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Information Architecture and Usability Introductory Lecture David Rashty User Interface Domain What is the Lecture About ? User Centric Design Information Architecture Usability Design and Testing and Evaluation Implementation User Interface User Interface Domain - Terms • MMI (Man Machine Interface) • GUI (Graphical User Interface) • CHI (Computer User Interface) • CHI (Computer Human Interaction) Information overload Disinformation overload Information overload Information overload How much Information ? Over 93 percent of the information produced in 1999 was in digital format. How much Information ? Worldwide PC hard drive capacity shipped Culture Diff 1 N News Culture Diff 2 Shopping Shopping 3 Culture DiffChina Siemens Diff 4 Culture Siemens Germany 5 Culture DiffCanada Siemens Diff Arabia CultureSiemens Saudia6 Which design makes it easier ? Is this usable? Terrible designs! Confusing designs! This is hard to read. In fact, many people have gone stone blind from reading horrible pages on Web sites. You could be next! Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration. Please, please, never do this. This is easier to read. The colors may not be very pretty, but they sure are easier to read than the example above. Also avoid colors that look ugly together. Color Problems ! Cognitive Problems ! Eye Tracking Problem ! Unusable Metaphors ! How bad can it be? Definitions Definition • Information Architecture is the process of organizing and presenting information in an intuitive and clear manner. • Richard Saul Wurman – “The building of information structures that allow others to understand” • When architects design a house they need to: – Learn about the client’s wishes; – Organize those wishes into a coherent pattern; – Design a house that will meet the occupants’ needs. Definitions More Definitions • The information architect must understand what users are trying to accomplish; he must learn the users’ goals/tasks. This means including users in the design process • The information architect must answer the question: “what will people do on the site”; not just “what content should be on the site.” Definitions Why is IA important? • Wasted expense: most sites will waste between $1.5M and $2.1M on redesigns next year. • Forfeited revenue: poorly architect retailing sites are underselling by as much as 50%. • Lost customers: the sites we tested are driving away up to 40% of repeat traffic. • Eroded brand: people who have a bad experience, typically tell 10 others. Forrester Research – Why Most Web Sites Fail (Sept 98) Definitions The role of the Information Architect • Clarify the mission and vision for the website; • Determines the information structure and functionality of the website; • Defines the navigation, labeling and searching systems; • Defines how the website is will accommodate to future changes. Definitions Disciplinary background Graphic Design Management & Marketing Usability Engineering Technical Writing Computer Science Information Cognitive Science psychology Building an Information Architecture Building an Information Architecture Information Labeling Organization Systems & & Clustering Metaphors Searching Navigation Systems Systems Building an Information Architecture Information Architecture work process • Plan • Research Why ? • Analyze • Design (Functional Design) • Evaluate (Usability) How ? • Implement (Visual Design and Templates) • Evaluate (Usability) • Document (Design Guide) Maintain • Train Building an Information Architecture Information Architecture metrics • Cost of finding (time, clicks, frustration, precision). • Cost of not finding (success, recall, frustration, alternatives). • Cost of development (time, budget, staff, frustration). • Value of learning (related products, services, projects, people). Building an Information Architecture Information Architecture metrics Log file analysis Building an Information Architecture Visual approach to IA approach > Overview Overview of Method • Seven step methodology for defining the needs of customers and for building an appropriate information structure: Research Whiteboard Clustering Highlighting Focusing Labeling Functional structure Interaction User Design Experience Building an Information Architecture > Information organization Organize information in accordance with the users… Information Architecture Information Organization & Clustering Building an Information Architecture > Information organization Information organization • The most important step in planning your website is organizing your information. • Steps to build a usable information structure: – Divide the content into logical units; – Chunk the information into sections and subsections (clusters); – Think about which sections are more important; – Think about how the sections relate to one another; – Build links between related sections. Building an Information Architecture > Information organization Why is it difficult? • Ambiguity – Language is ambiguous. Is a tomatoes a fruit, a vegetable, or a berry? • Heterogeneity – The web is a heterogeneous media and this makes it difficult to impose a rigid information structure to websites. • Differences in perspective – Different users approach your website differently (culture, age, language). Download Authorware attain F.A.Q. Developers centers Flash About Director Freehand Ordering Help Technologies Dreamweaver Online store options Tech support Generator Test Fireworks Licensing Support Pathware Software Magic program Search Advertising Help ShockwaveBeta programs Webmaster feedback Training Advertising About the company Sites Jukebox Home Page Contact us Flash leading edge French Shockwave Press room Director leading edge German Japanese Press releases Investors Canada Shocked site of the day