Information architecture is an important factor when designing web sites for usability. Users of sites are bombarded with information, and to ensure that they are not overloaded with information the structure of the information must be managed to allow them to find what they are looking for.
The way that web sites are designed and constructed causes us to react. This reaction can be good or bad, depending on the usability of the site. If a web site has a logical structure that helps us to find the information we are looking for then we find it easy to use and are usually satisfied with the result. If a site is not logically laid out and seems to lack intelligible organisation, users become frustrated whilst attempting to navigate through them. They get lost in a mountain of information that is not pertinent to their requirements.
Information architecture is defined by Peter Moreville and Louis Rosenfeld in their book “Information Architecture” – 3rd edition as:
- The structural design of shared information environments.
- The combination of organisation, labelling, search and navigation systems within web sites and intranets.
- The art and science of shaping information products and experiences to support usability and findability.
- An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.
By conducting a Google search “how much information is produced each year” a BBC news article was retrieved, the article states that US researchers estimate that 800mb of data is produced each year for every person on the planet, as we are approaching 7 billion people, that is approximately 5600000000 gigabytes of information each year. The research also found that the amount of data being produced is increasing by approximately 30% each year.
See the article http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3227467.stm
Although we have been structuring and organising information for a long time, in the digital age it is more important than ever. Due to the penetration of internet connectivity and such an abundance of information, the infrastructure for communication is in place. Unfortunately in spite of the available information, it can be difficult to find and integrate.
In this blog, I will be discussing some aspects of the World Wide Web. I will look into search engines like Google, Yahoo and some special search engines. I will discuss blogging, and in particular, how to make a blog search engine friendly. That is, how you can make your blog easily discoverable by web search engines. I will post about the use of search analytic tools, using one to chart the number of unique visitors to popular social networking sites. And, I will look into and post about the use of wikis for the purpose of information sharing and collaboration.
Welcome to my information architecture and content management WordPress blog.