Introduction to Information Architecture & Design - SVA Workshop 06/21/14


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  • Introduction to Information Architecture & Design School of Visual Arts | Fall 2013 Robert Stribley
  • Butterfly on the New York City Highline
  • And we label them down to the species and sub-species level.
    Butterflies at the American Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Conservatory. 
  • Workshop goals
  • Navigation, interaction design, art/science, discipline/community
  • Using architectural plans/blueprints as a metaphor for an IA’s work
  • Partially adapted from: “A brief history of information architecture” by Peter Morville
    Information Architecture: Designing information environments for purpose, edited by Alan Gilchrist and Barry Mahon
  • 1. Discovery
    Stakeholder interviewers, Business requirements, Competitive & Comparative Audits, User Research
  • 2. Definition
    Persona/Scenario Development, Content & Meta Data Audits, Use cases, Creative Brief, Mood boards
  • 3. Design
    Sitemaps, Task Flows, Wireframes, Content Strategy, Interactive Prototypes, Usability Testing, Design Comps

  • 4. Development
    Functional Specifications, Quality Assurance Testing, Site development

  • Photo:
  • User Research in Copenhagen’s Elderly Homes -
  • Discovery: Competitive Review – or Audit
  • We review each of these sites live during class
  • Wikipedia: Cluster analysis or clustering is the assignment of a set of observations into subsets (called clusters) so that observations in the same cluster are similar in some sense
  • Goals and data from focus groups, stakeholder interviews, etc – including user behaviors and opinions
  • Home page, category page, details page/product page
  • Adapted from Atsushi HASEGAWA’s The 7 Navigation Types of Web Sites
  • Uniqlo wireframe by Razorfish
  • Uniqlo comp/design based on wireframe by Razorfish
  • Uniqlo comp/design based on wireframe by Razorfish
  • Uniqlo comp/design based on wireframe by Razorfish
  • Head of design at Braun, the German consumer electronics manufacturer, DIETER RAMS (1932-) was one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th century
  • Introduction to Information Architecture & Design - SVA Workshop 06/21/14

    1. 1. Introduction to Information Architecture & Design School of Visual Arts | June 21, 2014 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 • Choice Hotels, RCI • Computer Associates, EMC • Ford, Lincoln • AT&T, Nextel • Day One, Red Cross • Pearson, Travel Channel, Women’s Wear Daily
    6. 6. Intro 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. Agenda Afternoon • Card Sorting • Site Maps • Page Types • Navigation • Sketching • Wireframes • Q&A Agenda
    11. 11. Background
    12. 12. Background in•for•ma•tion ar•chi•tec•ture n. Background: Defining IA • 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
    13. 13. Background “It's hard to say who really is an information architect. In some sense, we all are.” — Alex Wright, Author Glut Background: Defining IA
    14. 14. userscontent context IA Background: Defining IA
    15. 15. Interface (skin) information architecture (skeleton) Background: Defining IA
    16. 16. Design Process metaphor: architectural plans Cornell University Library Background: Defining IA
    17. 17. 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 • Formation of Argus Associates 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
    18. 18. 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 2000 • First IA Summit, Boston, MA – Defining Information Architecture 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 2015 • 15th Annual IA Summit held in Minneapolis, MN, April 22-26 Background: History
    19. 19. Design Process Project phases by Harold Kerzner
    20. 20. Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development Design Process
    21. 21. Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development • Stakeholder interviews • Business requirements • Competitive & comparative audits • User research • Site inventory Design Process
    22. 22. Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development •Personas •Content Audit •Card sorts •Use Cases •Sketching •Site Map •Creative Brief •UX Brief Design Process
    23. 23. Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development • Site Map • Task Flows • Sketching • Wireframes • Stakeholder Reviews • Visual Design • Prototype • Usability Testing • Functional Specifications Design Process
    24. 24. Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development •Site Development •User Acceptance Testing (UAT) •Quality Assurance (QA) •Usability Testing Design Process
    25. 25. Background IA Deliverables site map features/functionality inventory comparative/competitive review requirements document personas sketches use cases user flows prototype wireframes discover designdefine experience brief Deliverables
    26. 26. Our Project
    27. 27. What to do? Our Project
    28. 28. Our Project 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. Discover
    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. User Research Methodology • Focus Groups • Surveys • Interviews Goals • Identify patterns and trends in user behavior, tasks, preferences, obstacles. Discovery: User Research
    33. 33. User Research 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 • How often do you attend the events? • Do you ever need to promote an event? • Do you ever invite people to an event? Discovery: User Research
    34. 34. Competitive Review image by brandon schauer
    35. 35. Discovery: Competitive Audit “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
    36. 36. Competitive Review Heuristic Evaluation … involves evaluators examining the interface and judging its compliance with recognized usability principles (the ‘heuristics’) - Wikipedia Discovery: Competitive Review Self Study For a more detailed explanation of heuristic evaluation, see Jakob Nielsen’s Ten Usability Heuristics.
