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Embracing Information Architecture and Information Design

In this article for the Australian Flexible Learning Community, I try to frame the need to be holistic in learning design -- simply because it's about the experience now and not about having 'how-tos' at hand. Here's the gist of the article: "Information architecture (IA) and information design (ID) are two fields that are taking the Web experience to a new level. They form the foundations of what is now widely known as user experience design (UXD). In this article, I argue that e-learning teams too have to embrace UXD practices in addition to learning design practices to take the learning experience to a higher level."

International World Wide Web Conference Papers

A huge collection of papers from the 13th International WWW Conference. There are many e-learning, information architecture and user research papers too. [Thanks UI designer]

Making Knowledge Management Work on your Intranet

An introductory look at how intranets can server as effective KM platforms. Here's a tip we can use: "Your intranet can be optimized to support knowledge management initiatives if you make changes to the existing content, publishing processes, and information architecture of the intranet."

Redesiging the PDB: Big Type, Color Codes

Interesting story on the importance of Information Architecture (IA) in communications. The lack of clarity from Boeing engineers on what a piece of foam could do to the Columbia shuttle and the dense text of the President's Daily Brief on the threat of Osama Bin Laden are taken as examples that could have benefited from basic IA.

Blogs and Information Architecture

Of late, I've been getting quite frustrated with the lack of some basic (or advanced) functionalities in Movable Type (MT). Firstly, I need a better search for my readers. When I put up a link, say like the "corporate anthropology" link below, I want to give my readers the opportunity to see ALL links to corporate anthropology available on elearningpost. This will enable them to see the associations, view different perspectives, and more importantly, learn in the process. Put simply, I want to create a "See also

Resource: IA Summit

Resource: IA Summit

Tons of interesting stuff from the recently concluded Information Architecture Summit.

Gerry McGovern: Information architecture: The intranet gets serious

Gerry McGovern: Information architecture: The intranet gets serious

"The intranet is now moving out of an evolutionary, experimental phase into a more systematic, managed phase. It is being seen as an asset, a driver of productivity. However, return on investment measurement for the intranet still requires a lot of work."

Gerry McGovern: Information architecture: webpage mental maps emerge

Gerry McGovern: Information architecture: webpage mental maps emerge

"The Web is very much about navigation -- moving from one place to another. By going to lots and lots of websites you begin to build a mental map. The more a new website reflects this mental map, the more comfortable you will feel with it. On the Web, it's always good to know where Home is".

Boxes and Arrows: The Sociobiology of Information Architecture

Boxes and Arrows: The Sociobiology of Information Architecture
"The real promise of social software has less to do with commercial productivity, and more to do with generating social capital: trust, social engagement, and the development of sustainable knowledge-sharing mechanisms that enable our advancement and evolution within social groups."

Rashmi Sinha: Persona Development for Information-rich Domains

Rashmi Sinha: Persona Development for Information-rich Domains
"Designing information architecture for complex websites requires understanding user information needs and mental models in that domain. Personas, or user archetypes, created for such domains should also reflect types of information needs, and usage of information set. We have created a statistical technique to identify important underlying groupings of information needs. In a preliminary study, we show how designers can use this information in conjunction with data from interviews and observations to generate and refine personas."

eLearn Magazine: Designing for Learners, Designing for Users

eLearn Magazine: Designing for Learners, Designing for Users
"Online courses that are designed for learners without any thought to users invariably results in frustrated students who can't figure out how to negotiate an online course. It's all very well to provide forms of interactivity, such as discussions and collaborative assignments, but if students can't understand the information architecture of the course in order to move efficiently from one section to another, then the learning activities are in vain."

Louis Rosenfeld: Informational Needs Analysis

Louis Rosenfeld: Informational Needs Analysis
"Each user has a different type of information need depending on what he's trying to find and why he's trying to find it. If we can determine the most common information needs a site's users have, we can select the few best architectural components to address those information needs."
Read the comments section, there are many good insights there.

Evolt: Information Architecture for Everyone

Evolt: Information Architecture for Everyone
The purpose of this article is to help you define information architecture so that you can recognize when it is you are wearing an IA hat, as well as provide you some tips, basics and resources to help you build the most well-architected sites possible.

Gerry McGovern: Information architecture: using card sorting for web classification design

Gerry McGovern: Using card sorting for web classification design
Card sorting is an excellent approach to help you choose your classifications. It can help shortcut long, tedious and often fruitless debate. It delivers classifications that people would actually choose, not what they say they would choose. Because it's fast and easy to do, you can get a wide range of feedback into your classification design.
Also, check out Step Two Design's Information design using card sorting

Gerry McGovern: Information architecture: learning how to classify

Gerry McGovern: Information architecture: learning how to classify
If you are a knowledge worker, a key skill you require is how to classify content. Classification skills are needed in order to better organize content on your computer, for your emails, and for how you compose documents. If you have responsibility for a website, classification is an essential skill.

IBM Developer Works: Information architecture concepts

IBM Developer Works: Information architecture concepts
An information architect is a vital member of a Web development team, playing a critical role in how content is organized on a Web site. This article seeks to clear up some of the misconceptions about information architecture and help define the role an information architect plays in Web site development.

Inf@Vis: Knowledge and Information Architecture

Inf@Vis: Knowledge and Information Architecture
Information Architecture appears to be tightly bound to web site design, but in fact it goes far beyond: it

Gerry McGovern: J R R

Gerry McGovern: J R R Tolkien was an information architect
Information architecture is concerned with the organization and layout of content. It is a discipline that has evolved over centuries, finding its roots in writing and printing. J R R Tolkien was a master information architect. He created complex genealogical and geographical architectures. If you want to master information architecture you need to acquire the type of skills Tolkien exhibits.

Webword: Information Architecture for the

Webword: Information Architecture for the Rest of Us
The purpose of this article is to explain information architecture in a very simple and clear manner. If you have been confused about information architecture and what it is all about, this is exactly the article you should read. An analogy is used to get at the core concepts and several useful examples are provided.

eNarrative: Chat with Peter Merholz

eNarrative: Chat with Peter Merholz "I'm interested in information architecture for its Big Picture opportunities around categorization and classification--how do we get people to the information that's most interest/relevant to them? I'm interested in comics and visual storytelling more for issues of receptivity and sense-making... Once people find information of interest, how can we present it to ensure maximum retention and understanding?"

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