Thursday, May 20, 2010

Getting the Job Done Right—Successful IA, UXD, PM Strategies

Doing IA, UXD research is really important because oftentimes the research-discovery phase reveals pertinent IA, UXD strategies—and possible design solutions. I like to think about how my professional services successfully assist and help clients in achieving their business goals or design strategies.

I bring a lot of significant experiences that add value, thinking about my professional practice of IA, UXD, that in the long-run achieve successful outcomes for IA, UXD projects.

While The IA Model is a formidable approach to doing my job, I like to think of it in a way more approachable manner; less intimidating to others.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What are user scenarios?

User scenarios help Information Architects and stakeholders to understand who intended audiences will be, as well as how an intended audience could use a Website, including how end users might use current computing technology devices and navigational systems.

This helps Information Architects to make determinations if computer programmers can actually do required computer programming for a proposed Website.

Great conceptual ideas may be well thought out. Can they realistically be designed and implemented in the digital landscape?

Another consideration that must be taken into account is what computing devices or what software programs an end user might use or not use. End users may not have a high-speed Internet connection or large computer screens to view a Website.

Understanding who the end users will be gives us insights about how to design a Website for its intended audiences. Other design issues concerning usability have to be taken into account: compliance with Section 508 of the Disabilities Act (requirements for specific Websites and intended audiences for online communities). Persona—Part of IA Research help us to learn about and define end users; source in IA MAEd Thesis Report.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

IA Leadership & Management Skills

Experiences extend in to high-quality professional leadership and project management skills, including excellent interpersonal-relational skills. Other relevant skills show expert qualifications in IA, UXD, PM because experiences and IA Credentials are specific and demonstrate savvy skills.

Doing Information Architecture for Websites ultimately helps end users in the long run. Because of my expertise in Information Architecture and Design, I work with clients on developing products compliant with user-centered design principles or “best practices.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

HCI Focus & Usability Testing

While digital design products may have technical limitations, producing high-quality Websites, or other digital design products, that work right for end users involves—prior to implementation—doing Information Architecture, User Experience Design specific to what works for end users. This also includes doing specific usability testing relevant to target audiences or end users.

IA Inspection Methods: Understanding why usability testing is necessary and how to do it. In terms of doing heuristic evaluations and how to design usability tests for effective data collection, this includes doing: heuristic evaluations, heuristic estimations, cognitive walkthroughs, pluralistic walkthroughs, feature inspections, consistency inspections, standards inspections, and formal usability inspections.

Experiences extend professionally in to usability testing and deeply rooted in the human-computer interaction (HCI) arena. Usability testing is always a necessary and required component to designing high-quality digital design products. Whatever your specific IA or user experience design needs might be. I am extremely confident that I can always find professional design solutions for every design problem.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What is concept generation?

After research has been completed, Information Architects and their team members all come together to participate in brainstorming activities, numerous discussions, deciding on the best way to move forward with their intended design products.

At this point in the process, an Information Architect produces numerous flow charts and various schematics to show the structure of a Website, developing draft concepts of wire frame mockups (though formally developed in Step 4). A way to brainstorm and think on paper by drawing out conceptual ideas, completing other pieces of relevant design research.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Integration of Navigational Systems Promote Usability

Many Navigational Systems may be integrated and used in conjunction with a Web browser. Websites require Navigational Systems because the end user will have great difficulty in navigating in or out of a Website (6:13).

According to Jennifer Fleming in Web Navigation, the ten principles of good navigation are to:

Be easily learned,
Remain consistent,
Provide feedback,
Appear in context,
Offer alternatives,
Require an economy of action and time,
Provide clear visual messages,
Use clear and understandable labels,
Be appropriate to the site’s purpose, and
Support end users goals and behaviors (6:13).

The design and use of effective Navigational Systems in Websites that helps to structure the textual elements or graphical contents of Websites. The Web designer must integrate all of the elements of Navigational Systems that they work efficiently and are ascetically pleasing.

The ability to effectively wayfind and the perceptual, psychological, cognitive, or mental ability of sense-making in cyberspace are dependent upon Navigational Systems that assist the end user in finding information online.

Wayfinding and sense-making mean that the end user can move from point A to point B in cyberspace or a Website or subsite, without puzzlement or getting lost. Understanding Navigational Systems and Information Architecture—in terms of navigation and wayfinding, mean that end users can use Websites. (2; 4:35-58; 8:15-34; 9:11-14).

Monday, May 3, 2010

Web Browsers—Built-In Navigational Features

Even though many Web browsers have built-in navigational features, they lack significant Navigational Systems. When used for navigating, the end user needs Navigational Systems that work effectively in a Website. Otherwise quick retrieval of information is impossible. According to the authors of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, they assert:

When designing a navigation system [or navigational systems], it is important to consider the environment the system will exist in. On the Web, people use web browsers such as Netscape [Navigator] and Microsoft Internet Explorer to move around and view Websites.

These browsers sport many built-in navigational features (10:48). The design, form, and function of a Website must be cohesively integrated with many different types of Navigational Systems that help to establish a clear hierarchy in the Website, as well as a coherent path in which the information is disseminated. It also enhances navigation and makes navigating easier for the end user (10:48-50).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Corporations Realize Need for Usability Testing

Many corporations realize that they have a need to make usability assessments for Websites, Intranets, interaction designs, and do research prior to implementation of any digital design products.

That means performing a needs assessment (commonly referred to as a competitive analysis). Doing Information Architecture research and implementing user-centered design principles into every design product provide meaningful online experiences for end users who use distance educational programs online or Websites to make purchases online.

Because end users should be able to use design products with ease, following an Information Architecture model is a way of ensuring that user-centered design is incorporated into design plans—in design products prior to implementation.

Another good reason to follow a model is that it helps to know where one is at in his project. Documentation enables team members to effectively communicate about projects, keeping track of milestones and deliverables.