You are previewing Information Architecture, 4th Edition.
O'Reilly logo
Information Architecture, 4th Edition

Book Description

Information architecture (IA) is far more challenging—and necessary—than ever. With the glut of information available today, anything your organization wants to share should be easy to find, navigate, and understand. But the experience you provide has to be familiar and coherent across multiple interaction channels, from the Web to smartphones, smartwatches, and beyond.

To guide you through this broad ecosystem, this popular guide—now in its fourth edition—provides essential concepts, methods, and techniques for digital design that have withstood the test of time. UX designers, product managers, developers, and anyone involved in digital design will learn how to create semantic structures that will help people engage with your message.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
    1. What’s New in the Fourth Edition
    2. Organization of This Book
    3. Audience for This Book
    4. Conventions Used in This Book
    5. Contacting the Authors
    6. Safari® Books Online
    7. How to Contact Us
    8. Acknowledgments
  2. I. Introducing Information Architecture
  3. 1. The Problems That Information Architecture Addresses
    1. Hello, iTunes
    2. The Problems Information Architecture Addresses
      1. Information Overload
      2. More Ways to Access Information
    3. Enter Information Architecture
      1. Places Made of Information
      2. Coherence Across Channels
      3. Systems Thinking
    4. Recap
  4. 2. Defining Information Architecture
    1. Definitions
    2. Just Because You Can’t See It, Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t There
    3. Toward a Damned Good Information Architecture
      1. Context
      2. Content
      3. Users
    4. Recap
  5. 3. Design for Finding
    1. The “Too-Simple” Information Model
    2. Information Needs
    3. Information-Seeking Behaviors
    4. Learning About Information Needs and Information-Seeking Behaviors
    5. Recap
  6. 4. Design for Understanding
    1. A Sense of Place
    2. The Architecture of (Real-World) Places
    3. Places Made of Information
    4. Organizing Principles
    5. Structure and Order
    6. Typologies
    7. Modularity and Extensibility
    8. The Happiest Place(s) on Earth
    9. Recap
  7. II. Basic Principles of Information Architecture
  8. 5. The Anatomy of an Information Architecture
    1. Visualizing Information Architecture
    2. Top-Down Information Architecture
    3. Bottom-Up Information Architecture
    4. Invisible Information Architecture
    5. Information Architecture Components
      1. Browsing Aids
      2. Search Aids
      3. Content and Tasks
      4. “Invisible” Components
    6. Recap
  9. 6. Organization Systems
    1. Challenges of Organizing Information
      1. Ambiguity
      2. Heterogeneity
      3. Differences in Perspectives
      4. Internal Politics
    2. Organizing Information Environments
    3. Organization Schemes
      1. Exact Organization Schemes
      2. Ambiguous Organization Schemes
    4. Organization Structures
      1. The Hierarchy: A Top-Down Approach
      2. The Database Model: A Bottom-Up Approach
      3. Hypertext
    5. Social Classification
    6. Creating Cohesive Organization Systems
    7. Recap
  10. 7. Labeling Systems
    1. Why You Should Care About Labeling
    2. Varieties of Labels
      1. Labels as Contextual Links
    3. Labels as Headings
      1. Labels Within Navigation Systems
      2. Labels as Index Terms
      3. Iconic Labels
    4. Designing Labels
      1. General Guidelines
      2. Sources of Labeling Systems
      3. Creating New Labeling Systems
      4. Tuning and Tweaking
    5. Recap
  11. 8. Navigation Systems
    1. Types of Navigation Systems
    2. Gray Matters
    3. Browser Navigation Features
    4. Placemaking
    5. Improving Flexibility
    6. Embedded Navigation Systems
      1. Global Navigation Systems
      2. Local Navigation Systems
      3. Contextual Navigation
