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Information Architecture for Indexers Presented by Fred Leise American Society of Indexers National Conference Galveston, Texas May 18, 2002 © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Overview About me Goals for this presentation What is information architecture (IA)? Users Context Content Process © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
About Me Indexing experience –Freelance indexer since 1995 –Indexing instructor –Scholarly texts in the humanities IA experience –Argus Associates, Inc. –Freelance IA © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Goals for This Presentation Introduce IA concepts and vocabulary Explore relationship of IA and indexing; importance of learning about IA –IAs as target market for indexing services –IA skills related to those of indexers; IA as possible area of skills expansion © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
What is Information Architecture? A relatively new craft (8–10 years old) Part of the field of website/intranet design Based in areas of expertise from librarianship: –Information retrieval –Classification: collocation and differentiation A solution to the problem of finding information on web sites © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Related Subjects Usability / User experience/Interaction design Information design Graphic design Information technology / System Design © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Definition of IA Structure of information Usable organization of information © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Structure of Information Single data point: no relationships © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Single Data Point © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Structure of Information Two data points: multiple relationships © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Chocolate Bar : Cocoa Near © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Peppermint : Steel Far © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Tall : Freckled Overlapping © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Employees : Administrative Assistants Subset © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Cancer : Oncology Isomorphic © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
What is Information Architecture? Structure of information Usable organization of information © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Usable Organization of Information Implications: –Users: Who is using the information? –Content: What is the information? –Context: Where is the information being used? © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Content Context Users IA © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Users: Variables Age Experience Content knowledge Users must be able to use the site, otherwise it is a failure. © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Users: Methodologies User interviews –How do they use the current system –What would they change to make it better? User testing –How well do users do on assigned sample tasks? –Do they search or browse? –What other information finding aids do users use? Colleagues? Bookmarks? © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Users: Methodologies Search log analyses –What terms to do users currently use when searching for information? –Are there many unique terms used or are there a number of commonly used terms? –Are there groups of related/alternate search terms (include common misspellings) © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Context: Everyday Life Human beings as natural classifiers Organization of menus Organization of grocery stores Organization of car manuals Organization of catalogs © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Context: Web Sites/Intranets What are the business goals affecting the site? Purpose of site? –Vanity web sites –Information web sites –E-commerce web sites © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Context: Methodologies Opinion leader/project team interviews –What are their goals for new/revised site? –What resources are available for site creation/ revision? –What challenges do they see to completing the project? –What would they do to make the current site better? © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Content Organization of information Navigation Labeling © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Content: Methodologies Content analysis –Sampling of content currently on site or to be put on site –Heterogeneous or homogeneous? –500 documents or 5 million documents? –What types of documents? Applications, reports, white papers –Document format? PDFs? DOCs? © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Organization of Information Top-down organization –Looks at totality of content –Enumerative classifications (hierarchies / taxonomies / ontologies) © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Organization of Information Bottom-up organization –Looks at content objects –Faceted classifications –Indexing using authority files / thesauri –Metadata © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Organization of Information: Methodologies User testing –Open card sorting –Closed card sorting –Task completion © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Navigation Types of navigation –Global: applies to entire site –Local: applies to parts of site –Supplemental: additional finding aids Site maps Site indexes –Contextual: within paragraphs © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Global Navigation Local NavigationSupplemental NavigationContextual Navigation
Navigation Clarity: understandable, unambiguous Consistency: word form (verbs, nouns) Information scent: differentiation, i.e., where is the information I want likely to be? Depth vs. breadth © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Labeling Labels for navigation Labels as headings Labels as contextual links Labels for index terms © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Navigation labels Heading label Contextual link labels
Index term labels
Labeling Clarity Consistency Label granularity matches content granularity © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
IA Process Research Design Testing Implementation Maintenance Revision: Research, etc. © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
Contact Information Fred Leise 900 W. Ainslie St. Chicago, IL © 2002 ContextualAnalysis
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