Workflow diagrams are essential to project management. Each team member needs to know what steps are involved in the creation of this web site project, what steps are their responsibility, and who they receive and submit information to in order that each member can complete their tasks. This gives members an understanding of who they need to collaborate with more closely and who they are to report to if questions arise during the project.
A taxonomy provides your team with a visual blueprint of the number and labeling of each page within your website. This diagram shows the graphic/web-designers how many pages they need to create and the parent/child relationships between each page to create organization among the content.
Wireframes are visual representations of the organization, labeling, search, and navigation features of the intended website.
They are meant as a starting point for the graphic designer as a framework not as the set-in-stone design. Wireframes are a good tool to use to provide a client with a mock-up of website. They show the organization of the information, how users will navigate the site, the labeling of site content, and the depth or breadth of the site’s homepage.
The information architect should create the wireframe (instead of a graphic designer) because they are in charge of controlling the content of the site and how the site will work. The graphic designer should come in after this is done so that a separate eye is working on the project and able to strengthen the site’s usability with color and design. The website creation process will work more efficiently if the wireframe and design is spilt up into 2 different parts with at least 2 different sets of eyes. The information architect is able to structure the priority of the content in order to make the graphic designer’s job easier and more straight forward. This will also promote and create stronger collaboration among team members throughout the each process.
Value of Good Quality Metadata June 20, 2009
Metadata is the agents, elements, and attributes that allow your media to be descriptive and searchable.
If you only provide a few categories “agents” of information your users search will be limited or too broad. The user may not be able to find what they need if the information they are looking for is not an agent your metadata collected/provided to use for searching.
Having good quality metdata is what makes a website, database, or search engine great and user friendly. If your metadata is not comprehensive, then your users will not be able to find what they are looking for and will not return to your site.
Being able to enter multiple agents, elements, and attributes will help narrow down a user search to a manageable and useful amount of results and allow them to continue searching using the various metadata provided.
Digital Repositories June 13, 2009
5 characteristics of Digital Repositories include:
- Manages & preserves large amounts of digital media (pictures, videos, music, etc…).
- Makes resources readily available online to multiple users with minimal boundaries (must be a library patron within that district, patron may not have access to internet outside of the library hours).
- Advanced search capabilities with controlled vocabularies using metadata.
- Customizable for individualized needs.
- Large storage capacity needs (terabytes).
5 Characteristics of opensource CMS include:
- Free website development software
- Stays current with frequent updates
- Requires minimal web development background knowledge to create and maintain simple sites.
- Customizable – many add-ons available and able to adapt to your own needs if you know php, sql, xml language.
- Consistency and control provided within the administration framework.
Chapter 10 June 6, 2009
In reading Chapter 10 of “Information Architecture”, I found the guiding questions for the pre-planning stages of web site development helpful for working with each team member within their respective areas of contribution. These questions help focus in on the purpose of the project and help keep the team on task.
I found the concepts of heuristic evaluation as well as competitive and before-and-after benchmarking crucially important at this stage in the process. If the team waited until the end of this process, too much would be at stake for anyone to want to make the changes necessary to make this endeavor successfull.