ūüćĮ Blog 10

1. Describe the five stages of integrating information architecture into the web development process.
The five stages of integrating information architecture into the web development process are:

  1. The research phase begins with: A review of existing background materials, Meetings with the strategy team aimed at gaining a high-level understanding, Explores the information ecology
  2. The research provides a contextual understanding for the foundation of the information architecture strategy
  3. Design shapes a high-level strategy into an information architecture creating detailed blueprints, wireframes, and metadata schema
  4. Implementation is where your designs are put to the test and the site is built, tested, and launched
  5. Administration is the continuous evaluation and improvement of the site’s information architecture

2. In terms of assessing technology, what is a gap analysis?
A gap analysis is used to assess the difference in¬†in performance between a business’ information systems or software applications to determine whether business requirements are being met.

Reference: http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/gap-analysis

3. When gathering content for content analysis, describe an approach that would capture a representational sample of a site’s content.

Reference: http://folk.uio.no/inf5270/cache/contentanalysis_mr.pdf

4. Describe the differences between structural metadata, descriptive metadata, and administrative metadata.

– Descriptive metadata describes a resource for purposes such as discovery and identification. It can include elements such as title, abstract, author, and keywords.

–¬†Structural metadata¬†indicates how compound objects are put together, for example, how pages are ordered to form chapters.

–¬†Administrative metadata provides information to help manage a resource, such as when and how it was created, file type and other technical information, and who can access it.

Reference: http://marciazeng.slis.kent.edu/metadatabasics/types.htm

5. What are competitive and before-and-after benchmarking?

Competitive:
Competitive benchmarking is when you evaluate and compare the features of several competing sites and use them as a point of reference. Competitive benchmarking can be dangerous because we do not always know if all the features are good.

Befor and After:
Before and After benchmarking is when benchmarking is applied to a single site over time to measure improvements. It helps you take the high-level goals expressed in your statement of mission and vision, and tie them to specific, measurable criteria.

Reference: Section 10 Content РInformation Architecture for the World Wide Web

6. What are the benefits of competitive benchmarking?

– Generates a list of information architecture features, bringing lots of new ideas to table
– Encourages transition from broad generalizations to specific, actionable definitions
– Challenges embedded assumptions and avoids copying the wrong features for the wrong reasons
– Establishes current position with respect to competitors and creates a point of reference against which to measure speed of improvement

Reference: Section 10 Content РInformation Architecture for the World Wide Web

7. What are the benefits of before-and-after benchmarking?

– Identifies and prioritizes information architecture features in the existing site
– Encourages transition from broad generalizations to specific, actionable definitions
– Creates a point of reference against which you can measure improvements

Reference: Section 10 Content РInformation Architecture for the World Wide Web

8. What is clickstream analysis, and why is it important?

Is the collection, analysis and report of aggregate data about which pages visitors visit in what order. There are two levels of clickstream analysis, traffic analysis and e-commerce analysis.

Reference: http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/clickstream-analysis

9. What sort of information can you learn about users from search log analysis?

Information you can learn from search log analysis is
– track and analyse the queries entered into the search engine
– Can identify what users are looking for, and the words and phrases they are using
– Ideal when creating a controlled vocabulary
– Also useful for prioritising terms for a ‚ÄúBest Bets‚ÄĚ strategy

10. What should be the goals for surveying users from an information architecture perspective?

The goal for surveying users is to gather input from a large number of people

11. What is contextual inquiry, and how can it be beneficial to gathering data about users? (optional)

Contextual inquiry is a method to learn the information from user by meeting the user. It can be beneficial to gather this data from users because it will be easy to implement the system by watching people use the website and examining how they use it by watching them. Furthermore seeing the work spaces of users can be very helpful in showing the information resources they use on a daily basis (computer, phone, post it notes etc).

12. How can focus groups be used to gather information about a site’s information architecture? What are the pros and cons of using focus groups? (optional)

Focus groups work by gathering groups of people that are actual or potential users of a site and then asking them questions regarding what they would like on a site.

Pros:
– Good for generating ideas about possible content and function for the site

Cons:
– Not good for testing the usability of a site

13. What are the differences between an open-ended and a closed card sort? (optional)

Open ended card sorting:
In open ended card sorting the participants create their own names for the categories, this helps in understanding the terms users use for their categories.

Close card sorting:
In close card sorting the participants are provided with a predefined set of category names, they need to assign index cards to these fixed categories. this helps discovering if the participants agree on which cards belong under each category.

14. Describe the basic process involved with usability engineering. What are some of the types of tasks you could set? (optional)

Basic process:

– Ask user to sit in front of a computer, open web browser, and try to find information or complete a task on the site you are studying

– Allow roughly three minutes per task, ask user to talk aloud while navigating.

