Characteristics of information architecture

I want to talk a little bit about the information architecture of our website, because that is what I have been spending the greater part of the last week coding. If I’m able to get through this post without once mentioning the number or difficulties I had with the coding experience, I’ll be more happy with myself. However, for future reference, a list of open (to almost closed) questions I have are here:

1. What are the best practices for designing a website which is mainly focused on content-delivery?
a. bear in mind that the content is interactive
b. content are full of color, but not of a single pallette or group of colors
2. What is the shortest possible distance between the navigation of content and the display of meta-project stuff (people page, project about page) that doesn’t detract from the simplicity of the content navigation
a. question whether I’m to use a dropdown list OR a zone that moves the rest of the page down to reveal meta-project stuff OR link to separate pages.
3. will ANY persistent panels (header, footer, or side navigation) detract from the focus on content
a. especially as the site progresses to incorporate more visualizations under each category WITH the possibility of these visualizations having more user control as our development expertise improves.
4. misc color choices.
5.. “Related pages” = y/n

These questions should all be informed by the relative simplicity of themes. There are three themes: looking, speaking, listening. Reflecting on this choice, although it was less of a choice and more of a recognition of time constraints, it seems like the concept creation period needed more time allocated to it and that maybe we should have delved into it earlier in the month. Speaking to the possibility of integrating additional visualizations, people decided that a “coming soon” dialogue would be put somewhere. But this kind of restricts the complexity of visualizations. Skills improve and interests change. This is crucial to the ‘fieldschool’ model of the course. And something I think everyone who works in the area of area of mapping regrets is not having the data at hand for scaling up the complexity. What would a visualization look like, for instance, if it counted user input? What if it relayed social media chatter? What if it spawned mobile-friendly tools?

Leave a Reply