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S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Designing information architecture: theory and practice I. IA as theory Information interaction as a.

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Presentation on theme: "S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Designing information architecture: theory and practice I. IA as theory Information interaction as a."— Presentation transcript:

1 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Designing information architecture: theory and practice I. IA as theory Information interaction as a basis for IA Cognitive work analysis II. IA work IA checklists IA and library portals III. IA practice What do IAs have to know? What do IAs do? IA deliverables

2 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory Information interaction: Providing a framework for information architecture Toms believes that there is a gap in our understanding of how we interact with information technologies The model of information interaction can address this gap and provide a theoretical basis for IA ~What is an example of a way in which a web interface enhances the information task? Of an interface that hinders an information task? ~Apply the concept of information interaction to your use of a web site - what happens?

3 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory Toms argues that the initial focus should be how people interact in information-rich environments Interaction: situated action with an IS involving querying, browsing (filling a gap in HCI) Primarily use of GUI with some command line work We immerse ourselves in info IA enables access by providing a systematic and primarily visual approach to the organization of content IA facilitates the quest for information Toms, E.G. (2002). Information interaction: Providing a framework for information architecture. JASIST, 53(10),

4 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory How information interaction (II) occurs We can come to a system with an information task Problem-solving: we go through a patterned process and end with a relevance judgment We can also have chance encounters, encounters with information, scanning activities These are less patterned but still end with some type of judgment Then we browse, navigate, search, evaluate… II is the basis of the persons use experience and is shaped by web technology

5 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 A model of information interaction Formulate goal: object or purpose Select category: approach system and select search term Note cues: landmarks Extract information Integrate information Evaluate Toms (2002; 658) I. IA as theory

6 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory II depends on system, user, and content User-system: browsing or querying the system; respond to system output System-content: applying rules to content for storage, manipulation, retrieval User-content: reading, evaluating, analyzing output Could be most important Toms (2002, 859)

7 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory A case study of collaborative information retrieval Fidel et al use a cognitive work analysis approach to conduct a case study of collaborative IR to uncover the factors that influence people's information behaviors After contrasting psychological, social, and multidimensional approaches to information behaviors they focus on the human-information interactions that occur in people's routine work activities ~How does collaboration in the workplace influence people's information behaviors? ~What is the advantage of using cognitive work analysis to study ways people use information in the workplace?

8 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory Recent activity has focused on theoretical development in human-information interaction Critical: what is the set of variables that matter when considering this interaction? Prior work as focused on a single dimension They use a naturalistic approach to uncover the factors that make a difference in this type of II They found that the factors that influence CIR are in different dimensions that interact with each other Fidel, R., Pejtersen, A.M., Cleal, B. and Bruce, H. (2004). A multidimensional approach to the study of human-information interaction: A case study of collaborative information retrieval. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 55(11),

9 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory The prevailing approach in information behavior research in LIS is psychological It focuses primarily on cognitive factors and less on others, such as affective and perceptual factors How cognition shapes information behavior Allows quantification and measurement, and prediction The objects of study are cognitive states and processes in relation to information behavior Important concept is information need Problem: ignores sociocultural, organizational, and technical dimensions

10 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory The social approach focuses primarily on social, organizational, and political states and processes as impetus for information behavior Focuses on the social context, interactions, and discourse through which II occurs Does not consider the concept of information need as central to the understanding of information behavior The study of information behavior cannot be based on isolated individuals, or outside a specific context Problem: research with the social approach offers few descriptive generalizations about information behavior

11 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory Multidimensional approach assumes human information behavior takes place in complex contexts Also that we are goal driven The better this complexity is understood and analyzed, the more relevant the outcomes of research will be to the design of information systems and services Requires flexible methods to understand information seeking in context (use as well) Studies using a multidimensional approach typically focus on a specific group of people, in a certain context, performing a particular task

12 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 I. IA as theory They use cognitive work analysis Based on general systems thinking, adaptive control systems, and ecological psychology Focuses on work activities, their organizational relationships, and constraints of the work place Also actors cognitive and social activities and guiding values, priorities and personal preferences performing tasks on the job It is a holistic approach that makes it possible to account for several dimensions

