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Search results for 'morville'
29 July 2007

Information architecture island on Second Life

Peter Morville talk on Second Life
The Information Architecture Institute (IAI), a professional membership organisation, has created an Info Architecture island on Second Life.

Several apparently well-attended events have already taken place:

Andrew Hinton‘s “Architectures for Conversation: What Communities of Practice Can Mean for Information Architecture” was the inaugural event on IAI’s new Second Life island. You can download snapshots, transcript and slidedeck.

Next in line was Peter Morville (blog). In his talk “Information Architecture 3.0“, Peter drew upon stories, examples, case studies, and discussions to explore the future present of information architecture. Also here you can download snapshots, transcript and slidedeck.

Session three is on 2 August with the talk “Search Engine Optimization and Information Architecture – The Makings of a Beautiful Friendship” by Marianne Sweeny. Marianne will talk about what is going on behind the scenes of today’s search technology, what is in the pipeline for tomorrow’s search technology and how information architects can work with this technology to create optimal online wayfinding systems.

25 June 2007

Audio interview with Johannes Vandermeulen of Namahn

Johannes Vandermeulen
Joannes Vandermeulen is founder and head of business development of the Namahn agency in Brussels, Belgium.

In this interview with IA Voice, Joannes talks about his ideas, the workflows in his agency and the user centered design process.

The IA Voice site, which is managed by Wolf H. Nöding, german language representative of the IAI, contains a wide range of interviews, including with Peter Morville, Jesse James Garrett, Peter Boersma, and Louis Rosenfeld. The site also features a four part series on faceted classification.

Listen to interview (mp3, 10.3 mb, 30 min.)

(via DdUX)

4 April 2007

More and less: Designing for high-stakes decisions

More and less
We all want options, but when does having choices prevent us from finding solutions? Dmitri Siegel looks at how people make important decisions and how design can help.

“Freedom of choice is such an unassailable value in America that it is considered a solution in and of itself to social ills, from failing schools to the insolvency of social security. As a society, we view choice as the manifestation of our most exalted ideal: freedom. The value we place on decisiveness was reflected in President Bush’s assertion, “I’m the decider. I make the decisions. The proliferation of choice can have unexpectedly negative consequences. Expanding the number of options often comes at the cost of finding solutions. Nowhere is this trend more evident than online—and the stakes have never been higher. Increasingly, our most significant decisions—such as whether or not to have a medical procedure or how to best to plan for retirement—are being made using web-based applications. As it turns out, many are poorly suited to helping us sort through the ever-growing range of possibilities. So why do these interfaces so often fail us when we need them most? And what unique challenges are there in designing systems that help us make high-stakes decisions?”

Siegel then goes on to describe that there are two types of decision-makers — maximizers and satisficers — and how one of the two types are generally happier. He also illustrates how human beings are not wired to make rational decisions.

So what does that mean for designers?

“The striking thing about most research being done on how design can help enable meaningful decision-making is that it often requires stepping back from specific design problems in order to focus on the question of what to design rather than how to design. Refocusing the mission of design can bring valuable insights into how to make information more useful, and useful information more accessible.”

The article ends with a discussion of recent books by John Maeda and Peter Morville and current research at Philips Design.

Dmitri Siegel is the Art Director for urbanoutfitters.com. He is also creative director of Ante and Anathema magazines. He teaches at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Read full article

8 February 2007

Information architecture, meet the enterprise web [CMS Watch]

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
“Enterprises have been characterized by a constant tug-of-war between forces of centralization and autonomy,” write Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld in their book Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (currently in its third edition), a section of which was reprinted in CMS Watch.

“We haven’t yet encountered an enterprise website that didn’t suffer from problems associated with decentralization. Put another way, it’s the rare site that is too centralized. Now that websites are recognized as a foundational component of doing business in the 21st century, many early sources of resistance to centralization are wearing down. Business units are beginning to understand the benefits of shared resources and coherent user experience, for their sites’ users as much as for their own bottom lines.

