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Introduction to Information Architecture & Design School of Visual Arts | June 21, 2014 Robert Stribley

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Introduction to Information Architecture & Design School of Visual Arts | June 21, 2014 Robert Stribley


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Today’s presentation will be available on SlideShare following the workshop: www.slideshare.net/stribs


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Butterfly on the New York City Highline Pattern Recognition: In cognitive psychology, the ability to identify familiar forms within a complex arrangement of sensory stimuli 


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Butterflies Labeled by Species


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Intro Robert Stribley @stribs I’m an Associate Experience Director at Razorfish I like literature, cinema, music, photography, cycling I drink coffee Introduction My clients have included: Bank of America, PNC, Wachovia JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Oppenheimer Funds, PNC, Prudential, Smith Barney, T. Rowe Price Boston Scientific, Nasonex Choice Hotels, RCI Computer Associates, EMC Ford, Lincoln AT&T, Nextel Day One, Red Cross Pearson, Travel Channel, Women’s Wear Daily


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Intro About You What’s your name? What do you do for work? What do you do for fun? Coffee, tea or bottled water? Introduction


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Intro Goals of this workshop Understand the basic concepts of information architecture Experience the general process and techniques used on a design project Review the basic deliverables an information architect develops within a project Introduction


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Agenda


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Agenda Morning Background Design Process Our Project User Research Competitive Review Personas Lunch Agenda


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Agenda Afternoon Card Sorting Site Maps Page Types Navigation Sketching Wireframes Q&A Agenda


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Background


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Background in•for•ma•tion ar•chi•tec•ture n. Background: Defining 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 art and science of structuring and classifying web sites and intranets to help people find and manage information. An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (1st Edition), p. 4, Rosenfeld and Morville Navigation Interaction Art/Science Discipline/ Community


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Background “It's hard to say who really is an information architect. In some sense, we all are.” — Alex Wright, Author Glut Background: Defining IA


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users content context IA Background: Defining IA


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Interface (skin) information architecture (skeleton) Background: Defining IA


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Design Process metaphor: architectural plans Flickr.com: Cornell University Library Background: Defining IA


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Background: History A Brief History of IA 1975 Richard Saul Wurman coined the term “information architecture” to describe the field now more often described as “information design” 1994 Formation of Argus Associates in Ann Arbor, MI, the first firm devoted to IA 1998 First edition of Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld’s Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, affectionately known as “The Polar Bear” book


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Partially adapted from: “A brief history of information architecture” by Peter Morville and Information Architecture: Designing information environments for purpose, edited by Alan Gilchrist and Barry Mahon A Brief History of IA 2000 First IA Summit, Boston, MA – Defining Information Architecture 2002 Boxes & Arrows, online journal for information architects goes live 3 new books on IA published, including Jesse James Garrett’s The Elements of User Experience 2015 15th Annual IA Summit held in Minneapolis, MN, April 22-26 Background: History


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Design Process Project phases by Harold Kerzner


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Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development Design Process


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Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development Stakeholder interviews Business requirements Competitive & comparative audits User research Site inventory Design Process


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Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development Personas Content Audit Card sorts Use Cases Sketching Site Map Creative Brief UX Brief Design Process


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Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development Site Map Task Flows Sketching Wireframes Stakeholder Reviews Visual Design Prototype Usability Testing Functional Specifications Design Process


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Design Process Discovery Definition Design Development Site Development User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Quality Assurance (QA) Usability Testing Design Process


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Background IA Deliverables site map features/functionality inventory comparative/competitive review requirements document personas sketches use cases user flows prototype wireframes discover design define experience brief Deliverables


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Our Project


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What to do? Our Project


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Our Project Events.com wants to revamp its website to become the go-to online resource for people wanting to attend or promote events across the United States. Our Project


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Discover


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User Research User Research in Copenhagen’s Elderly Homes


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User Research “Through research, we aim to learn enough about the business goals, the users, and the information ecology to develop a solid strategy.” Louis Rosenfeld & Peter Morville Discovery: User Research


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User Research Methodology Focus Groups Surveys Interviews Goals Identify patterns and trends in user behavior, tasks, preferences, obstacles. Discovery: User Research


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User Research Class Exercise: Survey Questions How do you learn about events in NYC? What type of events are you interested in? What’s more important to you: Price Type of Event Location Date How often do you attend the events? Do you ever need to promote an event? Do you ever invite people to an event? Discovery: User Research


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Competitive Review image by brandon schauer


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Discovery: Competitive Audit “This type of assessment helps set an industry ‘marker’ by looking at what the competition is up to, what features and functionalities are standard, and how others have solved the same problems you might be tasked with.” Dorelle Rabinowitz Discovery: Competitive Review


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Competitive Review Heuristic Evaluation … involves evaluators examining the interface and judging its compliance with recognized usability principles (the ‘heuristics’) - Wikipedia Discovery: Competitive Review Self Study For a more detailed explanation of heuristic evaluation, see Jakob Nielsen’s Ten Usability Heuristics.