13 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Designing information architecture: theory and practice I. IA as theory Information interaction as a basis for IA Cognitive work analysis II. IA work IA checklists IA and library portals III. IA practice What do IAs have to know? What do IAs do? IA deliverables

14 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 II. IA work Building an Information architecture checklist Downey and Banerjee describe the method by which they developed an IA checklist that can be used in the evaluation of system architecture Their goal is to embed the checklist in the larger process of an architectural review ~What is the version of IA that is used in their approach? How does it differ from the approach we have discussed? ~If you were evaluating the IA of a system, would you use the checklist? Why or why not?

15 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Definition: The art and science of organizing information to support findability, manageability and usefulness from the infrastructural level to the user interface level An enterprise wide activity that includes data architecture and metadata and knowledge management Can be strategic and top down (big IA) or tactical and bottom up (small IA) Big IA focuses on user experience, little IA focuses on information organization IA must be part of the systems development process Downey, L. and Banerjee, S. (2011). Building an Information Architecture Checklist: Encouraging and Enabling IA from Infrastructure to the User Interface Architecture. Journal of Information Architecture 2(2). II. IA work

16 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Checklist: a mechanism for reminding and prompting attention to issues or topics Can be general: outlining the steps in a process Can be specific: listing detailed items to be addressed Used in software engineering architectural review Find design problems early Manage and leverage software and hardware infrastructure Identify technology gaps Enable most productive use of information assets II. IA work

17 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Purpose: remind reviewers of pertinent areas and specific issues to be addressed during systems design Existing IA checklists checklists focus more on process, design, and design review Do not include issues of infrastructure, platform, services, technology, policy, and standards Exception: an informal search checklist Includes system architecture, performance, access control, relevance tuning, federated search and analytics II. IA work

18 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Building the checklist: basic structure Preparing and organizing information Architecture: structure and composition of a repository, information collection or individual document Intelligence: enriched content, metadata, categorization Accessing information Search and retrieval: querying information and obtaining matching results Findability: quality of being locatable or navigable II. IA work

19 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Revised checklist Information organization: Taxonomy, modeling, structure, semantics Information generation: content, user experience, system interface, scalability, standards Information integration: analytics, search, composition Information consumption: search, metrics, monitoring Information governance: stewardship, master data management, reuse, policy Information quality of service: security, availability, reliability, usefulness II. IA work

20 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Final checklist Consumption: general, availability, metrics Generation: general, extraction, characteristics, metrics Organization: modeling, classification, semantics, structure, user experience Access: search, discovery, analytics, user experience, navigation, system interface, metrics Governance: stewardship, classification, policy Quality of service: security, availability, reliability, scalability, usefulness II. IA work

21 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Embedding Business unit identifies need for new information system OIT Intake process: checklist is used with high level questions Contract award: detailed IA solution considerations used Implementation: IA activities carried out II. IA work

22 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Library portals and information architecture: Librarians emerging info-architects Eke argues that librarians should be the main IAs when designing library portals because they are uniquely qualified to do this work Roles include: content creators, copyright experts, digital reference service personnel, metadata creators, portal creators ~Do you agree that librarians make good IAs? ~Think of a library portal with which you are familiar - how could its IA be improved? II. IA work

23 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Portal: a web site or service that provides information content to serve a specific community An anchor or starting point making all the types of information (destinations) available to a designated audience by passing through the one point Systems which gather a variety of useful information resources into a single, one stop web page A browser experience that has an entry point (or gateway) that is a starting point for a user experience Eke, H.N. (2011). Library portals and information architecture: Librarians emerging info-architects. International Research: Journal of Library and Information Science. 1(2), II. IA work

24 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 II. IA work A library website has three types of content: 1. Information about the library: staff directories, departmental descriptions, maps, hours 2. E-versions of traditional library services: online tutorials, book renewals, ILL, and status reports, purchase requests, online chat/reference, virtual tours 3. Access to library content: catalogs, indexes, full-text magazines and journals, digitized special collections, free and commercial ebooks, government documents, Internet resources, licensed content from vendors Library portals are organized gateways that structure access to information for patrons

