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.
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.
Hey @Cloudbursting67 – welcome.
We have a pretty comprehensive list of tools here which should come in handy.
For tree testing and card sorting I agree with ASHM, the Optimal Workshop suite seems to be the best.
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
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
Ugh, looks like we need to update that page! I’ll get onto that. Thanks for the heads up.
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:
+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
I do a lot of stuff offline:
lots of index cards
lots of sticky notes
There are some spreadsheets and templates that are handy:
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.
In terms of thinking tools:
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—
The offline stuff is pretty awesome
Love love love doing DoGo exercises.
I use DoGo mapping for my projects