You can think of the information architecture as the “glue” that holds a web site together - the part that hooks the content up with the user interface. It provides the large buckets to place products into and that users can browse by. It specifies the meta-information that ties pieces of content together and enables things like cross-selling.
Version targeting allows browsers to much more easily develop new features and fix bugs and shortcomings in existing features, which has the potential to speed up the evolution of web design and development. That alone is reason enough to give it a chance.
As we set out to enhance personalization on Marriott.com, we realized we needed guidelines to inform our thinking and shape our decisions, particularly decisions related to customer privacy. Our earlier user research revealed the need for greater personalization and helped us understand customer attitudes towards privacy. From there, we sought to build customer trust and loyalty by addressing concerns about privacy and security in every aspect of the user experience. In creating the Guiding Principles outlined here, we conducted a thorough analysis of eight major websites and then merged the findings with what we already knew. These principles apply specifically to 'remember me' personalization.
The emergence of personalized homepage services, e.g. personalized Google Homepage and Microsoft Windows Live, has enabled Web users to select Web contents of interest and to aggregate them in a single Web page. The web contents are often predefined content blocks provided by the service providers. However, it involves intensive manual efforts to define the content blocks and maintain the information in it. In this paper, we propose a novel personalized homepage system, called “Homepage Live”, to allow end users to use drag-and-drop actions to collect their favorite Web content blocks from existing Web pages and organize them in a single page. Moreover, Homepage Live automatically traces the changes of blocks with the evolvement of the container pages by measuring the tree edit distance of the selected blocks. By exploiting the immutable elements of Web pages, the tracing algorithm performance is significantly improved. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our algorithm.
This white paper demonstrates the use of information architecture components as a foundation for thinking about personalization. After defining the information architecture components, it describes a model that combines the components into a complete personalization system. This model could be used to guide your personalization system development methodology, evaluate a set of personalization systems, or merely to give you the terminology to help you communicate about personalization.
Information architecture is the structural design of shared information environments (AIfIA, 2003). In terms of e-commerce web sites, the information architecture encompasses the organization of the content and functionality, the labelling system and the navigational scheme (Rosenfeld & Morville, 2002). Users interact directly with the user interface of a web site: scanning a list of links and selecting one, clicking on an icon to add an item to their shopping cart, and filling out a form. Users also interact with the content directly: reading introductory text to determine what each category is about, studying product details descriptions and pictures to see if this is what they want to buy, and comparing specific product features. The information architecture is the “invisible” layer between the user interface and the content.
As technical communication gains the technology to deliver dynamic custom documents, the importance of audience analysis increases. As a major factor in supporting dynamic adjustment of document content, the audience analysis must clearly capture the range of user goals and information needs in a flexible manner. Replacing a linear audience analysis model with a multidimensional model provides one method of achieving that flexibility. With a minimum of three separate dimensions to capture topic knowledge, detail required, and user cognitive ability, this model provides the writer a means of connecting content with information requirements and ensuring the dynamic document fits varying audience needs.
Over the last five years, a range of projects have focused on progressively more elaborated techniques for adaptive news delivery. However, the adaptation process in these systems has become more complicated and thus less transparent to the users. In this paper, we concentrate on the application of open user models in adding transparency and controllability to adaptive news systems. We present a personalized news system, YourNews, which allows users to view and edit their interest profiles, and report a user study on the system. Our results confirm that users prefer transparency and control in their systems, and generate more trust to such systems. However, similar to previous studies, our study demonstrate that this ability to edit user profiles may also harm the system’s performance and has to be used with caution.
Can our users and what they need quickly, with the least amount of effort and frustration? How can we make information work for different types of users? We know that 'visual is easier,' but we need to understand how people actually use documents to harness the visual power. This session focuses on a core task:page design for impatient, goal-oriented users. It proposes that visual designs which provide a clear 'map' to the information make user orientation and navigation easier, and provide access options for different users. While the focus is on print, the principles also apply to the electronic environment.
In this paper, we describe the results of an effort to first understand the value of personalising a website, as perceived by the visitors to the site as well as by the stakeholder organisation that owns it, and then to develop a strategy for introducing personalisation to the ibm.com website.
The hardest part of communication lies in the many options we have available, and how tricky it can be to pick the right option for each individual member of our audience. When we write something, whether in print or online, we try to produce something that satisfies as many readers as possible because we require a 'one size fits all' solution: we're not physically present to tailor our approach to meet each individual's needs, and so must meet a range of needs in a single document. With print, we're stuck with static text: the text can't change until we rewrite it and distribute a new version. Moving information online makes it easier to revise and distribute information, but actually updating the information still requires a writer. Are there alternatives that make it easier to reach customers with our messages?
Web forms are the linchpins of most online businesses and applications. Whether they are responsible for checkout on e-commerce sites, communication on social applications, or any kind of data entry on the web, forms allow people to complete important tasks. And web form design details can have a big influence on how successful, efficient, and happy people feel about the process. Especially details like form length.
Jupiter Research reports that only 14% of consumers say personalised offers or recommendations on shopping Web sites lead them to buy more often from online stores, and just 8% say that personalisation increases their repeat visits to content, news or entertainment websites. By contrast, the majority of consumers said that basic site improvements would make them buy or visit websites more often - 54% cited faster-loading pages and 52% cited better navigation as greater incentives.
Browser name sniffing, using scripts figure out which browser is used and then provide different content to them, is a widespread practice with a long history. Unfortunately these scripts are usually static, while browsers keep evolving.
Personalization hasn't worked because most people don't have a compelling reason to personalize. It hasn't worked because the cost of doing it well usually significantly outweighs the benefits it delivers. It hasn't worked because managers have seen it as some Holy Grail of content management.
Personalization lets us pinpoint our information for a particular person, small group, or niche audience. Using object-oriented databases and content management software, we are learning to answer individual questions, offer multiple menus leading to the same information, improve the precision of searches, respond individually to email and discussion questions, and allow users to customize the contents of their own personal manuals. In these areas, E-commerce and commercial information sites show technical communicators the way to customize information for each visitor.