So it’s tempting to consider centralization as the ultimate goal of enterprise IA. It does sound like a nice way to deal with the problem: Just design an information architecture that knits together all units’ content silos in a rational, usable way, and then implement across the organization.

The goal of enterprise IA is not to centralize everything you see. In fact, the goal of EIA is no different than any other flavor of IA: identify the few most efficient means of connecting users with the information they need most. That often might involve adopting some centralizing measures, but it could also mean a highly decentralized approach, such as enabling employees to use a social bookmarking tool to tag intranet content. The point, as always, is to apply whatever approach makes the most sense given your organization, its users, content, and context.”

Read full article

21 November 2006

Encouraging participatory democracy

UX Magazine
The current issue of User Experience, the membership magazine of the Usability Professionals’ Association, just published an article by Experientia partners Michele Visciola and Mark Vanderbeeken, entitled “Encouraging Participatory Democracy: A Study of 30 Government Websites”.

Abstract

For the first time in history, a wide distribution of technology allows citizens to get involved in public governance and participate in institutional life on a very regular basis. Yet websites of public authorities are barely taking advantage of the power of the participatory citizen.

Two factors play a key role in this gap. First, the average citizen is not well informed about how basic democratic institutions function, which dramatically reduces the citizen’s capacity to influence the democratic process. Websites can help reduce the complexity of public institutions and get people to understand the way institutions and public administrations function and behave. Second, access to public services online is increasingly separated from institutional information. While online service sites are popular, the role of the institutional sites is not clear. The authors argue that these sites can and should take on the role of a two-way communications tool on topics of policy and politics, support knowledge sharing on areas covered by the authority, and create maximum transparency on what the public administration actually does.

To better understand the opportunities, challenges and evolutions that are affecting public institution websites, the authors studied the main sites of 30 public authorities and identified several innovative approaches. A first analysis shows that a lot remains to be improved. Almost all the sites analysed share three characteristics: (1) policy priorities are not concisely communicated and easy to understand, (2) there is only limited innovation in how regional or municipal institutions present themselves; and (3) there are no tools for active participation.

However, some of the studied sites provide elements of innovation that can be used as models and inspirations. The authors conclude that to improve information access, better communication strategies are needed and to increase participation, better usability is of crucial importance.

The magazine also contains Michele Visciola’s review of the book Ambient Findability by Peter Morville.

The peer-reviewed content of User Experience is not available online but printed copies of the magazine can be bought in the UPA Store.

23 October 2006

Whitepaper: Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture

MacArthur
Peter Morville found an interesting whitepaper by MIT’s Henry Jenkins about media education, entitled “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture” (pdf, 354 kb, 70 pages), on the website of the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Learning Initiative (see also here).

Here is what Morville wrote about it:

Henry presents eleven new skills or literacies

  • Play – the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem solving.
  • Performance – the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery.
  • Simulation – the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes.
  • Appropriation – the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content.
  • Multitasking – the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.
  • Distributed Cognition – the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities.
  • Collective Intelligence – the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal.
  • Judgment – the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources.
  • Transmedia Navigation – the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities.
  • Networking – the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information.
  • Negotiation – the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.

…and three concerns:

  • The Participation Gap – the unequal access to the opportunities, experiences, skills, and knowledge that will prepare youth for full participation in the world of tomorrow.
  • The Transparency Problem – the challenges young people face in learning to see clearly the ways that media shape perceptions of the world.
  • The Ethics Challenge – the breakdown of traditional forms of professional training and socialization that might prepare young people for their increasingly public roles as media makers and community participants.

Henry also argues that “textual literacy remains a central skill in the twenty-first century” and that traditional research skills “assume even greater importance as students venture beyond collections that have been screened by librarians into the more open space of the web.”

In considering goals and challenges regarding the education of our two daughters over the next decade or so, this feels like a pretty good roadmap.