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Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web, Second Edition

Book Description

Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web, Second Edition introduces the core concepts of information architecture: organizing web site content so that it can be found, designing website interaction so that it's pleasant to use, and creating an interface that is easy to understand. This book helps designers, project managers, programmers, and other information architecture practitioners avoid costly mistakes by teaching the skills of information architecture swiftly and clearly.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Foreword
  4. Introduction: Why Blueprint a Web Site?
    1. Who Is This Book For?
    2. Yes, It’s a Short Book
    3. Why a Second Edition?
    4. How to Read This Book
  5. 1. First Principles
    1. Principle #1: Design for Wayfinding
      1. 1. Tell visitors where they are
      2. 2. Tell visitors where the things are that they’re looking for
      3. 3. How do they get to those things they seek?
      4. 4. Where have they already looked?
    2. Principle #2: Set Expectations and Provide Feedback
      1. Let folks know it hasn’t happened until it’s happened
      2. Remind people where they are in the process
    3. Principle #3: Design Ergonomically
      1. Hands
      2. Eyes
      3. Ears
    4. Principle #4: Be Consistent; Consider Standards
    5. Principle #5: Provide Error Support—Prevent, Protect, and Inform
    6. Principle #6: Rely on Recognition Rather than on Recall
    7. Principle #7: Provide for People of Varying Skill Levels
    8. Principle #8: Provide Contextual Help and Documentation
    9. This Chapter Will Self-Destruct in Five Seconds
  6. 2. Balancing Acts—Users, Technology, and Business
    1. Who Are Your Users?
      1. Be a rolling suitcase
    2. Our Five Steps
      1. 1. Discover who the target user is
      2. 2. Talk to the target user
      3. 3. Design the site for the target user
      4. 4. Test a prototype of the site with the target user
      5. 5. Test the final site with your target user
    3. Why Does Your Business Need You to Make a Web Site?
    4. What Are Your Materials?
      1. 1. Know your code
      2. 2. Know your delivery mechanism
      3. 3. Know your content
  7. 3. Sock Drawers and CD Racks—Everything Must Be Organized
    1. May I Help You?
    2. Question #1: Am I in the Right Place?
      1. Every page is your homepage
    3. Question #2: Do They Have What I’m Looking For?
      1. 1. Familiar organization systems
      2. 2. Obvious labels
      3. 3. Navigation that looks like navigation
      4. 4. “You are here” and “You were there” signs
    4. Question #3: Do They Have Anything Better?
      1. Navigation and breadcrumbs
      2. “See also” options
    5. Question #4: What Do I Do Now?
    6. Organization for the Masses
      1. 1. Observe others
      2. 2. Study the enemy
      3. 3. Visit your search logs
      4. 4. Do a card sort
    7. Doing a Card Sort—An Exercise in Organization
    8. You Really Can Be in Two Places at Once
    9. Faceted Classification
      1. Naming a label
    10. Stuffing the Stuff
      1. Categorization has consequences
      2. Categorization provides context
      3. Categorization is shaped by context
  8. 4. A Bricklayer’s View of Information Architecture
    1. Getting Meta
      1. Storytelling for “findability”
      2. Hand-crafted metadata for your finding pleasure
      3. One language for all
      4. Controlled vocabulary
      5. Equivalence relationships
      6. Hierarchical relationships
      7. Associative relationships
      8. Everybody spels difernt
      9. Building a controlled vocabulary
        1. 1. Gather content
        2. 2. Gather terms from as many sources as possible
        3. 3. Define preferred terms.
        4. 4. Link synonyms and near synonyms
        5. 5. Group preferred terms by subject
        6. 6. Identify broader and narrower terms
        7. 7. Perform associative linking.
