Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites, 3/e

Peter Morville, Louis Rosenfeld

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The post-Ajaxian Web 2.0 world of wikis, folksonomies, and mashups makes well-planned information architecture even more essential. How do you present large volumes of information to people who need to find what they're looking for quickly? This classic primer shows information architects, designers, and web site developers how to build large-scale and maintainable web sites that are appealing and easy to navigate.

The new edition is thoroughly updated to address emerging technologies -- with recent examples, new scenarios, and information on best practices -- while maintaining its focus on fundamentals. With topics that range from aesthetics to mechanics, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web explains how to create interfaces that users can understand right away. Inside, you'll find:

  • An overview of information architecture for both newcomers and experienced practitioners
  • The fundamental components of an architecture, illustrating the interconnected nature of these systems. Updated, with updates for tagging, folksonomies, social classification, and guided navigation
  • Tools, techniques, and methods that take you from research to strategy and design to implementation. This edition discusses blueprints, wireframes and the role of diagrams in the design phase
  • A series of short essays that provide practical tips and philosophical advice for those who work on information architecture
  • The business context of practicing and promoting information architecture, including recent lessons on how to handle enterprise architecture
  • Case studies on the evolution of two large and very different information architectures, illustrating best practices along the way

How do you document the rich interfaces of web applications? How do you design for multiple platforms and mobile devices? With emphasis on goals and approaches over tactics or technologies, this enormously popular book gives you knowledge about information architecture with a framework that allows you to learn new approaches -- and unlearn outmoded ones.

 

Table of Contents

Foreword

Preface

Part I. Introducing Information Architecture

1. Defining Information Architecture

     A Definition

     Tablets, Scrolls, Books, and Libraries

     Explaining IA to Others

     What Isn't Information Architecture?

     Why Information Architecture Matters

     Bringing Our Work to Life

2. Practicing Information Architecture

     Do We Need Information Architects?

     Who's Qualified to Practice Information Architecture?

     Information Architecture Specialists

     Practicing Information Architecture in the Real World

     What Lies Ahead

3. User Needs and Behaviors

     The "Too-Simple" Information Model

     Information Needs

     Information-Seeking Behaviors

     Learning About Information Needs and Information-Seeking Behaviors

Part II. Basic Principles of Information Architecture

4. The Anatomy of an Information Architecture

     Visualizing Information Architecture

     Information Architecture Components

5. Organization Systems

     Challenges of Organizing Information

     Organizing Web Sites and Intranets

     Organization Schemes

     Organization Structures

     Social Classification

     Creating Cohesive Organization Systems

6. Labeling Systems

     Why You Should Care About Labeling

     Varieties of Labels

     Designing Labels

7. Navigation Systems

     Types of Navigation Systems

     Gray Matters

     Browser Navigation Features

     Building Context

     Improving Flexibility

     Embedded Navigation Systems

     Supplemental Navigation Systems

     Advanced Navigation Approaches

8. Search Systems

     Does Your Site Need Search?

     Search System Anatomy

     Search Is Not an IT Thing

     Choosing What to Search

     Search Algorithms

     Query Builders

     Presenting Results

     Designing the Search Interface

     Where to Learn More

9. Thesauri, Controlled Vocabularies, and Metadata

     Metadata

     Controlled Vocabularies

     Technical Lingo

     A Thesaurus in Action

     Types of Thesauri

     Thesaurus Standards

     Semantic Relationships

     Preferred Terms

     Polyhierarchy

     Faceted Classification

Part III. Process and Methodology

10. Research

     Process Overview

     A Research Framework

     Context

     Content

     Users

     Participant Definition and Recruiting

     User Research Sessions

     In Defense of Research

11. Strategy

     What Is an Information Architecture Strategy?

     Strategies Under Attack

     From Research to Strategy

     Developing the Strategy

     Work Products and Deliverables

     The Strategy Report

     The Project Plan

     Presentations

12. Design and Documentation

     Guidelines for Diagramming an Information Architecture

     Communicating Visually

     Blueprints

     Wireframes

     Content Mapping and Inventory

     Content Models

     Controlled Vocabularies

     Design Collaboration

     Putting It All Together: Information Architecture Style Guides

Part IV. Information Architecture in Practice

13. Education

     Transition in Education

     A World of Choice

     But Do I Need a Degree?

     The State of the Field

14. Ethics

     Ethical Considerations

     Shaping the Future

15. Building an Information Architecture Team

     Destructive Acts of Creation

     Fast and Slow Layers

     Project Versus Program

     Buy or Rent

     Do We Really Need to Hire Professionals?

     The Dream Team

16. Tools and Software

     A Time of Change

     Categories in Chaos

     Questions to Ask

Part V. Information Architecture in the Organization

17. Making the Case for Information Architecture

     You Must Sell

     The Two Kinds of People in the World

     Running the Numbers

     Talking to the Reactionaries

     Other Case-Making Techniques

     The Information Architecture Value Checklist

     A Final Note

18. Business Strategy

     The Origins of Strategy

     Defining Business Strategy

     Strategic Fit

     Exposing Gaps in Business Strategy

     One Best Way

     Many Good Ways

     Understanding Our Elephant

     Competitive Advantage

     The End of the Beginning

19. Information Architecture for the Enterprise

     Information Architecture, Meet the Enterprise

     What's the Goal of EIA?

     Designing an Enterprise Information Architecture

     EIA Strategy and Operations

     Doing the Work and Paying the Bills

     Timing Is Everything: A Phased Rollout

     A Framework for Moving Forward

Part VI. Case Studies

20. MSWeb: An Enterprise Intranet

     Challenges for the User

     Challenges for the Information Architect

     We Like Taxonomies, Whatever They Are

     Benefits to Users

     What's Next

     MSWeb's Achievement

21. evolt.org: An Online Community

     evolt.org in a Nutshell

     Architecting an Online Community

     The Participation Economy

     How Information Architecture Fits In

     The "Un-Information Architecture"

Appendix: Essential Resources

Index