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Practicing Information Architecture Faye Hoffman Information Architect University of Victoria.

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Presentation on theme: "Practicing Information Architecture Faye Hoffman Information Architect University of Victoria."— Presentation transcript:

1 Practicing Information Architecture Faye Hoffman Information Architect University of Victoria

2 Who Am I? What do I do? –I work for UVic –Web Coordinators Group in Communication Services –Information Architect Previously: –With: ACD Systems, Ciber Inc., Corel Inc., Grey Interactive, NCompass Labs (Microsoft Content Management Server), Electronic Arts –For: Hewlett Packard, Agilent, Open University, Digital Signature Trust, VanCity, Vancouver Television, Disney Interactive, Broderbund, Hollister and too many long-gone start-ups to mention… Further back: –ECCAD – Fine Arts –NSCAD – Visual Communication

3 What I’m Going to Talk About What is Information Architecture? Role of an Information Architect Where Does IA Fit? Phases of IA Approaches to IA Considerations & Deliverables Traditional vs. Persuasive Architecture Key Goals

4 What is IA? The combination of organization, labeling and navigation schemes within an information system. The structural design of an information space to facilitate task completion and intuitive access to content. The juxtaposition of individual pieces of information in order to convey meaning. A site component, a phase, a job or role, a discipline or degree and a community.

5 Role of an IA Balance the needs of the business and the users with the capabilities of technology to design comprehensive systems that include the organization, navigation, and interaction of the final solution. Organize patterns inherent in data, making the complex clear. Create the structure or map of information which allows others to find their personal paths to knowledge.

6 Where Does IA Fit? Matt Jones –

7 Phases of IA Strategy is where it all begins. Scope transforms strategy into requirements. Structure gives shape to scope. Skeleton makes structure concrete. Surface brings everything together visually.

8 Approaches to IA Top-Down –Driven by user research –Develop mental models of audience types –Derive main site organization from this understanding of approaches to the task Bottom-Up –Closely linked with content analysis –Focused on: Understanding and describing the content Finding the patterns and groupings Matching content with user needs

9 Top Down, Bottom Up

10 Considerations & Deliverables

11 Requirements Gathering Content Users Business Context Identify patterns in content Determine what users need, how they find and use it … and ensure that stakeholder/business goals are fulfilled in the process Determine how stakeholders think they should organize & present their information

12 Vision & Scope

13 Considerations & Deliverables

14 Informal Content Inventory

15 Formal Content Inventory

16 Content Map


18 User Flow Exposes key decision points Identifies holes/issues Identifies page count Builds consensus about functionality

19 User Flow

20 Use Cases

21 Considerations & Deliverables

22 Wireframe

23 Wireframe - Grouping

24 Considerations & Deliverables



27 Traditional vs. Persuasive Architecture Traditional –Principles of consistency and accessibility to all “other” information available on the site. Persuasive –Principle that what matters most is whether users can quickly and easily advance to the next step in the pursuit of their goal.

28 Persuasive Architecture Process of planning and architecting a site which persuades a user to do something. –“Something” can be a product, sign up for a newsletter, apply for admission, give a gift to the University, etc. It is not a one-solution-for-all users approach. –Involves significant effort in user profiling, task analysis and business analysis.

29 Persuasive Architecture Involves persuasive architecture, navigation, copywriting, labeling and visual design. Can lead to significant increase in sales, applicants etc. Can minimize abandonment.

30 Institutional Application We are in business to inform and persuade. Recruitment Efforts Development Efforts Internal application adoption

31 Utilizing Both Approaches Continue to include user goals as primary motivators for navigational structure –What actions need to be taken? Continue to support traditional, consistent navigation –How can the action be taken? Identify and build, design & write for key “persuasive” paths –How do we persuade someone to take the action we desire?

32 Key Goals To simplify and increase the understanding and transparency of design processes and user experiences To create designs and plans that serve as the foundation and blueprints for meaningful, useful and compelling use experiences To ultimately contribute to the success of the University by helping people find, use and manage information more effectively

33 Discussion

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