Published on February 16, 2014
Introduction to Information Architecture & Design School of Visual Arts | February 15, 2014 Robert Stribley
Introduction Today‘s presentation will be available on SlideShare following the workshop: www.slideshare.net/stribs
Chocolate display, Xocolatti, SoHo, New York
Body Gel, Sabon, SoHo, New York
Pattern Recognition: In cognitive psychology, the ability to identify familiar forms within a complex arrangement of sensory stimuli Butterfly on the New York City Highline
Butterflies at the American Museum of Natural History‘s Butterfly Conservatory.
Butterflies at the American Museum of Natural History‘s Butterfly Conservatory.
Introduction Intro Robert Stribley •I‘m an Associate Experience Director at Razorfish •I like literature, cinema, music, photography, cycling •I drink coffee 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 • Computer Associates, EMC • Ford, Lincoln • AT&T, Nextel • Red Cross • Pearson, Travel Channel, Women‘s Wear Daily
Introduction 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 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
Agenda Agenda Morning • Background • Design Process • Our Project • User Research • Competitive Review • Personas • Lunch
Agenda Agenda Afternoon •Card Sorting •Site Maps •Page Types •Navigation •Sketching •Wireframes •Q&A
Background: Defining IA Background in•for•ma•tion ar•chi•tec•ture n. Navigation • The combination of organization, labeling, and navigation schemes within an information system. Interaction • The structural design of an information space to facilitate task completion and intuitive access to content. Art/Science Discipline/ Community • 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
Background: Defining IA 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 context IA content users
Background: Defining IA Interface (skin) information architecture (skeleton)
Background: Defining IA Design Process metaphor: architectural plans Flickr.com: Cornell University Library
Background: History A Brief History of IA 1975 • Richard Saul Wurman coined the term ―information architecture‖ to describe the field now more likely described as ―information design‖ 1994 • Formation of Argus Associates in Ann Arbor, WI, 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
Background: History 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 2014 • 15th Annual IA Summit held in San Diego, CA, March 25-30 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
Design Process satire on project phases by Harold Kerzner
Design Process Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development
Design Process Design Process Discovery Definition • Stakeholder interviews • Business requirements • Competitive & comparative audits • User research • Site inventory Design Development
Design Process Design Process Discovery Definition • Personas • Content Audit • Card sorts • Use Cases • Sketching • Site Map • Creative Brief • UX Brief Design Development
Design Process Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development • Site Map • Task Flows • Sketching • Wireframes • Stakeholder Reviews • Visual Design • Prototype • Usability Testing • Functional Specifications
Design Process Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development • Site Development • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) • Quality Assurance (QA) • Usability Testing
Deliverables Background IA Deliverables discover define design requirements document sketches site map comparative/competitive review personas wireframes feature/functionality inventory user flows prototype experience brief use cases
Deliverables Background IA Deliverables discover define design requirements document sketches site map comparative/competitive review personas wireframes feature/functionality inventory user flows prototype experience brief use cases visual design
Our Project What to do?
Our Project Our Project Events.com wants to revamp its website to become the go-to online resource for people wanting to attend or promote events across the United States.
User Research User Research in Copenhagen‘s Elderly Homes
Discovery: User Research 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 User Research Methodology • Focus Groups • Surveys • Interviews Goals • Identify patterns and trends in user behavior, tasks, preferences, obstacles.
Discovery: User Research 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?
Competitive Review image by brandon schauer
Discovery: Competitive Review 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 Competitive Review 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 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 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 Competitive Review Competitors
Discovery: Competitive Review Competitive Review Key Findings • Search prominent on each site • Need for filtering events • Calendars are helpful, not always prominent • Profiles, 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 • The ability to add or promote an event isn‘t always prominent
Discovery: Competitive Review 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?
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. Created at Personas: http://personas.media.mit.edu
Definition: Personas 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 Personas Methodology Big Budget • Cluster Analysis Goals Planner Promoter • Create a narrative based on real data to illustrate user behavior, motivations, goals Small Budget
Definition: Personas Personas Characteristics of Effective Personas • • • • • Varied and distinct Detailed Not weighed down with minutiae Tied into business-specific goals Backed by data
Definition: Personas Jerry Jenny Donny Sabrina
Definition: Personas Personas Sabrina, 27 The party planner Big Budget Planner Promoter Small Budget 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!‖
Definition: Personas Jerry, 44 The out-of-towner Big Budget Planner Promoter Small Budget 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.‖
Definition: Personas 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.‖ Big Budget Promoter Planned Small Budget
Definition: Personas Personas 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.‖ Big Budget Planned Promoter Small Budget
Definition: Personas Class Exercise: Personas Jerry Jenny Donny • What tasks might each persona attempt to complete on Events.com? • What features can you imagine each persona might like on such a site? • What obstacles or pain points might they encounter? Self Study ‖Personas and the Role of Design Documentation" by Andrew Hinton, Boxes and Arrows, 2008/02/27 Sabrina
Agenda Agenda Afternoon • Card Sorting • Site Maps • Page Types • Navigation • Sketching • Wireframes • Q&A
Definition: Card Sorting 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 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 groups of content 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 Case Studies: •Wachovia Wealth Management Group •American Red Cross •Automotive Manufacturer
Definition: Card Sorting 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 PostIt note
Definition: Card Sorting 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 Characteristics & Findings: • Lumping and splitting • Categories versus filters –E.g. Free, Family, Outdoors • Unique but intuitive labels –E.g. Geeks
Definition: Card Sorting Next Steps: With the results of a card sort we then can: • Build consensus • Refine terminology • Create a site map • Help define navigation
Design: Site Maps Conceptual Design ―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
Design: Site Maps Conceptual Design
Design: Site Maps Conceptual Design
Page Types The Mercator Atlas of Europe From The British Library
Design: Page Types Conceptual Design Home Page Category Page Details Page
Navigation Navigation Bridge, USS Enterprise by Serendigity, Flickr
Design: Navigation Grids Types of Navigation Areas of Navigation • • • • • • • • • Global – universal header/footer • Local – left nav/right nav • Local content – text links, buttons 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 Styles of Navigation • • • • • Rollover Dropdown Flyout Tabs Accordion Self Study Adapted from Atsushi Hasegagwa‘s The 7 Navigation Types of Web Sites
Design: Navigation Grids Mega Dropdowns
Design: Navigation Grids Power Footers
Sketching Aerial Screw by Leonardo da Vinci, 1485-1487
Design: Sketching Sketching Can you guess what this is a sketch of?
