PB Tech's Introduction to Information Architecture for the Web will benefit both the Information Architects and writers who will be creating the content for Web pages. While it discusses Web projects in terms of a project life-cycle, it is especially geared to those individuals who will be determining what the content will be and how users will get to that content. The course includes a thorough discussion of how writing for the Web is different from writing for any other media as well as how to create exciting and informative text that enables users to fulfill your site's goals.
By the end of the class students will be able to:
- Determine what good Web design is
- Define information architecture
- Create a user-focused foundation
- Use an orderly process to implement sound information architecture
- Write text that is clear, appealing, and rewarding for users
- Restructure an existing site
- Determine the cost of poor information architecture
Students should be comfortable using the Internet. Please note that this is an introductory class and is not intended for seasoned information architects.
What is Information Architecture?
- An Introduction to our Case Study
- Definition of Information Architecture
- Goals of Information Architecture
The Web as a Medium
- Discussion: What do you like about good Web sites?
- Discussion: What characteristics do bad Web sites have?
- How Do People Process Information?
The Practice of Information Architecture
- Site Structure
Analyze the Scope of your Project
- How Does the Web Site Fit in with the Goals of the Organization?
- What Are the Goals of the Site?
- Who Are the Site's Users?
- What Are the Available Resources for the Project?
- How Will the Site Change and Grow Over Time?
- Who is Involved in Creating/Changing the Site?
- Are There Other Potential Challenges?
Part 1: Introduction to Information Architecture
Part 2: A Process for Building Good Information Architecture
Organize Your Information
- Deciding Between Different Grouping Systems
- Sorting Your Groups
- Techniques for Grouping
Design Successful Navigation
- Navigational Options
- Qualities of Successful Navigation
- Include a Site Map and a Search Interface
- Navigation Focus: Search Systems
- Discussion: Searching Systems
- Navigation Focus: Potential Problems
Conduct User Testing
- Goals for Usability Tests
- Types of User Tests
Prepare for Launch, Maintenance & Growth
Part 3: Writing for the Web
Why Writing for the Web is Different than Writing for Print
- Discussion: Why do people read on the web?
Adapting to a Different Reading Environment
- Remove Unnecessary “Marketese” or “Happy Content”
- Be Concise
- Make Text Scannable
- Remove Excessive Instructions
Keeping it Simple
- Good Writing
- Avoid Jargon
- Simplify Wording
Writing Is Visual
- Writing Structure
- Reading Out of Order
- Page Layout
- Elderly, Young, and Low-Literacy Audiences
- HTML Structure
Part 4: Special Considerations
Restructuring An Existing Web Site
- 1) Build a Content Inventory Sheet for Your Current Site
- 2) Use the "Wish List" to Identify Unmet Needs
- 3) Determine the Appropriate Groups and Labels for Content
- 4) Build Good Navigation
- 5) Test the Product with Users at Every Stage
- 6) After Launch Provide Support
- Resources on Site Redesign
The Costs of Poor Information Architecture
- Build a Cost Table
- Think About the Future
Appendix A: Glossary
Appendix B: Documents and Worksheets
Appendix C: Types of Sites and their Purposes
Appendix D: Recommended Resources
- Books to Read
- Web Sites to Visit