Information Architecture


#1

Hi all. relatively new to UX, especially in terms of establishing Information Architecture. Im talking more generally, rather than for a specific task or project, but does anyone have any helpful tools for assisting with IA? Much appreciated, thankyou.


#2

Hello and welcome!

I use the Optimal Workshop suite of tools when developing an IA.

I started using these tools about two and a half years ago and I like them that much I’ve been writing articles for them for around a year and a half now.

I might start with an OptimalSort study first (online card sort), build my IA and test that thinking with Treejack (reverse card sort tool). If I’m redesigning an existing IA, I might run a benchmarking test on it with Treejack first. I’m also a huge fan of sticking things on walls so a fair bit of post it action will usually go on in the background when I’m building an IA and face to face user researchy stuff too.


#3

Hey @Cloudbursting67 – welcome. :slight_smile:

We have a pretty comprehensive list of tools here which should come in handy.


#4

Hi Cloudbursting67!
For tree testing and card sorting I agree with ASHM, the Optimal Workshop suite seems to be the best.

Hi Hawk,
I was having a look at the list of tools for Evaluating Information Architecture and I was wondering about some of the tools mentioned there.
Maybe somebody in the community can help :slight_smile:

BagelHint: is this service active? has anybody used it recently?
Boardthing: same doubt…
ConceptCodify: it doesn’t exist anymore
Naview: the website has not been updated in a long time, I suppose this tool is not available anymore…
Plainframe: it doesn’t exist anymore
SimpleCardSort: is this service active? has anybody used it recently?
Websort: it doesn’t exist anymore

Thanks!


#5

Ugh, looks like we need to update that page! I’ll get onto that. Thanks for the heads up.

Let’s check in with @Lukcha and @mattymcg and see what their tool recommendations are.


#6

Thanks @leendii—We’re in the middle of an internal project looking at the landscape of UX tools at the moment, so I’ll make sure those links get checked and updated/removed on the UX Mastery site as appropriate.

@Cloudbursting67 Here’s a braindump of the tools I find handy for IA work:

Some online tools:
[LIST]
[]+1 for OptimalSort and Treejack. They’re great. =)
[
]I also use www.c-inspector.com
[]I’ll often jump into the website metrics/analytics to sniff around in the internal site search results for ideas and clues about missing or hard to find content
[
]and also the Google AdWords Suggestion Tool when looking for language variations or related concepts
[/LIST]
I do a lot of stuff offline:
[LIST]
[]pencil/Sharpie
[
]paper
[]lots of index cards
[
]lots of sticky notes
[/LIST]
There are some spreadsheets and templates that are handy:
[LIST]
[]a spreadsheet I’ve modified for use over the years based heavily on Donna Spencer’s excellent cardsorting analysis spreadsheet
[
]If also doing content audit stuff then I use a Content Value Analysis spreadsheet I originally found on the IA Instutute’s site. It’s good for those detailed debates with some people who need an overview with solid data backing up decisions.
[/LIST]
In terms of thinking tools:
[LIST]
[]Ryan Singer (from 37signals) developed a nifyy UI Flow shorthand that I use and recommend for planning interactive stuff like user journeys through on-screen choices, navigation and menus, etc
[
]or I might use the swimlane diagram approach
[/LIST]


#7

The offline stuff is pretty awesome :slight_smile:


#8

Love love love doing DoGo exercises.


#9

Nice one, @SykoraA4—I’ve not seen DoGo mapping before, but will now use it in conjunction with [URL=“https://signalvnoise.com/posts/1926-a-shorthand-for-designing-ui-flows”]UI Flow sketching!


#11

I use DoGo mapping for my projects