25 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Components A single-search interface across multiple electronic sources and the return of results in a consistent library customizable formatbut identified by source User and patron authentication by checking the clients against a library database Locally created files on its web server Resource linking allows a library to seamlessly tie electronic resources together Content enhancement: tables of contents, book jacket images, author biographies, and reviews II. IA work

26 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Who designs the IA and organizes and manages the library portal? Librarian training is directly applicable to IA so how information is structured on the library portal is their responsibility Developing information classification schemes, the creation of hierarchies, thesauri and databases, and concentration on information navigation and access Librarians are content creators, copyright experts, work with metadata They provide digital reference services II. IA work

27 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Designing information architecture: theory and practice I. IA as theory Information interaction as a basis for IA Cognitive work analysis II. IA work IA checklists IA and library portals III. IA practice What do IAs have to know? What do IAs do? IA deliverables

28 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice How has the job of the web administrator changed over time Several years ago, a webmaster would Plan and develop the site Design web pages Hand code HTML Write scripts and programs Create content Configure, maintain, and secure the web server Today, these tasks are a smaller part of the job

29 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice These days Coders mark up the pages Content developers write the pages Graphic designers create the images Programmers and database designers manage the back end Technicians configure, maintain, and secure the computer equipment jceo.org/_uploads/web%20team.JPG

30 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice And the web site administrator Describes how the site should be organized Describes what a web site ought to look like Explains how it integrates into an overall management or marketing strategy Manages web designers and developers The job has evolved into more of a management position What has it become?

31 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice These days most large scale information design projects are done by teams In the team, the IA plays a key role IAs are deeply involved in web design but can work with any type of information design project Software, game design, educational CDs It is a professional role in web design and the design of digital media collections IAs are responsible for developing and selling the overall structure and organization of the site

32 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice It is a professional role in web design and the design of digital media collections IAs are responsible for the overall structure and organization of the site Involves organizing a sites content into categories and creating an interface to support those categories Also designing navigation and searching systems to help people find and manage information A systematic, user-centered question-based process for creating digital products to communicate meaning and improve users performance

33 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice A practitioners definition of IA At its most basic, [IA] is the construction of a structure or the organization of information. In a library, for example, [IA] is a combination of the catalog system and the physical design of the building that holds the books. On the Web, [IA] is a combination of organizing a sites content into categories and creating an interface to support those categories. It stems from traditional architecture, which is made up of architectural programming and architectural planning. Kimen, S. (2003). 10 questions about information architecture. Builder.com builder.com.com/ html

34 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice

35 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice The evolution of the web site development has been in the direction of greater specialization Technical Managerial Conceptual Database designer Programmer HTML coder Graphic designer Content developer Information architect The company

36 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice What should an IA know? LIS: information organization and access Computer science: programming and databases Usability engineering: how people use the site Graphic design: developing imagery to support the sites mission Writing: to explain to peers and decision makers Psychology: understanding the intended audience Marketing: developing the site so it can be sold to its intended audience

37 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice What else does an IA have to know? Interaction design: creation and maintenance of tasks and processes that users will encounter in an information space Project management: strategies, skills, and procedures to organize, lead and bring tasks to closure Content management: processes, policies, and procedures governing the creation and transfer of content Knowledge management: processes, policies, and procedures that govern the organizations use of its intellectual capital

38 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice What does an IA have to do? Planning: what are the main goals and strategy for the site? Given the constraints what can be done? What are the relevant content domains? How are these domains related to each other? What is the structure of these relationships? Designing: what arrangement best supports the structure and organizational requirements? Managing: what people, tools, resources are available?

