Information Architecture

Book Notes: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Cognitive friction: the resistance encountered by a human intellect when it engages with a complex system of rules that change as the problem changes. “#1 goal of all computer users is to not feel stupid.” Larry Keeley’s three qualities for high tech products: Capability: what can be done? Supplied by technologists. Viability: what can we sell? Supplied by business people. Desirability: what do people want? Supplied by designers. Need and desire are not the same. Desire leads to loyalty. Designing for a minority of users leads to success rather than attempting to accommodate all users. Specificity is key. Find a…

Mastering Difficult Situations

Aside from the ever present issue that decks aren’t nearly as good without the accompanying audio, this is still great advice. And since the audio is missing, I like to add audio in my head as I read the slides. For this one, I chose Marlon Brando’s slow and deliberate pacing that feels nonchalant yet wise and worth your attention. Your mileage may vary on that choice.

Gerry McGovern & Audience Based Navigation

Gerry McGovern nails it again. In his latest post, he laments audience based navigation. Not always, mind you, but often. One of McGovern’s main examples is from the educational world where audience based navigation is rampant and, in my humble opinion, replete with the problems he cites. The main thing to ensure is mutual exclusivity among audience segments. Otherwise, people don’t know where to go if they find that they fall into multiple categories. I’ve covered this topic in the past and I’m glad McGovern has given it airtime. It’s long overdue for higher ed to, at minimum, treat audience based navigation…

Thoughts on Higher Ed in the Mobile Space

Mobile is on everyone’s mind these days. Many schools have already launched some kind of iteration to meet and compete in the mobile space. But I’m finding the early versions lacking. That’s not meant as a criticism though. All early attempts will be rough around the edges as novelty wears off and best practices begin to form. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts on where things stand. Don’t conflate audience segments with use cases I see this all the time in higher ed. A mobile site offers links to content aimed at prospects and also throws in…

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