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The Morville/Rosenfield Approach4:56 with Dan Gorgone
In this video, we will review the IA principles introduced by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld in their influential book on Information Architecture. These ideas have guided many in web design and development for two decades.
- Information ecology - the intersection of content, users, and context depicting what you create, who you’re creating it for, and why you’re creating it
- Organization schemes and structures - Dividing content into distinct groups to establish order and organization amongst a collection of content
- Labeling systems - Attaching a name to a group or category to provide context and understanding
- Navigation systems - Menus and other links used to provide the means to explore a website or app
- Search systems - Systems that allow users to enter various kinds of criteria to discover relevant content
Information Architecture: For the Web and Beyond, by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville, and Jorge Arango
[MUSIC] 0:00 In this video, we're going to review the IA Principles introduced by Peter Morville 0:04 and Louis Rosenfeld in their influential book, Information Architecture. 0:09 These ideas have guided many people in web design and development for two decades. 0:14 But before we get into the main principles of IA, 0:20 I want to quickly mention a concept known as information ecology. 0:23 Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with each other and 0:28 the world around them. 0:32 Well, Morville and Rosenfeld wanted to show that there's an important kind of 0:34 interaction between your content, your users, and yourself. 0:38 Content are the things you create, webpages, blog post, videos, and more. 0:43 Users are the people you're creating things for, and 0:49 context are the reasons you're creating everything, like your business goals. 0:52 So if you look at this like a Venn diagram, 0:58 that sweet spot in the middle represents what you should be prioritizing. 1:02 This is the information you're creating content about, that your users care about, 1:07 and that helps you accomplish your own goals. 1:12 The big IA lesson here is to understand your users and 1:15 your business so you have a clear idea of what needs to be prioritized. 1:19 Whether you're planning out a website design or even thinking about creating 1:24 a piece of content, consider, is this content important to my users? 1:28 And will it help me accomplish my goals? 1:33 At the very least this will help you figure out what goes first on a list of 1:36 products or which links should be most prominent on your main menu? 1:40 So information ecology is a helpful concept here. 1:45 But our main focus is on information architecture and 1:50 there are four major components defined by Morville and Rosenfeld in their book. 1:53 I'm talking about organization schemes and structures, 1:58 labeling systems, navigation systems, and search systems. 2:02 Organization schemes and structures is a fundamental part of IA. 2:09 Human beings, by their nature, love to organize things. 2:13 We need to. 2:17 When there's chaos, people lose focus, groups break apart, and society crumbles. 2:18 When there's order, people know where things go, where to find them, 2:24 and usually why. 2:28 The same ideas work on websites and in apps. 2:29 If you can create an architecture that logically organizes, groups and 2:33 sorts everything you create, new users will adopt your app or 2:37 website and be productive and happy from day one. 2:41 The next principle of IA here is labeling systems. 2:46 Grouping and organizing things is one way that human beings make sense of the world, 2:50 but attaching a name or 2:54 definition to a group of content helps the organization make even more sense. 2:56 It gets to the context of things, of why you've grouped things together and 3:01 why they're important to your users. 3:06 There's a big difference, for example, 3:09 between calling this pile of books books and calling it web development. 3:10 When you add clear labels to groups of content and to the links in your menus, 3:17 it has a direct impact on usability, user experience and user satisfaction. 3:22 So it's no wonder that labeling information is a major principle of IA. 3:26 In addition, you've also got navigation systems. 3:32 Navigation refers to the systems you create and build into your sites and 3:36 apps to help users get from one place to another, and in the case of IA, how they 3:40 get to one starting piece of information to the information they're looking for. 3:46 Whether you arrive on a home page or deep inside the archive of a Wiki, 3:51 users should be confident about using the menus, links, and 3:56 other interface elements, to get to where they need to go. 3:59 So, those concepts of user interface and UX are very relevant here. 4:02 Ultimately, understanding the relationships between information 4:07 will help you create the strongest, most logical connections for people to follow. 4:11 And finally there's search systems. 4:16 Beyond navigation and linking, search systems refer to the ways people will look 4:20 for content and the tools you provide to help them. 4:24 These might be the search engines or filtering systems that allow people to 4:28 enter exact terms or filter out attributes on a dynamic search page. 4:32 Places like eBay wouldn't survive if they didn't determine the best ways for 4:38 its users to sift through the millions of products they provide. 4:42 In the videos ahead, we'll cover a lot more about organization schemes and 4:47 structures, labeling systems, navigation systems, and search systems. 4:50
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