Inflammation is the root cause of many “-itis” diseases. Similarly, we have places where structural design elements become inflamed and painful. In a meeting yesterday I used to the term “landing page-itis” to describe the situation where a website landing page makes sense in one category so landing pages are added in all categories. What [...]
My friends are doing brilliant things these days and I feel compelled to send out some props. I’ll start with Jim Kalbach, whose book Designing Web Navigation: Optimizing the User Experience will be out in August, but who apparently can’t stop writing and has started a blog. We haven’t had a book on this topic [...]
It’s little experiments like this that reassure me there’s still fun to be had on the commercial web.
Zeldman beats up on drop down menus. You go brother. But why insult birdbath installers? That sounds like a nice job, working in gardens all day.
Andrew Dillon, in his report on the fifth annual IA Summit, gives me props but is critical of the idea of navigation…. …I really enjoyed, again, a session on navigation by Victor Lombardi, which probably appealed to my academic sensibilities more than some of the other sessions. I have been a strong critic of the [...]
Rashmi riffs on my presentation of information shape recognition, relating it to implicit and explicit memory. Her analysis is only speculation but seems spot-on based on what I’ve read. Implicit and explicit memory might play similar roles as local and global schemata, respectively, that Andew Dillon describes in his work on information shape.
Peterme points to Kevin Crowston‘s Reproduced and emergent genres of communication on the World-Wide Web which is — and I’m not exaggerating here — design gold. It really is. It relates to work by researchers such as Dillon and Toms on information shape and genre that I summarized in my navigation research paper (.pdf). The [...]
I’ve plowed through the research on information scent, and while they seem to be learning something about how people think about links and navigation, it’s not clear if there’s anything actionable for designers to take away from it. So I continue to think about how to create scent, or really, how to make links meaningful [...]
Peterme nicely illustrates shifting goals in the information seeking process — complete with screen shots — revealing the complexity of navigation design: ‘My original “goal” was to learn about Ann Willoughby. On reading that page about Ann, my goal shifted…. Shifting and evolving goals are not only common — they are the norm.‘ Someone at [...]
Mark Hurst warns of a content-centric view in The Page Paradigm, making the point that ‘Web developers often waste time worrying about “where content should live”‘ which is so true. Designers often become hyper-focused on the content and navigation and forget about the user’s goals and the flow they go through to get there (can [...]
I was psyched to find The effects of menu design on information-seeking performance and user’s attitude on the World Wide Web by Byeong-Min Yu and Seak-Zoon Roh (JASIST, Volume 53, Issue 11, Pages 923-933). It’s only a couple years old and fairly rigorous, but I can’t recommend it. It looks as if in the process [...]
Recognizing Digital Genre, a short 2001 paper by Elaine Toms at the University of Toronto continues (for me, at least) Dillon’s work on the shape of information, although it strangely doesn’t reference Dillon. It does include one super neato experiment. Highlights: ‘Creating Web documents is a cookie-cutter affair as documents of differing types are formatted [...]
OK, you’ve got a taxonomy full of info you want a whole bunch of distributed, internal, business users to manage and a website that displays that taxonomy, but in a very particular way crafted to the needs of customers and controlled by a centralized web group because you don’t want to simply display the raw [...]
In the past I’ve wondered about how taxonomies become navigation and did the taxonomy dance to match the bottom-up to the top-down, and now I wonder if this whole way of thinking about information architecture is flawed. Maybe the bottom-up of organizing information can never match the top-down of the user’s goals because we’re thinking [...]
I had a great session at work recently massaging a general taxonomy to be navigable. Hunched over wireframes and a hierarchical view of the taxonomy with a programmer, business analyst, and manager we were all able to communicate and understand the issues. This is an important area of IA that is getting to be more [...]