation of your colleagues • To quickly generate ideas and refine through iterations Design: Sketching
  85. 85. Process 1. Discuss 2. Sketch 3. Share 4. Iterate Design: Sketching
  86. 86. • Discuss the purpose of the specific experience you’re sketching • What does it need to accomplish? • What features are necessary? • How would you prioritize them? • Who’s the audience? • You’re not discussing layout or design • Just the problem you’re trying to solve • You’re not sketching yet Design: Sketching Discuss
  87. 87. Design: Sketching
  88. 88. Sketch • Sketch silently • Limit your time – 5,10 minutes • Sketch as much as possible, as many different ideas as possible • Don’t worry about mistakes or style • Emphasis is on the quantity of ideas, not the quality of the sketches Design: Sketching
  89. 89. Design: Sketching
  90. 90. Share • Review your work with your team • Keep it short – 60 seconds each • You offer your feedback to others • What you like • Questions about what didn’t work for you • You’re not grilling your colleagues and this isn’t a competition Design: Sketching
  91. 91. Iterate • Now sketch again if you need to • Or collaborate on a high-level wireframe (e.g. via whiteboard) • Then begin your wireframe with a more informed view, with more and better ideas • Iterate on your design Design: Sketching
  92. 92. Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching In teams, sketch your ideas. Event Detail Page 1. Take 15 minutes first to discuss what features belong here Design: Sketching
  93. 93. Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching In teams, sketch your ideas. Event Detail Page 1. Take 15 minutes first to discuss what features belong here 2. Time for silent sketching Design: Sketching
  94. 94. Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching In teams, sketch your ideas. Event Detail Page 1. Take 15 minutes first to discuss what features belong here 2. Time for silent sketching 3. Time for sharing your sketches Design: Sketching
  95. 95. Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching Did you come up with any differentiating ideas for an event page? Design: Sketching
  96. 96. Sketching Tools: The following apps are all for the iPad: • Adobe Ideas (Free) • Bamboo Paper (Free) • Muji Notebook ($3.99) • Penultimate (Free) • SketchBook (Free) • Paper (Free) • Adonit Forge (Free) Design: Sketching
  97. 97. Wireframes photo & sculpture by polly verity
  98. 98. Wireframes “Web site wireframes are blue prints that define a Web page’s content and functionality. They do not convey design – e.g. colors, graphics, or fonts.” - FatPurple Design: Wireframes
  99. 99. Wireframing/Prototyping Tools: • Adobe InDesign • Axure • Omnigraffle (Mac) • Microsoft Visio • Sketch/Invision • Mockingbird (online, free) Also: • Balsamiq • iPlotz • iMockups (iPad) • Omnigraffle (iPad) Self Study Smashing Magazine: 35 Excellent Wireframing Resources Design: Wireframes
  100. 100. Responsive Design
  101. 101. Responsive Web Design “Rather than tailoring disconnected designs to each of an ever- increasing number of web devices, we can treat them as facets of the same experience. We can design for an optimal viewing experience, but embed standards-based technologies into our designs to make them not only more flexible, but more adaptive to the media that renders them. In short, we need to practice responsive web design.” – Ethan Marcotte, Responsive Web Design, A List Apart Self Study Ethan Marcotte: Responsive Web Design Design: Responsive Design
  102. 102. Design: Responsive Design
  103. 103. Desktop Tablet Mobile Design: Responsive Design
  104. 104. Design: Responsive Design
  105. 105. Design: Responsive Design
  106. 106. Responsive Design Characteristics • Think “mobile first” • The goal: Maintain content and features across devices • Responsive designs adjust at different “break points” corresponding to the dimensions of various devices, typically desktop, tablet and mobile • Navigation may be repositioned • Modules may be repositioned but hierarchies are maintained • Images scale down in size or may be cropped • Text size is maintained where possible, though headings may be reduced in size • Filters may be moved into a dropdown • Occasionally, content or features are dropped to save screen real estate or if they’re not device appropriate Design: Responsive Design
  107. 107. Design: Sketching Design a Responsive Home Page In your teams, create your final deliverable, a responsive home page for 1) Discuss features needed for a homepage 2) Sketch your ideas for a homepage individually Remember to consider how it works on both desktop and mobile 3) Discuss your sketches again with your team Design: Final Exercise
  108. 108. Design: Final Exercise Final Home Page Collaboration In your teams, create your final deliverable, a responsive home page for 1) Collaborate as a team on a final responsive version of the home page 2) Include a high-level sketch of how the mobile version would display
  109. 109. Development
  110. 110. Additional Resources Books: • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web – Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville • Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web – Christina Wodtke, Austin Govella • The Elements of User Experience – Jesse James Garrett • Designing Web Navigation: Optimizing the User Experience – James Kalbach, Aaron Gustafson • Design of Everyday Things – Donald Norman • Responsive Web Design – Ethan Marcotte Local Events: • Brooklyn UX • Content Strategy NYC Meetup Web Sites: • Alertbox • A List Apart • Boxes & Arrows • Organizations: • Human Computer Interactions (HCI) • Interaction Designers Association (IxDA) • Usability Professionals Association (UPA) Further Studies: • School of Visual Arts • Continuing Ed classes • MFA in Interaction Design • Pratt – Course in Information Design • Rosenfeld Media • General Assembly • Skillshare • Adaptive Path • The Information Architecture Institute • The IA Summit • Nielsen Norman Group • User Interface Engineering Video: The Right Way to Wireframe by Russ Unger (YouTube)
  111. 111. Q&A
  112. 112. Slideshare address: My article on how to find an IA job: @stribs