Posts Tagged ‘ information architecture ’

Class notes F14 – Information Architecture

The slides used in class are below.

Here is the article about creating faceted classifications that I mentioned in class. I highly recommend the chapter on card sorting from the book Measuring the User Experience. Please see me if you would like to read it. It is a bit longer than the reading I assigned for class, but goes in much more depth.

Please ask questions related to this topic in the comments below.

Class Notes: Information Architecture; Assignment: nanoHUB IA

We discussed information architecture:

  1. What is information architecture (IA)?
  2. What is the relationship of IA to user experience? Can IA influence user experience? If so, how?
  3. What it the relationship between IA and personas, scenarios, and tasks/use cases?
  4. What are some different types of IA/navigation?
    • see the 6 Semantics (organization logics in BGW): task-based, user-based, topical, etc.
    • top-down vs bottom up aka taxonomy vs. folksonomy
    • breadth vs depth
    • various network topologies (e.g. hierarchical vs. networked)
  5. How do you create/validate and information architecture – the Card Sorting method

Then, we discussed nanoHUB:

  1. What it is
  2. Main user groups: professors, graduate students (and postdocs), undergraduate students (as well as another user group, industry partners)
  3. I told you what we know about the usage patterns of each user group (see your notes)
  4. Problem history: nanoHUB approached this class because they found out that users had a hard time finding information
  5. Previous research (available for you on Bb):
    • usability tests with 3 sets of 5 tasks each. Each set of tasks was designed for a main user group (profs, grad students, undergrad students)
    • card sorting with undergrad and grad students, done to improve the current menus (open card sorting). The card sorting research made it clear that the current organization has fundamental problems and needs to be redone from scratch.
  6. Our job: Create a brand new navigation solution for nanoHUB; validate it; test it.

This will combine reports 3 and 4.

TO DO for next week:

  1. Check your email with group assignments. Respond if necessary. Groups will be finalized within 24 hours, by Nov. 4.
  2. Read Study the available existing research about nanoHUB usability (on Bb.)
  3. Familiarize yourself with nanoHUB. Get an account, play with it. Read a couple of (news) articles about what it is.
  4. With your group, brainstorm a new IA. Let existing research inform your IA. At the very least, the top categories from the open card sort we did this summer should be useful. Present the outline of that IA in one of the formats in the BGW chapter.
  5. With your group, create a plan for validating your group’s IA through card sorting, feedback, focus groups, etc.
  6. Submit 4 & 6 by email no later than Nov. 9 by midnight. This is half of your Card Sorting (IA) report. Since it is a plan, it will not be graded. However, if you miss it or miss the deadline, you cannot proceed with the rest of the research.

TO DO by the end of this week (Friday, Nov. 4):

  • Post flyers to recruit research participants. I will email you when the flyers are printed.
  • Pick them up from my office or the CGT main office (Knoy 363) and post them in Birck, other buildings in the Research Park, and engineering buildings. Please indicate in a comment below what building(s) you will cover.