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Closing the Findability Gap: 8 better practices from information architecture

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Closing the Findability Gap: 8 better practices from information architecture

  1. Closing the Findability Gap 8 better practices from information architecture Lou Rosenfeld •  Rosenfeld Media •  rosenfeldmedia.com
  2. Hello, my name is Lou www.louisrosenfeld.com | www.rosenfeldmedia.com
  3. The state of contemporary findability
  4. Some questions that you probably can’t answer • Who are your content’s primary audiences? • What are the five major tasks and needs each has? • Are you satisfying those tasks and needs? • What data support your thinking? • How do you measure success?
  5. Why can’t we get findability right?
  6. Why can’t we get findability right?
  7. Why can’t we get findability right? • We don’t know how to diagnose
  8. Why can’t we get findability right? • We don’t know how to diagnose • We don’t know how to measure
  9. Why can’t we get findability right? • We don’t know how to diagnose • We don’t know how to measure • Siloed organizations
  10. Why can’t we get findability right? • We don’t know how to diagnose • We don’t know how to measure • Siloed organizations • Ill-equipped decision-makers
  11. Why can’t we get findability right? • We don’t know how to diagnose • We don’t know how to measure • Siloed organizations • Ill-equipped decision-makers • Short-term thinking
  12. Why can’t we get findability right? • We don’t know how to diagnose • We don’t know how to measure • Siloed organizations • Ill-equipped decision-makers • Short-term thinking • Semantic illiteracy
  13. Data is binary Information isn’t
  14. Data is binary Information isn’t
  15. Information architecture: 8 better practices for findability 1. Diagnosing the important problems 2. Balancing our evidence 3. Advocating for the long term 4. Measuring engagement 5. Supporting contextual navigation 6. Improving search across silos 7. Combining design approaches effectively 8. Tuning our designs over time
  16. #1 Diagnosing the important problems
  17. A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long way documents meet the needs of your most important audiences
  18. A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long way documents meet the needs of your most important audiences Not all queries are distributed equally
  19. A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long way documents meet the needs of your most important audiences
  20. A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long way documents meet the needs of your most important audiences Nor do they diminish gradually
  21. A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long way documents meet the needs of your most important audiences
  22. A handful of queries/tasks/ways to navigate/features/ A little goes a long way documents meet the needs of your most important audiences 80/20 rule isn’t quite accurate
  23. (and the tail is quite long)
  24. (and the tail is quite long)
  25. (and the tail is quite long)
  26. (and the tail is quite long)
  27. (and the tail is quite long)
  28. The Long Tail is (and the tail is quite long) much longer than you’d suspect
  29. Zipf Distribution in text
  30. It’s Zipf’s World; we just live in it A little... • queries • tasks • ways to navigate • features • documents ...goes a long way
  31. UNVERIFIED RUMOR:
  32. UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of
  33. UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com content
  34. UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com content has never been accessed...
  35. UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com content has never been accessed... not even once
  36. UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com content has never been accessed... not even once TAKEAWAY:
  37. UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com content has never been accessed... not even once TAKEAWAY: FOCUS ON
  38. UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com content has never been accessed... not even once TAKEAWAY: FOCUS ON THE STUFF
  39. UNVERIFIED RUMOR: 90% of Microsoft.com content has never been accessed... not even once TAKEAWAY: FOCUS ON THE STUFF THAT MATTERS!
  40. #2 Balancing our evidence
  41. from Christian Rohrer: http://is.gd/95HSQ2
  42. Balanced research leads to true insight, new opportunities from Christian Rohrer: http://is.gd/95HSQ2
  43. Lou’s TABLE OF OVERGENERALIZED Web Analytics User Experience DICHOTOMIES Users' intentions and What they Users' behaviors (what's motives (why those things analyze happening) happen) Qualitative methods for What methods Quantitative methods to explaining why things they employ determine what's happening happen Helps users achieve goals What they're Helps the organization meet (expressed as tasks or trying to achieve goals (expressed as KPI) topics of interest) Uncover patterns and How they use Measure performance (goal- surprises (emergent data driven analysis) analysis) Statistical data ("real" data Descriptive data (in small What kind of data in large volumes, full of volumes, generated in lab they use errors) environment, full of errors)
  44. #3 Advocating for the long-term
  45. Steward Brand’s Pace Layering model Typical design focus Stuff that gets ignored: mission, vision, charter, goals, KPI, objectives
  46. #4 Measuring engagement
  47. Measuring conversions? No problem...
  48. ..measuring anything else? Good luck!
  49. The missing metrics of in-betweenness • Orientation (“What can I do here?”) • Engagement (“I like this; do you?”) • Connection/cross-promotion (“What goes with this?”) • Authority (“I trust this”) • and many more...
  50. #5 Supporting contextual navigation
  51. Contextual navigation: your site’s desire lines
  52. Contextual navigation: your site’s desire lines Determine through content modeling, site search analytics
  53. Contextual navigation: your site’s desire lines Determine through content modeling, site search analytics Deep navigation requires content modeling: a better approach to deep IA and content structuring
  54. Important content objects emerge concert calendar from content modeling (example: BBC) album pages artist descriptions TV listings album reviews discography artist bios
  55. Important content objects emerge concert calendar from content modeling (example: BBC) album pages artist descriptions TV listings Content that matters most album reviews discography artist bios
  56. Important metadata attributes emerge from content modeling
  57. Important metadata attributes emerge from content modeling Metadata that matters most
  58. #6 Improving search across silos
  59. Reconsidering the search UI...
  60. ...by contextualizing “advanced” features, focusing on revision
  61. ...by contextualizing “advanced” features, focusing on revision search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. how solar energy works
  62. ...by contextualizing “advanced” features, focusing on revision search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. how solar energy works search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. energy
  63. ...by contextualizing “advanced” features, focusing on revisionsearch session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. solar energy charts 2. how solar energy works search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. energy
  64. ...by contextualizing “advanced” features, focusing on revision search session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. solar energy charts 2. how solar energy works search session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. explain solar energy 2. energy
  65. ...by contextualizing “advanced” features, focusing on revision search session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. solar energy charts 2. how solar energy works search session patterns search session patterns 1. solar energy 1. solar energy 2. explain solar energy 2. energy search session patterns 1. solar energy 2. solar energy news
  66. Recognizing specialized queries (e.g., proper nouns, dates, unique ID#s)
  67. ...and designing specialized search results
  68. ...and designing specialized search results
  69. ...and designing specialized search results
  70. Content objects from product content model ...and designing specialized search results
  71. Poor search results returned by search engine Content objects from product content model ...and designing specialized search results
  72. #7 Combining design approaches effectively
  73. Yes, manual effort is still as important as tools
  74. Yes, manual effort is still as important as tools Narrow, deep content access
  75. Vanguard’s Tax Center is a simple, low-tech, editorial
  76. Vanguard’s Tax Center is a simple, low-tech, editorial ...to editorially rich content
  77. Manually selected results
  78. Manually selected results ...complement raw results
  79. Treat your content Each layer is cumulative; most important like an onion content is at the core information layer usability content strategy architecture indexed by search 0 engine leave it alone leave it alone squeaky wheel issues 1 tagged by users addressed refresh annually tagged by experts (non- test with a service 2 topical tags) (e.g., UserTesting.com) refresh monthly tagged by experts “traditional” lab-based titled according to 3 (topical tags) user testing guidelines content models for structured according 4 contextual navigation A/B testing to schema
  80. #8 Tuning designs over time
  81. Your site is a moving target built on moving targets
  82. Impact of change on design (queries)
  83. Impact of change on design (queries) Interest in the football team: going...
  84. Impact of change on design (queries) Interest in the football team: going... ...going...
  85. Impact of change on design (queries) Interest in the football team: going... ...going... gone
  86. Impact of change on design (queries) Time to Interest in the study! football team: going... ...going... gone
  87. IRS before Tax Day
  88. Before Tax Day IRS before Tax Day
  89. IRS after Tax Day
  90. After Tax Day IRS after Tax Day
  91. Summary: 8 IA better practices 1. Diagnosing the important problems 2. Balancing our evidence 3. Advocating for the long term 4. Measuring engagement 5. Supporting contextual navigation 6. Improving search across silos 7. Combining design approaches effectively 8. Tuning our designs over time
  92. Summary: 8 IA better practices 1. Diagnosing the important problems 2. Balancing our evidence 3. Advocating for the long term 4. Measuring engagement 5. Supporting contextual navigation 6. Improving search across silos 7. Combining design approaches effectively 8. Tuning our designs over time Let’s stop boiling the ocean
  93. Say hello Lou Rosenfeld lou@louisrosenfeld.com Rosenfeld Media  www.louisrosenfeld.com | @louisrosenfeld www.rosenfeldmedia.com | @rosenfeldmedia

