Information Architecture Essay

Submitted By katyoliva77
Words: 2653
Pages: 11

Information Architecture

Slides based on content of: Morville, P., & Rosenfeld, L. (2007). Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (3rd ed.). Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.

Architecture Metaphor

Architecture Metaphor

Architecture Metaphor

Architecture Metaphor
• A good architecture is
– Functional
– Appealing
– Enduring

Conceptualizing IA
• Information architecture is the architecture of information spaces
– Conceptualize information as a set of physical objects – Conceptualize information space as the physical space in which these objects reside
– Information architecture is the architecture of this information space

Lin, J. 2008. Introduction: What is Information Architecture? Available online at IA Examples

IA Examples

IA Examples

IA Examples

IA for the WWW
• Information Architecture
1. The structural design of shared information environments. 2. The combination of organization, labeling, search, and navigation systems within web sites and intranets. 3. The art and science of shaping information products and experiences to support usability and findability.
4. An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

• Information
– Web sites
– Documents
– Software applications
– Images
– Metadata
• Terms used to describe and represent objects such as documents, people, processes and organizations

IA Concepts
Structuring, organizing, and labeling
• Structuring
– Determining the appropriate level of granularity for the information
– Deciding how to relate pieces of information to each other • Organizing
– Grouping those components into useful categories

• Labeling
– What to call those categories and the links that connect them

IA Concepts
Finding and managing
• Findability
– Can users find what they are looking for through browsing, searching and asking

• Managing
– Balancing needs of users with goals of organization – Clear policies and procedures

IA Concepts
• Art and science
– Some scientific components to information architecture, but lots of ambiguity and complexity
– Information architects rely on experience, intuition and creativity—the “art” aspects of the discipline IA is NOT…
• What ISN’T Information Architecture?
– Graphic design
– Software development
– Usability engineering

Who Cares?
• Why is it important?
– Cost of finding information
– Cost of not finding information
– Value of education
– Cost of construction
– Cost of maintenance
– Cost of training
– Value of brand

IA Components
• Context
– Organizational mission, goals, strategy, staff, processes and procedures, infrastructure, budget, culture – Each organization’s information architecture should be unique
– Key to success: Understanding and Alignment
• Understand business context
• Align information architecture with context

IA Components
• Content
– Includes documents, applications, services, schema and metadata
– Key concepts


IA Components
• Users
– Who uses the site?
– How do they use the site?
– What info do they want from the site?

Focus on User Needs
• User information needs
– Known-item seeking
• Looking for the right answer

– Exploratory seeking
• Not looking for specific answer, rather pieces of information on a topic that are useful

– Exhaustive research
• Looking for every piece of information on a topic

– Need it again…
• Social tagging with the expectation of refindability

Information Seeking Behavior
• Information seeking behaviors
– Searching, browsing and asking