Using Information: New Technologies, Ways & Means

A blog for people interested in contributing to the HICSS-40 minitrack on Using Information: New Technologies...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Information Architecture--another great topic

Information architecture, now there's an inspiring phrase!

Basically, it just means how you organize information in the large for use by people. That's clear enough, but there are some subtle points here. How do you set up your file folders at home? That's a simple information architecture. How do you organize a company website? That's information architecture too.

But there seem to be new kinds of architectural technologies emerging in the new web. This seems especially true as search engines become the new index for many sites. Why bother to labriously navigate through a site hierarchy when you can just look it up? Consider that a huge fraction of all web searches are navigational. At Google, something more than 60% of all queries are very short and obviously intended to get the user from the search page to their true destination. (That's how we define navigational.)

The continued AJAXification of web UIs is also making new kinds of info architectures possible as well. Think of all the maps-based interfaces you're starting to see; think of the coordinated information displays that mashup data.

Keith Instone writes about information architecture in his blog. Check out his discussion of breadcrumbs and the role they play in navigation. The tradeoff is interesting...and well worth a paper to HICSS...when would you follow breadcrumbs when you can search? What's the tradeoff we think is correct? And what do people actually do in practice?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

3:09 PM  

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