Editor's Notes

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  • http://xkcd.com/773/\n
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  • http://www.semanticreview.com/images/semantic-data.jpg\n
  • http://www.semanticreview.com/images/semantic-data.jpg\n
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  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
  • Amazing drawing by Eva-Lotta Lamm: www.evalotta.net\n
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  • Funnel: http://www.orionweb.net/wp-content/uploads/conversion-funnel.png\nSitemap: http://www.peacockvaughninsurance.com/images/SiteMap.bmp\n
  • Funnel: http://www.orionweb.net/wp-content/uploads/conversion-funnel.png\nSitemap: http://www.peacockvaughninsurance.com/images/SiteMap.bmp\n
  • Funnel: http://www.orionweb.net/wp-content/uploads/conversion-funnel.png\nSitemap: http://www.peacockvaughninsurance.com/images/SiteMap.bmp\n
  • Funnel: http://www.orionweb.net/wp-content/uploads/conversion-funnel.png\nSitemap: http://www.peacockvaughninsurance.com/images/SiteMap.bmp\n
  • Funnel: http://www.orionweb.net/wp-content/uploads/conversion-funnel.png\nSitemap: http://www.peacockvaughninsurance.com/images/SiteMap.bmp\n
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  • Onion courtesy Eva-Lotta Lamm\n
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