Archive for the ‘ Blog 2 ’ Category

Blog 2 – Part 3 (Website Labeling)

Google

The website I chose was the one and only Google.

table

What labels you did not like and why, and suggest improvements.

I love how Google has implemented their labels, they are clear and precise with no additional jargon to distract the eyes. The top labels will most likely be used that is why they are more heavily contrasted. Additionally the More label smartly condenses labels that may not be used as frequently in a drop down menu. The labels on the bottom of the website also serves a purpose as they are equally as important as the top. However user’s who browse Google are generally not interested in these labels, so they are less obvious to the user similar to T&C’s you see at the bottom of a shopping catalog. I would not change any labels, it is excellent as is.

Whether there were any inconsistencies in the labeling system between the pages (in terms of style, presentation, syntax, granularity, comprehensiveness and audience).

As expected Google is consistent in all pages where it is applicable. (95% of the time)

Examine at least two other similar or competing web sites.  How similar are the labeling systems?  Is any one site clearly the winner (and if so, why)?

yahoo

bing

The two similar websites I chose were, Bing and Yahoo. Funnily enough these two websites have VERY similar labeling systems/designs as Google, especially Yahoo. Last time I checked Yahoo’s search engine website was clogged up with useless information. I am one to admit however it has been a long time since I have visited Yahoo, and I have never visited Bing before. Even though they are very similar, I still prefer Google’s minimalist design coupled with their websites features (Maps, Youtube, Gmail). Also the fact that Google first introduced the “sleek” search engine design first and with the addition of their reputation and reliability, Google is the winner no contest.

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Blog 2 – Part 2 (Arranging in alphabetical order)

abc

A, B, C, it’s easy as 1, 2, 3!

Original list:

  • El Paso, Texas
  • Saint Nicholas, Belgium
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • XVIIme siècle
  • .38 Special
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • New York, New York
  • 1001 Arabian Nights
  • The 1-2-3 of Magic
  • Albany, New York
  • #!%&: Creating Comic Books
  • The Hague, Netherlands
  • $35 a Day Through Europe
  • H20: The Beauty of Water
  • Plzen, Czech Republic

My rearranged list:

  • #!%&: Creating Comic Books
  • $35 a Day Through Europe
  • .38 Special
  • The 1-2-3 of Magic
  • 1001 Arabian Nights
  • Albany, New York
  • El Paso, Texas
  • H20: The Beauty of Water
  • The Hague, Netherlands
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • New York, New York
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Plzen, Czech Republic
  • Saint Nicholas, Belgium
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • XVIIme siècle

Did you put The Hague under T or H?

H, more than likely most databases will omit “The” or “A”, nouns or plurals.

Did you put El Paso under E or P?

E, even though El stands for “The” in English it would be best placed in E because most of the list in written in English.
Which came first in your list, Newark or New York?

New York, “Space” takes precedence over A-Z.
Does St. Louis come before or after Saint Nicholas?

After, even though St. stands for Saint I put it after to keep it following the alphabetical order. It is debatable however to which is correct.
How did you handle numbers, punctuation, and special characters?

I used the ASCII table.
Assuming the italicised terms are book titles, what might be a more useful way to organise this list?

To have book titles and cities separated into two lists.
If the cities represent places you’ve visited and the book titles are ones you’ve read, how could chronology be used to order the list in a more meaningful way?

Again two lists, have the cities and book titles you have most recently visited/read in chronological order.

Blog 2 – Part 1 (IA)

IA

A Information Architect cannot be described in one or a few sentences. It is rather a art that is mastered over time, each individual website has different goals and objectives. Depending on the scope of the website the role of a IA can vary. These four short definitions found in Morville & Rosenfeld’s IA book portray a IA well:

1. The structural design of shared information environments.
2. The combination of organization, labeling, search, and navigation systems within web sites and intranets.
3. The art and science of shaping information products and experiences to support usability and findability.
4. An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

In layman’s terms a IA designs the infrastructure of information on a website. This creates a more user friendly environment where users can navigate, search, label and organise their information. Similarly so, maintenance of the website will also be cleaner and more cost effective to sustain. An elevator pitch found in Morville & Rosenfeld’s IA book describes this even clearer.

“I’m an information architect. I organize huge amounts of information on big web sites and intranets so that people can actually find what they’re looking for. Think of me as an Internet librarian.”

ebayThink of a massive website that needs a great foundation of IA to be effective. Ebay for example, can you image the vast amount of data stored on this website? Without great IA a e-commerce website such as Ebay could not function efficiently, it would more than likely fail in a couple of months without solid IA. So why does IA matter? Simply because IA brings costs benefits and significant value to your website/intranet. These may or could include:

  • The cost of not finding information
  • The value of education
  • The cost of construction
  • The cost of maintenance
  • The cost of training
  • The value of brand

In my opinion having a good IA for a large organisations is a must, but if you are a small business it is not necessary as you would not hold enough information to reap the full benefits of a IA.

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