Category Archives: Information architecture

Information Architecture topics address organizing large amounts of data, navigation, labelling & search.

Learning from User Interface Design Conference 15

As a promotion for the upcoming UI 16 conference in Boston November 7-9, 2011 Jared Spool is offering free on-demand access to last years proceedings!   UIE is making this a limited time offer -only good until October 13, 11:59 PM ET.

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Organizing Web Content à la Moreville & Rosenfeld

In “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web” Moreville & Rosenfeld list the following organization schemes that are used to organize website content:

Exact Organization Schemes

  • Alphabetical
  • Chronological
  • Geographical

Organizing your information this way makes it fairly easy to decide which category your item or topic belongs in, but it does require that the users know the name of what they are looking for.

Ambiguous Organization Schemes

  • Topic
  • Task
  • Audience
  • Metaphor
  • Hybrids

Since items are grouped in meaningful ways, these ambiguous schemes can be more useful to the user that does not know exactly what they are looking for.

These organization schemes are applied to organization of information in websites.

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It is interesting to compare this list with another list I cited earlier in this blog that I applied to ordering items in a list.

From an IXDA post by Chauncey Wilson’s which cites Deborah Mayhew’s book “Principles and Guidelines in Software User Interface Design“.

Here’s a list of common ordering schemes:

  • Alphabetical
  • Task order
  • Frequency
  • Numerical (font size)
  • De facto standard
  • Legal order
  • Complexity (simple to hard)
  • Semantic similarity
  • First-in, first out

Prototyping for Parent Connection

Challenge

After launching their new website http://www.sandiegoparent.com the Parent Connection needed an easy way for new members to find them.  Before sandiegoparent.com, the Parent Connections only web presence was through Scripps.org.

I was asked to help create sketches that would be used to propose a better way for the Scripps website to link to the Parent Connections site.

Approach

The approach was threefold:.

  1. Interview stakeholders to clarify objective and tasks
  2. Create a prototype
  3. Make Recommendations

Results

Goals were agreed upon and stated clearly.  Parent Connection tasks were listed and categorized.  A quick drawing of changes to the existing page was created with Adobe Fireworks.

Scripps Portal Page

Scripps Portal Page

This screen shot could be marked up and used by the Parent Connection officers to communicate and visualize what they would like their page to look like on the Scripps site.

Recommendations were made regarding the use of a professional copywriter, specific content and links that could be added to the introduction.   Specific suggestions for the sandiegoparent.com site were also given.