    37. 37. Competitive Review Sample Usability Criteria These examples aren’t comprehensive. Appropriate criteria will depend on the project to be completed. Home Page • Are home page elements appropriately weighted and distributed? • Is information clustered in meaningful ways? Navigation • Is the navigation structure concise and consistent? • Are paths to important information intuitive and unobstructed? Content • Is content current? Are there visible indications of content freshness? • Is content properly adapted for the Web? Is tone of voice consistent throughout content? Is content chunked appropriately? • Are headings and titles scannable? Design • Are colors appropriate to the Web? Is white space used appropriately? Is text readable? Search • Are search results relevant and cleanly presented? Functionality • Are functionality and forms efficiently designed? Messaging • Are errors messages clear on the site? Is help readily available to users? • Are there appropriate means for user feedback? Discovery: Competitive Review
    38. 38. Competitive Review Methodology •Review and analyze competitor sites according to particular criteria •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
    39. 39. Competitive Review Competitors Discovery: Competitive Review
    40. 40. Competitive Review Key Findings • Search prominent on each site • Need for filtering events • Calendars are helpful, but not always prominent • Profiles and social features common, but handled with varying degrees of detail • Free events are often highlighted • Event detail pages vary, 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
    41. 41. Competitive Review 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
    42. 42. Define
    43. 43. Personas Created at Personas: 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.
    44. 44. Personas “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 Definition: Personas
    45. 45. Personas Methodology • Cluster Analysis Goals • Create a narrative based on real data to illustrate user behavior, motivations, goals Definition: Personas Small Budget Big Budget PlannerPromoter
    46. 46. Personas Characteristics of Effective Personas • Varied and distinct • Detailed • Not weighed down with minutiae • Tied into business-specific goals • Backed by data Definition: Personas
    47. 47. Definition: Personas SabrinaJenny DonnyJerry
    48. 48. 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
    49. 49. 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
    50. 50. Personas 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
    51. 51. 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.” Personas Small Budget Big Budget PlannedPromoter Definition: Personas
    52. 52. 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
    53. 53. Lunch Break
    54. 54. Agenda Afternoon • Card Sorting • Site Maps • Page Types • Navigation • Sketching • Wireframes • Q&A Agenda
    55. 55. Card Sorting
    56. 56. Card Sorting “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
    57. 57. 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 Definition: Card Sorting Self Study "Card sorting: a definitive guide" by Donna Spencer and Todd Warfel, Boxes and Arrows, 2004/04/07
    58. 58. Case Studies: • Wachovia Wealth Management Group • American Red Cross • Mercedes Benz Definition: Card Sorting
    59. 59. 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
    60. 60. 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
    61. 61. Characteristics & Findings: • 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
    62. 62. 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
    63. 63. Design
    64. 64. Site Maps
    65. 65. 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
    66. 66. Conceptual DesignDesign: Site Maps
    67. 67. Conceptual DesignDesign: Site Maps
    68. 68. Page Types The Mercator Atlas of Europe From The British Library
    69. 69. Conceptual Design Home Page Category Page Details Page Design: Page Types
    70. 70. Navigation Navigation Bridge, USS Enterprise by Serendigity, Flickr
    71. 71. Grids Types of Navigation • Site Structure – major nav • Hierarchical – product families • Function – sitemap privacy • Direct – banner ad/shortcut • Reference – related links • Dynamic – search results • Breadcrumb – location • Step Navigation – sequence through forms/results • Faceted Navigation – filters results Design: Navigation 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
    72. 72. Grids Mega Dropdowns Design: Navigation
    73. 73. Grids Power Footers Design: Navigation
    74. 74. Sketching Aerial Screw by Leonardo da Vinci, 1485-1487
    75. 75. Design: Sketching
    76. 76. Sketching Can you guess what this is a sketch of? Design: Sketching
    77. 77. “twttr sketch” Sketching 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
    78. 78. Sketching “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 Bill Buxton Sketching User Experiences
    79. 79. Bill Buxton Sketching User Experiences Sketching 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
