Modern IA Table Of Contents

How Is The Nature of Information Changing?
Provides motivation for why we need to do things differently, based on the increasing possibilities for reusing the information we create.

Boxes and Arrows: The Boxes
Introduces the concept of an information component, and gives a detailed example of how to identify the information components lurking within a set of intranet pages

Inside The Box: Attributes and Metadata
Shows that we need to describe the information components themselves, using attributes, but also add additional information, metadata, to allow this information to be used effectively in different contexts

Information Requirements from Business Requirements
Extended case study, showing how to identify the information components implied by business requirements

Boxes and Arrows: The Arrows
Shows that the links between information are important as the information itself, and demonstrates a number of successful and unsuccessful patterns of linkage

The Power of Linked Data
Shows that if we can effectively link information components, we can pull information together into complex UI structures, and answer richer questions about a content domain.

The Explosion In Linked Data
With the explosion in the amount of external structured information, information architects may find it useful to look for existing information “out there” to pull into their solutions, rather than create it afresh. And when they look at information from external sources, they may be encouraged to think of brand new and useful combinations of information.

Example of UCD/IA Process (Part 1)
In user centred design (UCD), we use knowledge of the users and their goals to determine what information products might be useful to them. We can do this at a number of different scales, from an overall process to individual tasks within the process. This two part case study takes a high level business goal and uses UCD processes to help define appropriate information solutions.

Part 1 deals with the user and associated information at a high level, setting the stage for a deeper exploration.

Example of UCD/IA Process (Part 2)
In user centred design (UCD), we use knowledge of the users and their goals to determine what information products might be useful to them. We can do this at a number of different scales, from an overall process to individual tasks within the process. This two part case study takes a high level business goal and uses UCD processes to help define appropriate information solutions.

Part 2 builds on the ideas uncovered in part 1, and subjects them to deeper scrutiny from both a user and information point of view.

Information Architecture vs. The Data Layer
A commonly-heard maxim in the software and content publishing world is the importance of separating content from presentation, or separating structure from presentation, or presentation from behaviour, etc. There are many variations on this theme, but they all share similar objectives:

  • separating responsibilities of one kind or another
  • making certain types of change easier
  • allowing reusability.

We explore some examples of this as they relate to information architects, starting with the traditional 3-tier systems.

Crossing The Swim Lane
Swim-lane diagrams show clearly where ownership of the process transfers from one participant to another.  But it is up to the information architect and solutions designer to design precisely how that transfer takes place.  We discuss some common considerations, and some less common ones.

From Information Structure To Information Presentation
We have reached a transition point in the course.  We pause to look back at the various ways we have explored and uncovered structure, and look forward to upcoming posts on IA considerations for presenting information.
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