        8. 8. Document your choices and the rationale behind them
      10. Social classification
      11. Tagging
      12. Types of tags
      13. Challenges in tagging systems
        1. The cold-start problem
        2. The obvious tag problem
        3. The duplicate tag problem
        4. The gamed tag problem
  9. 5. Search and Ye Shall Find
    1. The Meat and Potatoes of Search
    2. Search Should Be Fast, Easy, and Magic
    3. Search Must Be Fast
      1. 1. Results must be retrieved quickly
      2. 2. Results must load quickly
      3. 3. Results must be scannable
    4. Search Must Be EASY for People to Use
      1. Articulation problems
    5. Query Suggester
    6. Vertical Search
    7. Human Disambiguation
      1. Best bets
      2. How do we come up with best bets?
        1. Introducing: The Zipf curve
      3. Analyze the head
    8. Search Must Be MAGIC
      1. Personalized search
    9. One More Thing
    10. Mind-reading is Expected...
  10. 6. From A to C by Way of B
    1. If I Only Had a Brain: Smarter Storytelling with Interaction Design
    2. Personas, or Playing Barbies for Designers
      1. Sam I am
      2. The archetypal user
    3. How to Create Personas
      1. 1. Summarize findings. Distribute to stakeholders
      2. 2. Hold a work session with stakeholders and the development team to brainstorm personas
      3. 3. Prioritize and cull personas; develop primary and supporting personas
        1. Primary personas
        2. Secondary user personas
        3. Complementary personas
      4. 4. Make the personas into real people
      5. 5. Apply the personas
    4. Scenarios: The Joseph Campbell Method
      1. Using scenarios
        1. Scenarios as design tools
        2. Scenarios as evaluation tools
        3. Scenarios as communication tools
      2. Writing good scenarios
      3. A scenario in action, designing a new feature: The Festival Planner
        1. Scenario
    5. Sitepath Diagramming
      1. How to do sitepath diagramming
    6. Task Analysis: Diagramming It All
  11. 7. From Box to Page
    1. Linking the Chain
    2. Focus the Page on the User’s Primary Task
      1. Navigation pages
      2. Consumption pages
      3. Interaction pages
      4. Design gumbo (mixing page types)
    3. Match Discrete Tasks to Discrete Pages
    4. Group Like Tasks Together
      1. Wizards: Many boxes, many pages
      2. Control panels: Many boxes, one page
      3. Toolbars: When the page isn’t enough
      4. When a box doesn’t need a page
    5. Document Site Structure with a Site Map
      1. Site map layout
      2. Site map vocabulary
    6. Make the Next Step Accessible
    7. Manage Multiple Next Steps
    8. Zone Your Page for Interaction
      1. Breaking down the modules
    9. Document Your Page with Wireframes
      1. How to make a wireframe in 30 seconds
    10. The Page Is Important
  12. 8. The Tao of Navigation
    1. Four Ways Users Seek Information
      1. Known-item search
      2. Exploratory seeking
      3. Don’t know what I need to know
      4. Re-finding
    2. Three Types of Navigation
      1. Structural navigation
      2. Associative navigation
      3. Utility navigation
    3. Global Navigation
      1. Where does it live?
    4. Local Navigation
      1. Where does it live?
      2. How much is too much?
      3. Working with the global navigation—models for navigation access
        1. Pogosticking
        2. Crabwalking
    5. Associative Navigation: What’s Next and Safety Nets
      1. What’s next?
      2. Safety nets
      3. Driving associative navigation with metadata
    6. Utility Navigation, the Red-headed Step-child
    7. Designing Navigation—Three Questions to Ask Yourself
      1. How is your content organized?
      2. What do your users want to do?
      3. What do you want your users to do?
    8. Pagination—Navigating Multiple Pages
      1. Paginating forms and processes
    9. What Does It All Mean?
  13. 9. Architecting Social Spaces
    1. Principles for Social Architecture
      1. Trust and monitor
      2. Rely on emergent discoveries, rather than on curatorship
      3. Default to public
      4. Architecture must be adaptive
      5. Size matters
    2. Elements of Social Architecture
      1. Identity
      2. Elements of identity
        1. Profile
        2. Avatar
        3. Presence
        4. Reputation
      3. Relationships
      4. Elements of relationships
        1. Contacts
        2. Groups
        3. Norms
      5. Activity
      6. Elements of activity
        1. Sharing
        2. Conversations
        3. Collaborating
        4. Collective wisdom
    3. Architecture for Humans
  14. 10. All Together Now
    1. Project: Boxes & Arrows, an Online Magazine
    2. Step 1: What Does B&A Need?
    3. Step 2: What’s the Problem, Really?
    4. Step 3: Reframing the Problem
    5. Step 4: Who Are the Affected Users?
    6. Step 5: What Do the Users Want to Do?
    7. Step 6: What Does Our Content Look Like?
    8. Step 7: How Does the Technology Work?
    9. Step 8: Designing the Keywords Page
    10. Step 9: Designing the Article Page
  15. 11. And in the End...
    1. The Present
    2. The Future of Information Architecture