Design: Sketching 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 “twttr sketch‖ Twitter.com
Design: Sketching 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 Bill Buxton Sketching User Experiences
Design: Sketching Sketching Attributes of a Sketch • Quick • Timely • Inexpensive • Disposable • Plentiful Bill Buxton • Clear vocabulary Sketching User Experiences • Distinct gesture • Minimal detail • Appropriate degree of refinement • Suggest & explore rather than confirm • Ambiguity
Design: Sketching 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 Sketching
Design: Sketching Sketching
Design: Sketching Sketching Process 1.Discuss 2.Sketch 3.Share 4.Revise
Design: Sketching Discuss • 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 Sketch • Sketch silently • Limit your time • Sketch as much has possible, as many different ideas as possible
Design: Sketching 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 Revise • Now sketch again/begin your wireframe with a more informed view, more and better ideas • Iterate on your design
Design: Sketching 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 Don‘t forget to keep your personas in mind Jenny Donny
Design: Sketching Tools Info 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)
Wireframes photo & sculpture by polly verity
Design: Wireframes 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 - Examples Design: Sketching wireframe by matthieu mingasson
Design: Wireframes - Examples Design: Sketching screencap from The Right way to Wireframe by Semantic Will
Design: Wireframing Tools Info Wireframing/Prototyping Tools: • Adobe InDesign • Axure • Omnigraffle (Mac) • Microsoft Visio • Mockingbird (online, free) Also: • Adobe Proto (coming for iPad) • Balsamiq • iPlotz • iMockups (iPad) • Omnigraffle (iPad) Self Study Smashing Magazine: 35 Excellent Wireframing Resources
Design: Wireframes Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Final Wireframe In your teams, create your final deliverables for Events.com 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 Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Final Wireframe Then Wireframe 1) Now, each of you will create a final ―wireframe‖ • Home Page • Event Page – Basic • Event Page – Detailed 1) Be sure to incorporate your team mates‘ design ideas and feedback
Design: Sketching Don‘t forget to keep your personas in mind Jerry Jenny Donny Sabrina
Design: Wireframes Design: Sketching Wireframe & Prototyping Tools Axure Dreamweaver InDesign Visio Develop
Additional Resources Info Books: Organizations: • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web – Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville • Human Computer Interactions (HCI) • Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web – Christina Wodtke, Austin Govella • Usability Professionals Association (UPA) • 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 • Interaction Designers Association (IxDA) Further Studies: • School of Visual Arts • Continuing Ed classes • MFA in Interaction Design • Pratt – Course in Information Design Local Events: • Rosenfeld Media • IA Meetup • General Assembly • Content Strategy Meetup • Skillshare • Adaptive Path Web Sites: • The Information Architecture Institute • Alertbox • The IA Summit • A List Apart • Nielsen Norman Group • Boxes & Arrows • User Interface Engineering • wireframes.tumblr.com Video: The Right Way to Wireframe by Russ Unger (YouTube)
Additional Info Info Slideshare address: http://www.slideshare.net/stribs My article on how to find an IA job: http://blog.onwardsearch.com/2012/08/information-architecture-a-guerilla-guide-to-breaking-in/ @stribs
Design: Wireframes Design: Sketching Wireframe & Prototyping Tools Axure Addendum: Dreamweaver • Grids InDesign • Dieter Rams: 10 Principles of Good Design Visio • Defining Wireframes vs. Sketches, Templates, vs. Pages
Design: Grids 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, NYTimes.com
Design: Grids Grids
Design: Grids Grids
Design: Grids Grids
Design: Grids Grids Self Study: Want to know more? Learn more about design by grids: 960 Grid System 960.gs Design by Grid www.designbygrid.com Hashgrid www.hashgrid.com
Dieter Rams: 10 principles of good design 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
Defining Sketches Versus Wireframes, Templates Versus Pages Design: Sketching Sketches Wireframes Quick More time-consuming Few details Very detailed Not typically delivered Professional deliverable 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
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