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Competitive Review Sample Usability Criteria These examples aren’t comprehensive. Appropriate criteria will depend on the project to be completed. Home Page Are home page elements appropriately weighted and distributed? Is information clustered in meaningful ways? Navigation Is the navigation structure concise and consistent? Are paths to important information intuitive and unobstructed? Content Is content current? Are there visible indications of content freshness? Is content properly adapted for the Web? Is tone of voice consistent throughout content? Is content chunked appropriately? Are headings and titles scannable? Design Are colors appropriate to the Web? Is white space used appropriately? Is text readable? Search Are search results relevant and cleanly presented? Functionality Are functionality and forms efficiently designed? Messaging Are errors messages clear on the site? Is help readily available to users? Are there appropriate means for user feedback? Discovery: Competitive Review


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Competitive Review Methodology Review and analyze competitor sites according to particular criteria Draw key findings, which can influence and guide IA through the design phase Include a scorecard for high-level comparison of points across all sites Also: Comparative Reviews Discovery: Competitive Review


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Competitive Review Competitors Discovery: Competitive Review


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Competitive Review Key Findings Search prominent on each site Need for filtering events Calendars are helpful, but not always prominent Profiles and social features common, but handled with varying degrees of detail Free events are often highlighted Event detail pages vary, may have maps, RSVP, sharing, rating, commenting functionality Displaying other venues and restaurants adds utility Option to add or promote an event isn’t always prominent Discovery: Competitive Review


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Competitive Review What else have we learned? Who are the audiences of these sites? What are the strengths of these sites? What are their weaknesses? How might another event site differentiate itself from these sites? Discovery: Competitive Review


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Define


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Personas Created at Personas: http://personas.media.mit.edu Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, recently on display at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab . It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.


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Personas “Personas summarize user research findings and bring that research to life in such a way that everyone can make decisions based on these personas, not based on themselves.” Steve Mulder Definition: Personas


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Personas Methodology Cluster Analysis Goals Create a narrative based on real data to illustrate user behavior, motivations, goals Definition: Personas


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Personas Characteristics of Effective Personas Varied and distinct Detailed Not weighed down with minutiae Tied into business-specific goals Backed by data Definition: Personas


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Definition: Personas Sabrina Jenny Donny Jerry


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Sabrina, 27 The party planner Location: Gramercy Park Attitude: Organized, outgoing Financial Perspective: Generous, bit of spendthrift Online Habits: Avid user of social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook, etc Events: Wine tastings, gallery openings Quote: “I love getting bunches of friends together to attend all these NYC events. There’s so much great stuff to do in this city!” Small Budget Big Budget Planner Promoter Personas Definition: Personas


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Jerry, 44 The out-of-towner Location: Cincinnati, OH Attitude: Casual, yet adventurous Financial Perspective: Moderate spender Online Habits: Utilitarian use of the Web to research trips, read about the arts and pay bills Events: Museums, visiting landmarks, tours Quote: “I’m visiting the Big Apple with my wife and we want to check out some art-related events.” Small Budget Big Budget Planner Promoter Definition: Personas


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Personas Donny, 38 The local comedian Location: East Village Attitude: Laidback, loosely organized Financial Perspective: Frugal, paycheck to paycheck Online Habits: Spends time networking, promoting his act online, haunts comedy sites Events: Comedy slams, variety shows Quote: “I land a few comedy gigs around the city and I want to promote them better.” Small Budget Big Budget Planned Promoter Definition: Personas


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Jenny, 33 The professional promoter Location: Williamsburg Attitude: Busy, disciplined, professional Financial Perspective: Healthy budget for promotions and advertising Online Habits: Heavy use of social networking sites both professionally and personally, shops online Events: Small gigs, big concerts, DJ sets Quote: “I manage a few bands and DJs and I have to ensure they’re listed in the right, targeted places.” Personas Small Budget Big Budget Planned Promoter Definition: Personas


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Class Exercise: Personas Definition: Personas What tasks might each persona attempt to complete on Events.com? What features can you imagine each persona might like on such a site? What obstacles or pain points might they encounter? Sabrina Jenny Donny Jerry Self Study ”Personas and the Role of Design Documentation" by Andrew Hinton, Boxes and Arrows, 2008/02/27