DHTML Zone Gallery guide Jobs About us Arcade Events Shockzone Education Information Architecture Labeling Systems & Metaphors Building an Information Architecture > Labeling Labeling • Labels are concepts that represent chunks of information. • The About us page of a website, for instance, may include: – background information; – Relevant addresses; – Other contact information. • Labels must be clear and intuitive to be effective. Building an Information Architecture > Labeling Labels are not definite The menus in this slide are all from consulting companies. Pay attention to the differences… Building an Information Architecture > Labeling Some conventions • Main, Main page, Home, Home page; • Search, Find, Browse, Search/Browse, Site map, Contents, Table of contents, Index; • Contact, Contact us, Feedback; • Our work, Expertise, Solutions, Company X solutions, What we do, Process; • News, What’s new, News and events; • About; About us, About company X, Who we are, Our Company, Company info. Building an Information Architecture > Labeling Labeling problems… • The Web site of Richard “Dick” Armey is a victim of many of the software solutions which he advocates. All of them filter his site because it contains the word “dick”. • The Navy’s censorware blocked a user from accessing the A+ Exam site. The site was blocked because its URL, www.aplusexam.com, contained the word “sex”. Building an Information Architecture > Labeling Metaphors • When choosing a label we often make use of metaphors – a word denoting one kind of idea is used in place of another to suggest an analogy between them. • For example: – someone that is drowning on money is not really drowning… – food for thought is not food… – time is not really money. Building an Information Architecture > Labeling Metaphors – example Building an Information Architecture > Labeling Metaphors – example • The VCR metaphor to control the printer doesn’t make sense: what does the rewind button means? Information Architecture Searching Systems Building an Information Architecture > Searching Searching • When designing a searching system for a website, the information architect have to consider the following points: – The level of searching expertise users have; – The kind of information users want; – The type/format of information being searched; – How much information is being search, i.e., what is granularity of the information. Building an Information Architecture > Searching Searching (searching stinks) • “Using an on-site search engine actually reduced the chances of success.” Percent of Successful Tasks 60% 53% 50% 40% 30% 30% 20% 10% 0% Without Search With Search • 1998 Usability Study by User Interface Engineering • http://world.std.com/~uieweb/searchar.htm Building an Information Architecture > Searching Bookshops – simple search Building an Information Architecture > Searching What is the best option? Building an Information Architecture > Searching The Brain • The visual element in this browser facilitates navigation and gives a sense of direction that helps the user to find the information he is looking for. Building an Information Architecture > Searching Spotfire • A visual approach to information retrieval and presentation. The graph represents a huge amount of data that would be difficult to conceptualize in other ways. Building an Information Architecture > Searching Gartner Usability testing Usability laboratory Testing methods Method Short description Usability laboratory A room with computer equipment, a place for an observer to sit and a special observation area. Web-based Online evaluation with live feedback from users. Thinking aloud A test subject thinks aloud while navigating the site. Observation Visiting the users and observing them work. Questionnaires Site or email questionnaires are an effective way of measuring user satisfaction. Testing methods Method Short description Interviews Well suited to exploratory studies where one does not know yet what one is looking for. Focus groups Users are brought together to discuss new concepts and identify important issues. Heuristic evaluation Looking at an interface and trying to come up with an opinion about pros and cons about it. Log file analysis The computer automatically collect statistics about the detailed use of the system. User feedback Shows the immediate and pressing concerns, is an ongoing process and is adapts quickly. Observation room Usability test video (cost of finding) המשימה: לבצע חיפוש טלפון באתר סטארט Usability test video (cost of not finding) המשימה: לבצע התאמה אישית לאתר סטארט 3% 7% 11% 33% 6% 5% 19% Information Architecture Products The design process Tree Structure with Correlate The design process Tree Structure with Visio Functional Design Span Examples of good IA Examples of bad IA What happens if you don’t do it? Good Architecture Vs. Bad Architecture Conclusion • The information architect should be someone who can – think as an outsider (from the user perspective); – be sensitive to the needs of users; – and pay attention to details. • At the same time, – he is enough of an insider to have a clear picture of the organization’s mission; – and have a strong multidisciplinary background that allows him to ignore unimportant details. There is a great satisfaction in building good tools for other people to use. Freeman Dyson, Disturbing the Universe, 1979 Through even the smallest window the eye can reach the most distant horizon. A. Bergman, Visual Realities, 1992 References – Websites • www.argus-acia.com - Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld company’s website • www.jjg.net/ia - Information Architecture resources • www.useit.com - Jakob Nielsen website • www.usableweb.com - Mainly about usability but contains lots of info on IA Thank you!
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