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Welcome! TUG Notes: IA News & Insights

We have so much to share:

TUG Talk Takeaways
TUG News & Thoughts: – How to Use Analytics to Track Down User Experience Problems – Creating a Purpose Driven Taxonomy – Getting Started with Lean User Testing – Please Don’t Let Your Website Decay!
Articles We’re Reading: – Designing with Code – What Part of a Web Page Gets the Highest Viewership?
From the TUG Bookshelf – Trillions and All Consuming Images

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Daniel Eizans talk at Content Strategy Forum – Patching Our Crumbling Foundations Through Information Architecture

Andrew Hinton talk at BlendConf – The World is the Screen: Understanding Information Environments

Dan Klyn workshop at UXWeek – IA for UXers

Jessica DuVerneay talk at OC UX Meetup – Taming Taxonomy

Dan Klyn talk at UXstrat Determining What Good Means

Bob Royce reflects on a major theme from UXstrat: UX and Business


How to Use Analytics to Track Down User Experience Problems

ga_300x173When do you call the plumber? Daniel O’Neil offers advice on how to diagnose your UX problems by asking two simple questions about your Google Analytics data.
Read full blog post
We’re also loving Daniel’s other analytics posts:
Five Simple Steps for Learning Web Analytics
Make Site Optimization a Practice, not a Fire Drill
Using Google Analytics for Organizational Strategy

Creating Purpose-Driven Taxonomy

Screen_Shot_2013_10_10_at_9.36.22_AMJessica DuVerneay examines her frustrations with creating TUG’s internal taxonomy and turns to TUGger Dan Cooney for advice. Her breakthrough: recognizing that a top-down approach is not always the right tactic, and that purpose-driven, bottom-up activities have a place at the taxonomy table.

Read full blog post

Getting Started with Lean User Testing

See Your Resources: Articles, Workshops, & Custom Training

Many organizations would like to test their existing or pre launch products with actual users, but do not know how to get started, or are concerned with allocating resources to an endeavour that will not produce immediate results.

We at TUG enjoy explaining the tools and systems we use to demystify the value of the process we use and empower companies to jump in themselves – user testing included. The past few months we’ve been loaded with writing and workshops around making the complex aspects of user testing clear.

We are pleased to share TUG’s “Guide” to Getting Started with Lean User Testing

Please Don’t Let Your Website Decay!

4c89ba8e07fd6ae70e0fe74cdcb24e30Joe Elmendorf makes a case for the importance of website governance by looking to Detroit’s Michigan Central Station as an example of what can happen without governance. The building, once a icon of of the city, now sits abandoned, looted, and abused due to improper maintenance and management. It’s a lot harder to restore something in extreme disrepair than to create a governance plan ahead of time to ensure the disrepair never occurs. Don’t let your website decay; create a governance plan for how to properly maintain your website.

Read full blog post


Designing with Code

By: Andy Fitzgerald
Found on:
Andy suggests that code is another tool that designers have at their disposal to articulate a visual story, not unlike Photoshop. When they consider code early in the design process, designers are able to build another dimension into the content: the way design elements relate to each other.

Quotable Quotes:

“Since HTML is, at its core, a layer of description wrapped around content, working at this level helps designers think more critically about their content and about the architectural implications of that content. … When we address the architectural underpinnings of our content’s choreography early on, we ensure that we haven’t driven off course, and left our intent on the side of the road.”

Read his full blog post

What Part of a Web Page Gets the Highest Viewership?

By: Lucia Moses Found on:
data_ad_placement_01_20135959c0Or as TUGers say – fold schmold! Good architecture and good content strategy are the recipe for success. Chartbeat analyzed 25 million web user sessions: the findings show that good page content causes users to stay on-page longer, leading to higher brand recognition.

Bonus: great visualization of the correlation between and pixels from top of page and user engagement.

See the full article


TUG co-founder Dan Klyn selected these two books to kick-off the information architecture course he teaches at the University of Michigan School of Information.

Here’s why he picked them:
“In class this term, our central question has to do with the relationship between meaning and structure, and how architecture and design are involved in that relationship.

12248_Peter_Lucas_Joe_Ballay_Mickey_McManusTrillions_Thriving_in_the_Emerging_Information_EcologyI chose to start with Trillions for two reasons: firstly because of the compelling picture it paints of the coming opportunity for architects and designers to be working at an unprecedented “trillions-scale” of complexity. And secondly, because of the positions it takes on the differences and distinctions between architecture and design. The book makes some fascinating claims and I disagree with many of the points the authors make along the way: this makes it a marvelous text for group discussion.

all_consuming_images_stuart_ewen_paperback_cover_artTrillions is a page-turner. All Consuming Images is more of a doorstop. My students were not immediately enthusiastic about the length and density of this text, but the discussion it provoked left me confident that most of them had read it all, cover-to-cover. It provides a socio-critical view into the ways that meaning has been constructed and manipulated in the marketplace of products and ideas across the previous two centuries in Western culture. Ewen traces changes in the relationship between material objects and their meaning across technological and social movements, with an especially-brilliant analysis of the advent of photography and the ways that the mechanical reproduction of photographic images made it possible to detach the meaning of what a thing looks like from the deeper structural reality of what a thing is.

Forty graduate students being required to read these books in tandem has led to many new and valuable insights. It also has caused the page for each book to link to the other. “People who bought Trillions also bought All Consuming Images” because it was an assignment for class.”

– Dan Klyn

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