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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TUG TALK TAKEAWAYS
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
TUG NEWS & THOUGHTS
How to Use Analytics to Track Down User Experience Problems
When 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
Jessica 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.
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.
Please Don’t Let Your Website Decay!
Joe 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.
ARTICLES WE’RE READING
Designing with Code
By: Andy Fitzgerald
Found on: UXBooth.com
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.
“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.”
What Part of a Web Page Gets the Highest Viewership?
By: Lucia Moses Found on: Adweek.com
Or 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
FROM THE TUG BOOKSHELF
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.
- Trillions, by Peter Lucas, Joe Ballaly, and Mickey McManus (2012)
- All Consuming Images, by Stewart Ewen (1990)
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.
I 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.
Trillions 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 Amazon.com 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