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Information Design

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Information design (also known as 'information architecture') is the study of the details of complex systems. Among these are websites, user interactions, databases, technical writing documentation, and human-computer interfaces.



Information Architecture - Planning Out a Web Site

This article is going to look at the early stages of planning out a web site, and a discipline that is commonly referred to as Information architecture, or IA. This involves thinking about who your target audience will be, what information and services they need from a web site, and how you should structure it to provide that for them.

Lane, Jonathan. Opera (2008). Articles>Web Design>Information Design


Information Architecture and Business Strategy

Information architects need a good understanding of business strategy and its relationship to information architecture.

Morville, Peter. Argus Center (2000). Articles>Information Design>Management


Information Architecture and Personalization

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.

Instone, Keith. Argus Center (2000). Articles>Information Design>Web Design>Personalization


Information Architecture and Personalized User Experiences   (PowerPoint)

The information architect focuses on how things are structured within the user experience: looks “up” to the user interface – how the navigation and page layout convey the structure; looks “down” to the content management to make sure it can enable to right user experience.

Instone, Keith. Instone.org (2003). Presentations>Web Design>Information Design>Personalization


Information Architecture and Ulcers

Being an information architect can be stressful. There are certain points in the design process that are more stress-inducing than others.

Morville, Peter. Argus Center (2000). Articles>Information Design>Project Management


Information Architecture Challenges

Creating the information architecture for a site sounds like a science (and some people do study it as a science!) but for our purpose as Web Designers we just want to learn how to structure the information on a website to maximise the target users ability to find what they want.

Wikiversity. Articles>Web Design>Information Design


Information Architecture Concepts for the Technical Writer

Information Architecture (IA) as a discipline practiced by professionals in the information processing and development industry has many definitions and levels of understanding.

Gummaraju, Anupama. Indus (2005). Articles>Information Design>Writing>Technical Writing


Information Architecture Defined

Much like our real world namesakes, information architects design spaces for human beings to live work and play in. The big difference is the materials we work with: cement is replaced with thesauri, timber with hierarchies and steel with interaction flows. Confused? Let me tell it as a story. Oh, and to do so I’m going to have to reveal I’m a big dork. Hope this won’t slow you down.

Wodtke, Christina. SitePoint (2000). Articles>Information Design


Information Architecture Essentials

What happens when, one day, you’re asked into the boss’s office and they drop “the web site” and “information architecture” into your lap? Regardless of your experience, where do you begin? Donna says your first question should be, “Why do we bother to have a web site in the first place?” “What’s its purpose?” She says if you don’t get this out of the way first, you’ll run up against it when you’re further along the trail and it won’t be easy to deal with.

Spool, Jared M. and Donna Spencer. User Interface Engineering (2009). Articles>Information Design>Web Design>Podcasts


Information Architecture for My Office

To get a handle on the challenge in front of me, I created a complete item inventory of everything currently in my office. I used Microsoft Excel and created a spreadsheet.

Swope, Amber. Content Wrangler, The (2008). Articles>Information Design>Workplace


Information Architecture for the Rest of Us

The purpose of this article is to explain information architecture in a very simple and clear manner. If you have been confused about information architecture and what it is all about, this is exactly the article you should read. An analogy is used to get at the core concepts and several useful examples are provided.

Rhodes, John S. WebWord (2002). Articles>Information Design>User Interface


Information Architecture Glossary

This glossary is intended to foster development of a shared vocabulary within the new and rapidly evolving field of information architecture. It should serve as a valuable reference for anyone involved with or interested in the design of information architectures for web sites, intranets and other information systems.

Hagedorn, Kat. Argus Center (2000). Resources>Information Design>Glossary


Information Architecture Institute Job Board   (members only)

The IAI Job Board lists job postings related to information architecture, as well as information design, interaction design, user experience, and HCI.

Interaction Design Association (2005). Careers>Job Listings>Information Design


Information Architecture is Not Usability

The distinction between information architecture and usability may seem like semantics, but there are significant differences between the two disciplines. Though they are often discussed interchangeably, and practitioners are often well-versed in both, information architecture and usability differ in their scope and areas of focus.

Lash, Jeff. Digital Web Magazine (2002). Articles>Information Design>Usability>Semantic


Review: Information Architecture Library Quick Reference: Special Deliverable

In this column, you'll find an overview of three IA books from a deliverables point of view. The purpose of this article is not to say whether one book is better than another, or even to comment on the overall quality of the books, but to provide a guide to what kind of deliverables information you can find in each book, and where.

Brown, Dan. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Reviews>Information Design


Information Architecture Meets Usability

A discussion of the common pitfalls of web usability and information architecture, and the state of the web industry today.

Stewart, Bruce. O'Reilly and Associates (2003). Design>Information Design>Usability


Information Architecture of Content Management

When people think about content management, they generally think about it from a systems perspective, focusing primarily on tools and technology. While it is true that content management usually requires a technological solution, it also requires that content be designed for reuse, retrieval, and delivery to meet your authors' and customers' needs. Content management requires that tools be configured to support authoring, reviewing, and publishing tasks, but first, those tasks must be designed. Designing content and the processes to create, review, and publish it is what information architecture is all about. The Information Architecture section of The Rockley Report will focus on the different aspects of information architecture for content management. This article introduces you to some of the components of information architecture that we will cover in The Rockley Report over time.

Rockley, Ann. Rockley Bulletin (2004). Articles>Content Management>Information Design>Content Strategy


The Information Architecture of Everyday Things   (PowerPoint)

Information architecture is as old as human communication. Where there's information, there's architecture.

Garrett, Jesse James. JJG.net (2002). Presentations>Information Design


Information Architecture of the Shopping Cart

This white paper explores the principles of design for process-oriented information architectures by illustrating the best practices in the design of e-commerce ordering systems commonly referred to as 'shopping carts.'

Bidigare, Sarah. Argus Center (2000). Articles>Information Design>E Commerce


An Information Architecture Perspective on Personalization   (PDF)

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.

Instone, Keith. Instone.org (2004). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Personalization


Information Architecture Resources

A collection of online resources in information design and information architecture.

Garrett, Jesse James. JJG.net (2002). Resources>Information Design


Information Architecture Task Failures Remain Costly

Task success is up substantially compared with usability statistics from 2004. Bad information architecture causes most of the remaining user failures.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2009). Articles>Information Design>Usability>Assessment


Information Architecture Tutorial

Information architecture is the science of figuring out what you want your site to do and then constructing a blueprint before you dive in and put the thing together. It's more important than you might think, and John Shiple tells you why.

Shiple, John. Webmonkey (1999). Design>Information Design>Web Design


Review: Information Architecture With XML: A Management Strategy

Despite the plethora of books positioning Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the next software programming language for IT gurus to master, the XML specification is not a programming language. Instead, it is a set of strategically important data standards that, when implemented from a tactical point of view, can provide organizations with value unsurpassed by many of the technologies that have come before it.

Abel, Scott. STC Hoosier (2003). Articles>Reviews>Information Design>XML


Information Architecture: A Rose by Any Other Name...

The efforts to define our field and our role are understandable by-products of our economic times and of forces in our contexts of practice. What are the pressures behind this quest for definition? What are the options (and potential advantages) of refusing to pigeonhole ourselves?

Stott, Lynn. Boxes and Arrows (2004). Careers>Information Design>Professionalism



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