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School of Information, Fall 2007 University of Texas Information Architecture Week 5 A. Fleming Seay
Agenda Presentations SILVAS, Metaphors in Web Design and Navigation MASON, Taxonomies & Classification for Organizing Content Project Plan Review Lecture – Contextual design Class Work: User Analysis
Thesauri, Vocabularies & Metadata The Structure of Your Content (Part of the Plan) Models the Information for the User (Content Modeling)
What do we mean by Metadata? “…descriptive information about the context, quality and condition, or characteristics…” What are some examples of metadata? Tags are used to describe documents pages images software video and audio files other content objects Why? Improved navigation and retrieval
Controlled Vocabularies Establish Consistencies For the Content & Developers Education for the user - shaping behavior Just Synonyms? Lists of Equivalents (Index) Aliases (Authority File) “Synonym Ring” Based on User’s Understanding Improved Upon by IA Iterative Process to Discover Alternate Words & Concepts
Building Your “Authority File” List of preferred terms or acceptable values The Mission Statement for your Content Acronyms, Abbreviations Multiple terms (“term rotation”? ) Cases (Upper, Lower and Mixed) Labels for Button & Graphics too Use a Central File to Keep Current Authority. txt Keep updated throughout the project p 180
Classification Schemes A hierarchical arrangement of preferred terms Taxonomies are both visible and invisible to the user Front End Users (Personalized) Interface (Browse) Back End Information Architecture Content Management System (Search) Approaches Top-Down & Bottom-Up Content & Task
Semantic Relationships Equivalence Hierarchical Strong (Inherited) City - Austin Instance (Classes) Texas - Austin Associative Based on Understanding of Content & user
Thesaurus in Action Preferred Term Variant Term (synonyms) Broader Term (preferred’s parent) Narrower Term (preferred’s child) Related (“see also”, synonyms) Use (rules for where and when) Scope (restricts meaning)
Faceted Classification “How do I describe this? ” -Ranganathan Multiple Dimensions Now More Applicable to Digital Information Personality, Matter, Energy, Space, Time Topic, Product, Document Type, Audience, Geography, Price
Taxonomy of Decisions & Actions Purpose of the Search Method to Find Information Content of the Information Being Searched GVU Survey Question Recent instance of important information found Taxonomic Analysis of Responses from Survey Morrison et al 2001
Taxonomy of Decisions & Actions (cont’d) Purpose Method Content Morrison et al 2001
Chapter 10 - Research
Some Context Myths of Technology Design People can tell you exactly what they want. The use of technology requires a lot of training, manuals, and support. Facts of Technology Improving the user experience takes more than: simply asking the user introspection
What’s Happening Here? What is the user doing? What is the system doing?
A Mismatch in Models The user’s mental or conceptual model of the task and how it is executed does not match the system’s implementation model Versus Mental model Implementation model
User’s Model vs. Engineer’s Model What user (thinks he/she) is doing vs. Actual Implementation These issues are addressed by two types of design User Centered Design Focus on the user’s conceptual model Participatory Design Human-Centered Design System Centered Design Code-level organization and functionality of the system “software engineering”
User Centered Design System Centered Design Versus Mental model Implementation model
Imagine…. You are on a seasoned design team Several members with skill sets both unique and overlapping You handle problems from all kinds of domains Often you have little prior exposure to the design problem Your team has an incredible track record How are you able to consistently perform? PROCESS
Contextual Design Starts with the recognition that any system embodies a way of working. A system's function and structure forces particular strategies, language, and work flow on its users. Successful systems offer a way of working that customers want to adopt. Contextual Design is a method which helps a crossfunctional team come to agreement on what their customers need and how to design a system for them.
Contextual Design Gather data from multiple users Abstract data into a common model Design depends on seeing the implications of the data Design begins with a creative leap from customer data to implications for design and from implications to ideas for specific features
Steps in Contextual Design Contextual Inquiry Work Modeling Consolidation Visioning User Environment Design Interface Design and Prototyping
The Process in Full
Contextual Inquiry – finding “the real experts” Gather Data Observation Interview Participation “Shadowing” Learn User’s Vocabulary Gather Artifacts Gain an understanding of the user HEY LOOK AT ALL THE DATA WE HAVE! what are we gonna do with it?