39 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Basic activities of IA Structuring information Data (facts and figures) to which we give meaning Knowledge: Internalized and interpreted information Structuring information spaces Levels of granularity of different elements Organizing content Arranging these elements into meaningful categories and establishing relations among them Labeling content and naming categories III. IA practice

40 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 A broad view of IA work It involves developing and communicating a holistic view of a web site It includes the overall social and technical structure of the site and the relationships among its elements It requires the classification of site goals and objectives IA places the web site into a larger social context How will it affect the work flow, communications patterns, and distribution of power in the organization? How will it appear to its users? III. IA practice

41 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 What IAs do: Illustrate key concepts or steps through graphics Design site maps Create metaphors to brand content and promote navigation Develop style and formatting templates for elements of information Conduct user analyses and test user experience Create scenarios and storyboards Build taxonomies and indices Dillon and Turnbull, 3 III. IA practice

42 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice In a typical project you can expect to: Gather information from end-users and stakeholders Design and conduct online surveys, interviews and the ethnographic technique of contextual inquiry and analysis Test the system in a manner with experts Run usability tests in the lab Encourage people to use the prototype Solicit feedback, analyze search logs and continually learn from personal interaction with employees requesting information and research

43 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice An IA helps clients define their Internet strategies Research, design, architect, develop and implement solutions that execute those strategies Typically involves defining and documenting a sites structure, navigation and interactivity Based on translating client business rules and user needs into web structures and processes The work becomes a blueprint contributing to the overall strategic direction, vision and scope of a project The IA works with user experience modelers to analyze and model user tasks and usage scenarios

44 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 The elements of user experience: User-centered design for the web Garrett argues that IAs must attend to the elements of the user experience when designing a digital space The focus is on the five planes: strategy, scope, structure, skeleton and surface Goal: take all aspects of the user experience into account ~ What are three main design scenarios and what are the problems with each? ~How can an IA understand user needs better than the users? III. IA practice

45 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice The key to a successful web site is a successful user experience This produces value in some way for the sites owners Increased sales, conversion rate, decreased abandonment The goal is to improve efficiency Helping them work faster or make fewer mistakes There is a conceptual framework that can be used to deconstruct the elements of the user experience Garrett, J.J. (2003). The elements of user experience: User-centered design for the web. Boston, MA: New Riders.

46 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice The planes of user experience The surface plane Web pages, text, images, multimedia + functionalities The skeleton plane Buttons, tabs, blocked out space (for text/images etc) The structure plane The hierarchical organization of the information chunks The scope plane The range of content on the site The strategy plane What the site is supposed to do

47 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice Garretts model of the user experience Web as interface Web as hypertext

48 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice Prototypes An outline or storyboard of a functional prototype Could also be a working prototypes with HTML, Flash, Director, or PowerPoint Written reports A narrative description of the site linking it to organizational mission, messages, and marketing constraints Change management How will the site grow and change over time? What will be involved in maintenance?

49 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice To evaluate the site visitors experience, use search, access and error logs To check on search terms, where people go, and places where problems occur To evaluate the site Competitor analysis and comparison with previous versions Have typical visitors do card sorts to assess chunking Assess completeness of content and functionality: can you do what you are supposed to be able to do? Toub, S (2000). Evaluating information architecture: A practical guide for assessing web site organization. Argus Associates.

50 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice To evaluate the site Assess how the component parts are organized and interlinked Determine the parent-child relationships and look for similar siblings grouped together Determine degree of overlap among sections A good hierarchy has both high within-category similarity and low between-category similarity A bad one has much overlap between categories This can be done by inspection

51 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice To evaluate the site Evaluate the labeling scheme How predictable are they? How well do they reflect major categories and labels used in the business or educational sector? How effective are they? Other criteria for evaluation Does the site use language that visitors can understand? How does the site handle errors?

52 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice Other criteria for evaluation How often does the navigation require that the visitor return to the home page to go elsewhere in the site? How effective is the use of icons? How well are the forms constructed? Is the design consistent throughout the site? How well do the help file, site map or other finding tools work? Is there a site map or other help function?

53 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Design of social space III. IA practice

54 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Design of information space III. IA practice

55 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Design of information space III. IA practice

56 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 Another view III. IA practice

57 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice Site map for DoD Information Analysis Centers

58 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice UN Environment Program: Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

59 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice

60 S510: Introduction to Information Science Fall 13 III. IA practice Web strategy for SI alumni website project


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