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Lunch Break


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Agenda Afternoon Card Sorting Site Maps Page Types Navigation Sketching Wireframes Q&A Agenda


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Card Sorting


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Card Sorting “There are often better ways to organize data than the traditional ones that first occur to us. Each organization of the same set of data expresses different attributes and messages. It is also important to experiment, reflect, and choose which organization best communicates our messages.” Nathan Shedroff, Experience Strategist Definition: Card Sorting


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Methodology Grouping and labeling with index cards, post it notes Two types: Open – Participants sort cards with no pre-established categories. Useful for new architectures Closed – Participants sort cards into predetermined, provided groups. Useful for fitting content into existing architectures Online card sorts WebSort, OptimalSort, Socratic Goals Organize content more efficiently Find names for categories based on users’ perspectives Definition: Card Sorting Self Study "Card sorting: a definitive guide" by Donna Spencer and Todd Warfel, Boxes and Arrows, 2004/04/07


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Case Studies: Wachovia Wealth Management Group American Red Cross Mercedes Benz Definition: Card Sorting


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Class Exercise: As individuals: Take 5 minutes to think of all the events a person could attend Write each event you come up with on a Post-It note Definition: Card Sorting


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Class Exercise: Now, as a group: Take a few minutes to organize your events into categories (group & label them) Then we’ll share some categories Definition: Card Sorting


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Characteristics & Findings: Lumping and splitting Outliers and miscellaneous items Placing items in multiple categories Categories versus filters E.g. Free, Family, Outdoors Unique but intuitive labels E.g. Geeks Definition: Card Sorting


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Next Steps: With the results of a card sort we then can: Build consensus Refine terminology Create a site map Help define navigation Definition: Card Sorting


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Design


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Site Maps


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Conceptual Design Design: Site Maps “A site map is a high level diagram showing the hierarchy of a system. Site maps reflect the information structure, but are not necessarily indicative of the navigation structure.” - Step Two Designs


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Conceptual Design Design: Site Maps


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Conceptual Design Design: Site Maps


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Page Types The Mercator Atlas of Europe From The British Library


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Conceptual Design Home Page Category Page Details Page Design: Page Types


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Navigation Navigation Bridge, USS Enterprise by Serendigity, Flickr


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Grids Types of Navigation Site Structure – major nav Hierarchical – product families Function – sitemap privacy Direct – banner ad/shortcut Reference – related links Dynamic – search results Breadcrumb – location Step Navigation – sequence through forms/results Faceted Navigation – filters results Design: Navigation Areas of Navigation Global – universal header/footer Local – left nav/right nav Local content – text links, buttons Styles of Navigation Rollover Dropdown Flyout Tabs Accordion Self Study Adapted from Atsushi Hasegagwa’s The 7 Navigation Types of Web Sites


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Grids Mega Dropdowns Design: Navigation


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Grids Power Footers Design: Navigation


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Sketching Aerial Screw by Leonardo da Vinci, 1485-1487


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Design: Sketching


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Sketching Can you guess what this is a sketch of? Design: Sketching


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“twttr sketch” Twitter.com Sketching Twitter [This sketch] has very special significance – it's hanging in the office somewhere with one other page. Whenever I'm thinking about something, I really like to take out the yellow notepad and get it down. – Jack Dorsey, Twitter Design: Sketching


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Sketching “There are techniques and processes whereby we can put experience front and center in design. My belief is that the basis for doing so lies in extending the traditional practice of sketching. ” - Bill Buxton Design: Sketching Bill Buxton Sketching User Experiences


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Bill Buxton Sketching User Experiences Sketching Attributes of a Sketch Quick Timely Inexpensive Disposable Plentiful Clear vocabulary Distinct gesture Minimal detail Appropriate degree of refinement Suggest & explore rather than confirm Ambiguity Design: Sketching


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Sketching Methodology Draw Limit your time Don’t worry about mistakes or style Goals Benefit from the participation of your colleagues Quickly generate ideas and refine through iterations Design: Sketching


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Sketching Design: Sketching


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Sketching Process Discuss Sketch Share Revise Design: Sketching


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Not sketching yet Discuss the purpose of the experience you’re sketching What features are necessary? How would you prioritize them? What’s the audience? Design: Sketching Discuss


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Sketch Sketch silently Limit your time Sketch as much has possible, as many different ideas as possible Design: Sketching