Work Modeling Organize the data Create shared understanding and group memory Working on the Wall • Everyone participates • Everyone contributes • Build consensus • Models/data always up • Immersion in the data
Work Modeling – Types of Models Flow Model Communication & Coordination Sequence Model Detailed work steps Artifact Model Physical elements created to support work Cultural Model Constraints created by policy, culture, values Physical Model Physical structure of work environment
Flow Model - Communication & Coordination How people’s roles are defined and how they communicate/coordinate Pattern of work - Relationships rather than sequence Elements Individuals • Person or group, annotated with the roles they play (interviewee is noted with a number & title) • Bubbles Responsibilities • List of expectations • Placed in bubble Flow • Communication • Arrows
Flow Model - Communication & Coordination Elements (cont’d) Artifacts • Items created to support the work • Boxes on flow Communication topic • Details of flow • Listed on arrows Places • Areas where work gets done. Shown only when it is central to the flow • Large Box annotated with name and activity Breakdowns • Problems on flow • Large Lightning Bolt
Example of a Flow Model
Sequence Model - Detailed work steps Steps by which work is done, triggers that activate steps, and goals • Pattern of work Elements • Intent – Expectations of sequence • Trigger – What activates the sequence • Steps – Actions taken • Order – Arrows, loops, branches, connecting steps • Breakdowns – Problems in performing the steps
Artifact Model - Physical elements supporting work Artifacts are items used to support the work. They have structure, content, usage, and intent • An artifact model is a drawing, photocopy, or actual artifact annotated with details Elements • Information – Content • Parts – Which are distinct in their usage • Structure – of parts, explicit and implicit • Annotations – of informal usage • Presentation – form of content when it is integral to function • Usage – when is it created, how it is used, how people move through its parts • Breakdowns – Problems in using the artifact
Example of Artifact Model
Cultural model - Constraints of policy, culture, values “Cultural context is the mindset that people operate within and that plays a part in everything they do” p. 108 • Defines expectations, desires, and values • Written and unwritten policies Elements • Influences affect and constrain work (Bubbles) • Extent the effect on the work (Bubble overlap) • Influence direction of influence (Arrows)
Example of Cultural Model
Physical Model - Physical structure of work environment Elements • • • Places where work is done Structures that define spaces Usage and movement within the space Communication lines Layout of artifacts/tools
Consolidation Look across multiple users • Common practices • Divergent practices Inductive Process Individuals Whole User Population Going from a few to a large population
The Consolidation Process For each model (flow, sequence, artifact, physical, & cultural): • Review model • Ask what is important about this model? • What current manual roles, tasks, steps, communication flows might better be automated? • What successful manual approaches can be used as a metaphor for design? (e. g. , paper memory aids) • What breakdowns might be remedied?
Consolidation – The Affinity Diagram Organizes individual notes into a hierarchy of common issues How-To • In a group session each member has their field notes and a pad of post-its • One note is put-up and others look for similar notes that seem to go with it • Interview notes are placed together if they have an “affinity” – similar issues, intent, problems • Notes are given a group name that states the issue which binds them together SPONSORED BY Corporation 3 M
Example of An Affinity Diagram Trip Totem Project
Consolidation – The Affinity Diagram
Creating the Vision “Grounded Brainstorming” Brainstorming because ideas are not evaluated & should flow freely “Grounded” because ideas are driven by the data on customers’ work practices Draw ideas on flip chart as team throws them out Use ideas from “starting points” Incorporate each idea into a coherent story for a redesigned work process Create in the form of diagram, much like the flow model, but revised with new artifacts, communication processes, strategies
User Environment Design Create an explicit representation of the system work model An Abstract "floor plan" of the new system Shows each part of the system – • • • "rooms" that offer certain functionality how each supports the user’s work links between the rooms describing their relationships NOT tied to any particular user interface • • supports roll out sequential rollout of features supports development across multiple implementation teams Easily translated into a blueprint or site plan, developed into a prototype and tested
Example of a UED
An alternative technique - Personas A user archetype used to guide decisions about product features By designing for the archetype—whose goals and behavior patterns are well understood—you can satisfy the broader group of people represented by that archetype. In most cases, personas are synthesized from a series of ethnographic interviews with real people, then captured in 12 page descriptions that include behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and environment, with a few fictional personal details to bring the persona to life. For each product, or sometimes for each set of tools within a product, there is a small set of personas, one of whom is the primary focus for the design.
Rapid Ethnography Person-centered field work done in natural settings holistic, observing the complete context perspective of the consumer Like Rapid Prototyping, Usability Inspection & Discount Usability Ethnography People (Practice) Environments (Native) Activities (Context) Cultural Observation and Analysis Elicit User Requirements Millen 2000
Rapid Ethnography pt. 2 Narrow Focus. Short Studies Comparisons to Other Studies Zoom in On Key Activities Multiple Datasets (Critical Incidents) Observations Recording Activity Walkthroughs Interviews (Structured) Selection of Instances that Yield Incidents Key Times Key Users
Rapid Ethnography pt. 3 Automated Data Analysis Team Data Analysis Scenario Analysis (storyboards) Pictorial Storytelling (metaphors) Lightweight Deliverables Drawings (Sketches) Notes (not Reports) Incomplete Prototypes Cognitive Mapping (assumptive) Substitute for Full or Complete Studies
Class Work: Who Will Use the Site? Who are your target users? What do you want users to get from your site? Is the site a Searching site? A Browsing and Learning site?
Home Work: User Analysis Rapid Ethnography – go find some of those users What do your users have in common? What are their differences? What design decisions need to be specifically planned for as essential for your users? What will the information on your site be used for?
For Next Week Presentations TSE, User IA – blogs, RSS and WIKIs FOGLE, IA & Web Advertising WHITWORTH, Navigation & menus MCDAVID, Search Pages and Results Rosenfeld, Information Architecture: Chapters 7 & 8 Choo, C. W. , Detlor, B. , & Turnbull, D. (2000). Information Seeking on the Web: An Integrated Model of Browsing and Searching. First Monday, 5(2). Tauscher, L. M. , & Greenberg, S. (1997). Revisitation patterns in World Wide Web navigation. Paper presented at the ACM SIGCHI '97, Atlanta, GA. Site Concept Deliverable
Site Concept Deliverable For Next Week Sitemap diagram of your proposed project One page, printed User Research Document One page, printed What did you do? Who did you find? What did you learn? User model (scenario starter) One page, printed What the site is about In two sentences (at most) Briefly describe Who will use the site Why? When?
Human Information Behavior – The totality of our interaction with information Information Seeking – Purposive and as a consequence of need Information Searching – Thought and action surrounding the interaction with info systems Information Use Physical Actions – highlighting, bookmarking Mental Actions – consideration of conflicting information Wilson 2001
New Models of Info Behavior – Global Model