      4. Implementing Embedded Navigation
    7. Supplemental Navigation Systems
      1. Sitemaps
      2. Indexes
      3. Guides
      4. Configurators
      5. Search
    8. Advanced Navigation Approaches
      1. Personalization and Customization
      2. Visualization
      3. Social Navigation
    9. Recap
  12. 9. Search Systems
    1. Does Your Product Need Search?
    2. Search System Anatomy
    3. Choosing What to Index
      1. Determining Search Zones
      2. Selecting Content Components to Index
    4. Search Algorithms
      1. Pattern-Matching Algorithms
      2. Other Approaches
    5. Query Builders
    6. Presenting Results
      1. Which Content Components to Display
      2. How Many Documents to Display
      3. Listing Results
      4. Grouping Results
      5. Acting on Results
    7. Designing the Search Interface
      1. The Box
      2. Autocomplete and Autosuggest
      3. Advanced Search
      4. Supporting Revision
      5. When Users Get Stuck
    8. Where to Learn More
    9. Recap
  13. 10. Thesauri, Controlled Vocabularies, and Metadata
    1. Metadata
    2. Controlled Vocabularies
      1. Synonym Rings
      2. Authority Files
      3. Classification Schemes
      4. Thesauri
    3. Technical Lingo
    4. A Thesaurus in Action
    5. Types of Thesauri
      1. Classic Thesaurus
      2. Indexing Thesaurus
      3. Searching Thesaurus
    6. Thesaurus Standards
    7. Semantic Relationships
      1. Equivalence
      2. Hierarchical
      3. Associative
    8. Preferred Terms
      1. Term Form
      2. Term Selection
      3. Term Definition
      4. Term Specificity
    9. Polyhierarchy
    10. Faceted Classification
    11. Recap
  14. III. Getting Information Architecture Done
  15. 11. Research
    1. A Research Framework
    2. Context
      1. Getting Buy-In
      2. Background Research
      3. Introductory Presentations
      4. Research Meetings
      5. Stakeholder Interviews
      6. Technology Assessment
    3. Content
      1. Heuristic Evaluation
      2. Content Analysis
      3. Content Mapping
      4. Benchmarking
    4. Users
      1. Usage Analysis
      2. Search Log Analysis
      3. Customer-Support Data
    5. Participant Definition and Recruiting
      1. Surveys
      2. Contextual Inquiry
      3. Focus Groups
    6. User Research Sessions
      1. Interviews
      2. Card Sorting
      3. User Testing
    7. In Defense of Research
      1. Overcoming Research Resistance
    8. Recap
  16. 12. Strategy
    1. What Is an Information Architecture Strategy?
    2. Strategies Under Attack
    3. From Research to Strategy
    4. Developing the Strategy
      1. Think
      2. Articulate
      3. Communicate
      4. Test
    5. Work Products and Deliverables
      1. Metaphor Exploration
      2. Scenarios
      3. Case Studies and Stories
      4. Conceptual Diagrams
      5. Sitemaps and Wireframes
    6. The Strategy Report
      1. A Sample Strategy Report
    7. The Project Plan
    8. Presentations
    9. Recap
  17. 13. Design and Documentation
    1. Guidelines for Diagramming an Information Architecture
    2. Communicating Visually
    3. Sitemaps
      1. High-Level Architecture Sitemaps
      2. Digging Deeper into Sitemaps
      3. Keeping Sitemaps Simple
      4. Detailed Sitemaps
      5. Organizing Your Sitemaps
    4. Wireframes
      1. Types of Wireframes
      2. Wireframe Guidelines
    5. Content Mapping and Inventory
    6. Content Models
      1. Why Do They Matter?
      2. An Example
      3. A Valuable Process
    7. Controlled Vocabularies
    8. Design Collaboration
      1. Design Sketches
      2. Interactive Prototypes
      3. Point-of-Production Information Architecture
    9. Putting It All Together: Information Architecture Style Guides
      1. The “Why” Stuff
      2. The “How” Stuff
    10. Recap
  18. Coda
    1. Putting the Arc in Information Architecture
    2. A Recap of What We’ve Learned
    3. Now It’s Your Turn
  19. A. References
    1. Books
    2. Professional Organizations
  20. Index