Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Week 1 Questions


1. What is information? Describe the qualities of information.
What is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things.
Qualities of good information include...
  • It must be relevant
  • It must also be clear
  • There must be sufficient accuracy
  • The information must be complete
  • The information must also be trustworthy
  • It must be concise
  • Information must be provided in a timely manner
  • It must be communicated to the right person
  • It must also be communicated via the right channel
  • Information must be less costly than the value it provides

2. What is the Dewey Decimal System? Describe how it operates.
A tool to organize and provide access to the growing number of books. The Decimal Classification introduced the concepts of relative location and relative index which allow new books to be added to a library in their appropriate location based on subject.

3. Explain what Library Science is.
Library science is an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary field that applies the practices, perspectives, and tools of management, information technology, education, and other areas to libraries; the collection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information resources; and the political economy of information.

4. What is information architecture?
1. The structural design of shared information environments.
2. The combination of organization, labeling, search, and navigation systems within web sites and intranets.
3. The art and science of shaping information products and experiences to support usability and findability.
4. An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

5. List and describe at least three reasons for why information architecture is important (i.e., 
the return on investment for hiring an information architect).
• Cost of not finding (bad decisions, alternate channels)
• Cost of finding (time, clicks, frustration, precision)
• Cost of construction (time, budget, staff, frustration, technology, planning, bugs)

6. List and describe the four key information architecture concepts that help information architects articulate user needs and behaviours.
  • Complex systems
  • Invisible work
  • Knowledge networks
  • Information seeking behaviour
7. List and describe the three main information architecture systems that support a web site.
  • Searching systems
  • Navigation systems
  • Semantic networks
8. List and describe the four main information architecture deliverables.
  • Blueprints
  • Wireframes
  • Controlled vocabularies
  • Metadata Schema
9. The following is a list of career titles related to this course. Research five titles from the 
list. Write a brief description for the title, what the key duties are, which potential 
companies will hire people with those skillsets, and what sort of remuneration is 
provided.

Information Architect - The art and science of organizing and labelling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability.

Usability Designer - A usability analyst often acts as both analyst and designer. For a product that has been released, the analyst evaluates user interactions, conducts usability studies and presents findings and recommendations in a plan that drives future design improvements.

Enterprise Content Management Analyst - Performs operational maintenance and troubleshooting of the SharePoint/Documentum and associated ECM products, as well as full system and data architecture and governance.

SEO Manager - Responsible for coordinating and implementing SEO & SMO strategies for clients.

Web Developer/Designer - Responsible for creating a site or pages, this includes the design, layout and coding, this can mean working on a brand new website or updating an already existing site.

10. Check out the Information Architecture Institute. Comment on what sort of value you see
such an institute being to the community. Place a link on your blog to the institute.

http://iainstitute.org/ It promotes and educates the comunity and creates standards for people to follow.

11. Describe what is meant by the term “information ecology”.

Information ecology marks a connection between ecological ideas with the dynamics and properties of the increasingly dense, complex and important digital informational environment.

12. What is content management and how does it relate to information architecture?

Set of processes and technologies that support the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. Information architecture uses CMS as a tool for organising information.

13. What is metadata and how is it used in information architecture?

Metadata is a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. Used for search, labelling info.

14. Explain why the “Too-Simple” information model is unrealistic for modelling users’ information seeking behaviours.

- Ignores prior knowledge
- Uses simple algorithmic approach which doesn't always work with a problem which isnt straight forward like information
- Doesnt look at how users interact.

15. Describe how a web site user typically finds information.

Web users usually search, the current most popular search engine is google.

16. What is known-item seeking? Give two examples.

In a known-item task, the user:
- Knows what they want
- Knows what words to use to describe it
- May have a fairly good understanding of where to start
- Looking for someone on facebook
- Buying food online

17. What is exploratory seeking? Give two examples.

In an exploratory task, people have some idea of what they need to know. However, they may or may not know how to articulate it and, if they can, may not yet know the right words to use.
- Online shopping
- Long tail searches

18. What is exhaustive research? Give two examples.

We discover not only what we were looking for, but a whole lot more that gives us an even better understanding of our original search query.- Researching for an assignment
- Looking for a car

19. What is re-finding? Give two examples.

People looking for things they have already seen. They may remember exactly where it is, remember what site it was on, or have little idea about where it was.- Looking for an articl you have already seen
- ITunes -find a song.

20. What is the Berry Picking Model? Give an example of how you might search for a topic 
using the Berry Picking Model.

Asssumes that as users search a document collection (possibly a number of different searches with different queries), they collect and save useful tidbits (both useful references and actual information).
You could do this by searching google and taking info from a variety of articles.

21. What is the Pearl Growing Model? Give an example of how you might search for a topic 
using the Pearl Growing Model.

You can use the pearl-growing method when terms for a search are limited or when your search yields very few results.
The pearl-growing method starts with one good article.
You then retrieve this article in a database and examine the record for assigned subject headings, key authors, recurring words that can be used in subsequent searches.

22. Explain what search analytics is and how it helps your learn more about information 
needs and information seeking behaviours.

Diagnosing problem by using search queries. Helps with understanding information needs.

23. Explain what contextual enquiry is and how it helps your learn more about information
needs and information seeking behaviours.


It is when you watch people interact with information and ask them what they are doing to better understand how they use the information. Understand how someone uses information can help improve your design.

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