    80. 80. Sketching Methodology • Draw • Limit your time • Don’t worry about mistakes or style Goals • Benefit from the participation of your colleagues • Quickly generate ideas and refine through iterations Design: Sketching
    81. 81. SketchingDesign: Sketching
    82. 82. Sketching Process 1.Discuss 2.Sketch 3.Share 4.Revise Design: Sketching
    83. 83. • Not sketching yet • Discuss the purpose of the experience you’re sketching • What features are necessary? • How would you prioritize them? • What’s the audience? Design: Sketching Discuss
    84. 84. Sketch • Sketch silently • Limit your time • Sketch as much has possible, as many different ideas as possible Design: Sketching
    85. 85. Share • Review your work with your team • You offer your feedback to others • What you like • Questions about didn’t work for you • You’re not grilling your colleagues and this is not a competition Design: Sketching
    86. 86. Revise • Now sketch again/begin your wireframe with a more informed view, more and better ideas • Iterate on your design Design: Sketching
    87. 87. Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching In teams, sketch your ideas. Event Page 1. Take 5 or so minutes first to discuss what features belong here Design: Sketching
    88. 88. Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching In teams, sketch your ideas. Event Page 1. Take 5 or so minutes first to discuss what features belong here 2. Time for silent sketching Design: Sketching
    89. 89. Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching In teams, sketch your ideas. Event Page 1. Take 5 or so minutes first to discuss what features belong here 2. Time for silent sketching 3. Time for sharing your sketches Design: Sketching
    90. 90. Sketching Tools: The following apps are all for the iPad: • Adobe Ideas (Free) • Bamboo Paper (Free) • Muji Notebook ($3.99) • Penultimate (Free) • SketchBook Pro ($4.99) • Paper (Free) InfoDesign: Sketching Tools
    91. 91. Wireframes photo & sculpture by polly verity
    92. 92. 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
    93. 93. Wireframing/Prototyping Tools: • Adobe InDesign • Axure • Omnigraffle (Mac) • Microsoft Visio • Mockingbird (online, free) Also: • Balsamiq • iPlotz • iMockups (iPad) • Omnigraffle (iPad) InfoDesign: Wireframing Tools Self Study Smashing Magazine: 35 Excellent Wireframing Resources
    94. 94. Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Final Wireframe In your teams, create your final deliverable, a home page for Sketch First 1) Discuss features needed for a homepage 2) Sketch your ideas for a homepage individually 3) Review your sketches and provide feedback Design: Wireframes
    95. 95. Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Final Wireframe Then Wireframe 1) Now, each of you will create a final “wireframe” 2) Be sure to incorporate your team mates’ design ideas and feedback Design: Wireframes
    96. 96. Design: Sketching SabrinaJenny DonnyJerry Don’t forget to keep your personas in mind
    97. 97. Design: Sketching Wireframe & Prototyping Tools Axure Dreamweaver InDesign Visio Design: Wireframes Develop
    98. 98. 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 Local Events: • IA Meetup • Brooklyn UX • Content Strategy Meetup Web Sites: • Alertbox • A List Apart • Boxes & Arrows • InfoAdditional Resources 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)
    99. 99. Q&A
    100. 100. Slideshare address: My article on how to find an IA job: @stribs InfoAdditional Info
    101. 101. Design: Sketching Wireframe & Prototyping Tools Axure Dreamweaver InDesign Visio Design: Wireframes Addendum: • Grids • Dieter Rams: 10 Principles of Good Design • Defining Wireframes vs. Sketches, Templates, vs. Pages
    102. 102. Grids
    103. 103. Grids “The true benefit of using a grid is that as you learn how to use a grid, you start to think systemically about the solutions you design. You start to try and see how various details can echo one another, how different regions of the canvas can be reused or used for similar things, how like elements can be grouped together.” – Khoi Vinh, former design Director, Design: Grids
    104. 104. GridsDesign: Grids
    105. 105. GridsDesign: Grids
    106. 106. GridsDesign: Grids
    107. 107. Grids Self Study: Want to know more? Learn more about design by grids: 960 Grid System Design by Grid Hashgrid Design: Grids
    108. 108. Good design is… Good design is innovative. Good design makes a product useful. Good design is aesthetic. Good design makes a product understandable. Good design is unobtrusive. Good design is honest. Good design is long-lasting. Good design is thorough down to the last detail. Good design is environmentally friendly. Good design is as little design as possible. © Dieter Rams, amended March 2003 and October 2009 Dieter Rams: 10 principles of good design
    109. 109. Design: SketchingDefining Sketches Versus Wireframes, Templates Versus Pages Templates Pages Apply to many different pages Specific, may apply to a single page or screen Examples: • basic page • category page • product page Examples: • homepage • ecommerce or transactional form Sketches Wireframes Quick More time-consuming Few details Very detailed Not typically delivered Professional deliverable