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Case Study — Information Design: A Process for Web Architectural Success Eric Hughes Simplexity, LLC Matriculus, LLC.

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Presentation on theme: "Case Study — Information Design: A Process for Web Architectural Success Eric Hughes Simplexity, LLC Matriculus, LLC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Case Study — Information Design: A Process for Web Architectural Success Eric Hughes Simplexity, LLC Matriculus, LLC

2

3 The original site home page

4 Lists of lists and more lists

5 And no place to go…

6 The sales meeting

7 Why hire us? We’ll tell you how we’ll know when we’re done. The reason you do process is to define an end point.

8 You get the contract!

9 What already existed Focus groups with programs

10 What already existed Online survey with internal and external stakeholders

11 What already existed Log Reports

12 What already existed Executive Team Surveys

13 What already existed More committees, processes, flowcharts than I could count

14 So we categorized the categorizers…

15 As with most stalled projects… There was list of audiences, but there had been little attention paid to who key the key audiences were and what they cared about.

16 The list… Urban residents of Arkansas Rural residents of Arkansas Residents of other states Residents of other countries Other Cooperative Extension Services Anyone who uses the internet Old, young, educated, ignorant, impoverished, wealthy, curious, mandated Anyone looking for research-based information Aging population Parents with young children Newlyweds/married couples/couples in committed relationships Community Leaders Homemakers Youth Homeowners Early Childcare Professionals Adults (18yrs and up) Poultry producers Livestock producers Row crop farmers Commodity/Promotion Boards Consultants Industry (Food, Service, Green, etc.) Ag Development Teams Families Early Childcare providers, foster parents FCS teachers State agencies/County Agents Adult volunteers Grant/Research Funders

17 Audience whittling Urban residents of Arkansas Rural residents of Arkansas Residents of other states Residents of other countries Other Cooperative Extension Services Anyone who uses the internet Old, young, educated, ignorant, impoverished, wealthy, curious, mandated Anyone looking for research-based information Aging population Parents with young children Newlyweds/married couples/couples in committed relationships Community Leaders Homemakers Youth Homeowners Early Childcare Professionals Adults (18yrs and up) Poultry producers Livestock producers Row crop farmers Commodity/Promotion Boards Consultants Industry (Food, Service, Green, etc.) Ag Development Teams Families Early Childcare providers, foster parents FCS teachers State agencies/County Agents Adult volunteers Grant/Research Funders

18 Customer interviews

19 The key document

20

21 What we did really well at the beginning Understand the real problem. Document the problem at hand and drive review. Be willing to modify process at will. Avoid duplication of what had already been done; build on it. Make sure people know they did a great job, and that now was the smart time to bring in outside help (manage social media!) Become a part of the culture, or at least try. Worship the differences between driving and accommodating behavior. Document the design & project process.

22 Documenting process The advantage to documenting process is not to communicate what needs to be done, it is to put in writing what you think needs to be done so that there is a reasonable chance your clients will disagree or modify it before it actually happens. Process (& communications) drive behavior change, so people need to sleep on it. In any project, things will iteratively change.

23 The benefits of doing all this stuff In any project, there are way too many people who can meddle at inopportune times. Some of it is research and helps define the organizing principle. Some of it is research and helps defend solutions obtained in other ways. It makes you an obvious part of the solution. You get to know everyone quickly.

24 Tools: personas Sixty year-old Frances is the mother of four children and a grandmother as well. She lives in her own home, and has been gardening since she was a child in southern Indiana. She loves people and thoroughly enjoys answering questions about what kind of bug is eating local vegetables and what is that blotchy stuff on that leaf is. She has a computer and knows how to find things on the web, but much prefers to talk in person or on the phone. She became a master gardener by studying and taking classes on the weekends as she finished her career as a human resources manager at a regional bank. She volunteers at Farmer's Markets and for the Cleveland County 4H club near Rison.

25 Tools: scenarios

26 Tools: audience success factors

27 Tools: card sorting

28 Tools: rules

29 Tools: card sorting

30 If a label comes to you quickly, it will almost certainly be wrong

31 Tools: card sorting

32

33 Tools: IA sorts

34 Tools: site maps

35 Tools: wireframes/protoypes (Mockflow)

36 Final design: Home

37 Final design: Mobile

38 Final design: Home

39 Final design: 2nd & third levels

40 Final design: 5 levels

41 Final design: Advanced Search

42

43 What is information architecture?

44 Other lessons learned If you are working with a client that won’t let you interview customers, reconsider. Sell the interviews not as information architecture requirements, but as an opportunity to re-synch on who the customers are and what they care about. Get your clients to be a part of the interviews. Be incredibly sensitive to time constraints and modify process accordingly. Dig for what has been done, then make sure everyone knows what a great job they did.

45 Other lessons learned Once you have identified the correct solutions, be ready to compromise as the project matures. Carefully identify and manage solutions that require changes to business process. Be aware of changes to technology that are underway. Responsive design is harder than you think. Be willing to throw stuff away (TeamBox).

46 What we provided as a result of IA process Problems & issues document; glossary Navigational/functional schemes Labels/structure Personas, scenarios, audiences, tasks Customer interviews Card sorting process & results Site maps for each section Basic CMS training ADA guidelines A process and document to help manage content Design/standards/templates/style guide

47 A comprehensive style guide

48 The launch

49 Why do we still need an IA process? Because there are still wanderers that are important audiences. chaos is no substitute for planning. clients want reasonable process to help manage change & expectations. it helps avoid expensive usability/design mistakes.


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