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Share Review your work with your team You offer your feedback to others What you like Questions about didn’t work for you You’re not grilling your colleagues and this is not a competition Design: Sketching


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Revise Now sketch again/begin your wireframe with a more informed view, more and better ideas Iterate on your design Design: Sketching


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Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching In teams, sketch your ideas. Event Page Take 5 or so minutes first to discuss what features belong here Design: Sketching


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Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching In teams, sketch your ideas. Event Page Take 5 or so minutes first to discuss what features belong here Time for silent sketching Design: Sketching


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Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Collaborative Sketching In teams, sketch your ideas. Event Page Take 5 or so minutes first to discuss what features belong here Time for silent sketching Time for sharing your sketches Design: Sketching


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Sketching Tools: The following apps are all for the iPad: Adobe Ideas (Free) Bamboo Paper (Free) Muji Notebook ($3.99) Penultimate (Free) SketchBook Pro ($4.99) Paper (Free) Info Design: Sketching Tools


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Wireframes photo & sculpture by polly verity


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Wireframes “Web site wireframes are blue prints that define a Web page’s content and functionality. They do not convey design – e.g. colors, graphics, or fonts.” - FatPurple Design: Wireframes


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Wireframing/Prototyping Tools: Adobe InDesign Axure Omnigraffle (Mac) Microsoft Visio Mockingbird (online, free) Also: Balsamiq iPlotz iMockups (iPad) Omnigraffle (iPad) Info Design: Wireframing Tools Self Study Smashing Magazine: 35 Excellent Wireframing Resources


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Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Final Wireframe In your teams, create your final deliverable, a home page for Events.com Sketch First Discuss features needed for a homepage Sketch your ideas for a homepage individually Review your sketches and provide feedback Design: Wireframes


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Design: Sketching Class Exercise: Final Wireframe Then Wireframe Now, each of you will create a final “wireframe” Be sure to incorporate your team mates’ design ideas and feedback Design: Wireframes


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Design: Sketching Sabrina Jenny Donny Jerry Don’t forget to keep your personas in mind


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Design: Sketching Wireframe & Prototyping Tools Axure Dreamweaver InDesign Visio Design: Wireframes Develop


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Books: Information Architecture for the World Wide Web – Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web – Christina Wodtke, Austin Govella The Elements of User Experience – Jesse James Garrett Designing Web Navigation: Optimizing the User Experience – James Kalbach, Aaron Gustafson Design of Everyday Things – Donald Norman Local Events: IA Meetup Brooklyn UX Content Strategy Meetup Web Sites: Alertbox A List Apart Boxes & Arrows wireframes.tumblr.com Info Additional Resources Organizations: Human Computer Interactions (HCI) Interaction Designers Association (IxDA) Usability Professionals Association (UPA) Further Studies: School of Visual Arts Continuing Ed classes MFA in Interaction Design Pratt – Course in Information Design Rosenfeld Media General Assembly Skillshare Adaptive Path The Information Architecture Institute The IA Summit Nielsen Norman Group User Interface Engineering Video: The Right Way to Wireframe by Russ Unger (YouTube)


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Q&A


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Slideshare address: http://www.slideshare.net/stribs My article on how to find an IA job: http://blog.onwardsearch.com/2012/08/information-architecture-a-guerilla-guide-to-breaking-in/ @stribs Info Additional Info


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Design: Sketching Wireframe & Prototyping Tools Axure Dreamweaver InDesign Visio Design: Wireframes Addendum: Grids Dieter Rams: 10 Principles of Good Design Defining Wireframes vs. Sketches, Templates, vs. Pages


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Grids


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Grids “The true benefit of using a grid is that as you learn how to use a grid, you start to think systemically about the solutions you design. You start to try and see how various details can echo one another, how different regions of the canvas can be reused or used for similar things, how like elements can be grouped together.” Khoi Vinh, former design Director, NYTimes.com Design: Grids


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Grids Design: Grids


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Grids Design: Grids


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Grids Design: Grids


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Grids Self Study: Want to know more? Learn more about design by grids: 960 Grid System 960.gs Design by Grid www.designbygrid.com Hashgrid www.hashgrid.com Design: Grids


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Good design is… Good design is innovative. Good design makes a product useful. Good design is aesthetic. Good design makes a product understandable. Good design is unobtrusive. Good design is honest. Good design is long-lasting. Good design is thorough down to the last detail. Good design is environmentally friendly. Good design is as little design as possible. © Dieter Rams, amended March 2003 and October 2009 Dieter Rams: 10 principles of good design


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Design: Sketching Defining Sketches Versus Wireframes, Templates Versus Pages


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