OZIA – Day Two, The Morning After


Card Sorting Exercise

Wasn’t that much of a late night from IABeers, but it was good fun. More food, more beers, more good company. Okay the meal was a little loaded with MSG. Why is it I come to Sydney and I end up not sleeping well due to the a MSG overload. Later morning start this morning (thankyou Eric). Will be interesting to see who fronts for the first session. So on with the live blogging:

Get out your pinking shears, it’s time to cut a few patterns – Sharon Varley

Patterns – optional solution to a common design problem. Refer to the generic patterns on Designing Interfaces and the Yahoo Developer Network (based on Yahoo development work). Applied on large project (10,000 pages, 650 wirefames in 60 days). Discovered needed to look at best practice as base line of pattern definition. Version called or word document, needed a Wiki. This stuns me. Installing a wiki is very easy, as easy as installing wordpress, a matter of ten to twenty minutes of work. They then have the problem do we need a Wiki or a web site. From use cases and the requirement document they produced the functional list of patterns. Then examined the online pattern libraries for a common easy to reuse patterns.

Writing a pattern:

  • Name
  • Problem
  • Use When
  • Solution
  • Related Patterns
  • Example
  • Rationale
  • Accessibility

There is an IA Pattern community and a patterns library wiki. They reduce time in design phase, reuse of user tested patterns. Consistency in the user experience. Reduced time to market.

Exploring multidimensional tagging frameworks – Scott Parsons

Scott Parsons shoots from the start with the problems with tags, tag soup, different definitions, synonyms, language and culture bias. Tagging is only usable for popularity. But then again within the tag for minority social groups are finding their own grouping. People are considering limitation of tagging with central control. Flickr has started to use clusters. Use a auto suggest system. Or tagging within content, always need an user overide. Allow the user to say NOT tag, its not this object. Tagging frameworks have potential. Tags have to be easy to use, create and edit. Scott has a lot of good point with this and it spurred a passionate debate. There bit and pieces that are start of user generated recommendations. This really comes down at the degree of separation being extended and number crunching for the the search formula.

Semantic Analysis in IA – Matthew Hodgson

Matthew Hodgson looked at analysis on content via a content audit is a mind-numbingly detailed odyssey. This becomes a personalised category of the codification of the content. Had to get the general text into a categorisation and codify the problem with the use of language. Subject,verb,object (SVO) languages. Sentences start with a noun end in a verb. After the analysis it was possible to build language structure trees. Semantic trees of the patterns of the language in use. Use Visio. demonstration of automated tree structure generation. Needed to build a prototype to codify the content. Used Axure to build prototype (note windows only, tsk!).

Interestingly google and other search tools use semantic analysis so its very important. Basically content it king, but consider the quality. This moves into the area of SEO content analysis, interesting the way that this type content streamlining is very close to SEO content optiumisation. And of course this rolls into content patterning. Layers on layers.

Ethical issues and information architecture – Donna Maurer

Donna Maurer takes a personalised view on designing in an ethical way. This was an good lesson in talk organisation. The microphone battery failed. Bit like Donna meets spinal tap. With designing we need to cause no harm, that is doesn’t cause them stress, physical harm, frustration and the like. Accessibility need to be about allowing for the access to ALL the people all the time, just good work for real people. Not just about the blind, its about people with keyboards only, slow connections.

We need to make good design decisions, good reasoning for the decisions, being objective, deconstructing the design, work out why we do this the way it was done. Exclusion of people through categorisation can be frustrating if you are excluded or not been considered. This tends to alienate the people visiting this type of web site. Donna talked on the deliberate burying of information and hiding it in plain view, typical of government and large corporations.

You need to consider the consequences of our design decisions. You need inform that the end of line decision makers can understand and make the right decision. Just because others are doing it one way does not mean that its the right way. Consider the conditions that the functionality and content is going to used and the user base accessing it.

Working the team to make the right design decisions. Donna admits not right all the time, you have to consider that you may not have the right view point. You should focus on achieving you best for the team project goal. You need to keep this central and focused in your mindset.

You have to really maintain the professional standards all the time and really promote the professional standard on any web design profession. The people you are helping, mentoring are important they still people, don’t treat the people in a negative manner.

Understand your own moral standards, and stick to them. We can use IA for evil, its up to us to personally make that choice.

Now time for Lunch!

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Looks like there is no conversation here yet, why not start one.