РTake good notes, capture what the user says, consider counting clicks and timing each session

Tasks:

– Known-item to exhaustive ‚Äď Ask users to find a specific answer or item. Also ask them to find everything they can on a particular topic

15. What is TACT? How is it used to develop an information architecture strategy? (optional)

TACT stands for Think, Act, Communicate, Test.
-Think ‚Äď convert research data to creative ideas.
-Articulate: create diagrams, metaphors, stories, scenarios, blueprints, wireframes
-Communicate: present, react, brain storm
-Test: closed card sorts, prototypes.

16. What is meant by ‚Äúmetaphor exploration‚ÄĚ when developing an information architecture strategy? Describe the differences between organisational metaphors, functional metaphors, and visual metaphors.¬†(optional)

Metaphor is used to map a familiar subject to describe an unfamiliar concept.

Organisational metaphors
– Leverage familiarity with one systems organisation to convey quick understanding of a new systems organisation

Functional Metaphors
– Makes a connection between the tasks you can perform in a traditional environment and those you can perform in the new environment

Visual metaphors
– Leverage familiar graphic elements such as images, icons, and colours to create a connection to the new elements.

Reference: 8.2 Metaphor Exploration РInformation Architecture for the World Wide Web

17. What are the core sections of a strategy report? (optional)

The core sections in a strategy report are the following
– Executive summary
– Audiences, mission and vision for the site
– Lessons learned
– Architectural strategies and approaches
– Content management

Reference: Section 11.6 The Strategy Report РInformation Architecture for the World Wide Web

18. What are blueprints and wireframe diagrams used for? (optional)

Blueprints:
show the relationships between pages and other content components, they can also be used to present the navigation and labeling systems.

Wireframes:
a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. They are created for the purpose of arranging elements on a page. Wireframes provide the architectural design of a website.

Reference: Section 12.3 Blueprints РInformation Architecture for the World Wide Web

Section 14.4 Wireframes – Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

19. What is the purpose of the content management section of the strategy report? (optional)

The purpose of the content management section in a strategy report is to discuss how the IA recommendations will impact the content management infrastructure. Subjects that are addressed in this section are:
– Rule
– Roles
– Resources

Reference: Section 11.6 The Strategy Report РInformation Architecture for the World Wide Web

20. Why is it important to follow up a project plan with a series of presentations? (optional)

It is important to include a presentation to follow up a project plan as it increases understanding of the system for stakeholders, and in instances where decisions on design or whether the system is viable.

Reference: Section 11.7 Presentation РInformation Architecture for the World Wide Web

21. Construct blueprint diagrams illustrating the structure by which a user will interact with your web site’s components. (Refer to Morville Chapter 12 for how to create blueprints.) The blueprints must:
i. Include arrows to indicate flow between various sections/pages of the web site;

ii. Contain textual descriptions within the diagram to further explain sections/pages of the web site;

iii. Contain a legend to describe the notation used in your blueprints;

iv. Provide additional modularised blueprints that go into further detail for complex sections of your web site;

v. Provide accompanying textual descriptions of the diagrams showing how the user will interact with your web site;

vi. Describe what forms of navigation are being used (e.g., contextual, index terms, site maps, bread crumbs, etc.);
vii. Describe what search strategies are being employed; and
viii. Describe the site’s organisation and what type of browsing the web site supports (e.g., hierarchical, polyhierarchical, etc.).

22. Create a series of medium fidelity wireframes for the main pages of the web site. (Refer to Morville Chapter 12 for how to create wireframes.) The wireframes should include: (optional)
a) At least three clearly labelled pages depicting the web site’s home page, a content page, and a navigation (or search) page;
b) Labelled placeholders for images; and
c) Highlight and explain the navigation systems.

23. Design a metadata matrix that presents the vocabulary terms and relationships. You need only present accepted and variant terms in an accompanying controlled vocabulary database (there is no need to develop extensive synonym rings or explode the vocabulary to include broader and narrower terms). The course web site provides examples and exemplars from previous students for how to develop a metadata matrix. Your answer must provide:  (optional)
a) A metadata matrix showing all labels, content headings, and major search terms;
b) A vocabulary database listing the accepted and variant terms; and
c) A description of how you created your controlled vocabulary (i.e., the sources for discovering and organising the terms). Justify your design choices with references to authoritative sources (minimum 500 words).

24. Undertake the following tasks for your Drupal web site assignment: a. Add content to your Drupal web site using pages and articles (be sure to use alternate text for your images);
b. Implement menus; and c. Install the WYSIWIG, IMCE, and CKEDITOR modules.

25. Undertake the following tasks for your Drupal web site assignment: a. Explore different themes and modules to expand your web site’s functionality and visual appeal; and

b. Create a Facebook page or Twitter account to promote you web site. Place a link to your promotional page on your blog.

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