Sunday, 10 August 2014

Week 2 Questions

1. Why is it difficult for people to reward good IA?
Information architecture is not visabile by the final user so it is not appreciated.

2. Explain what is meant by “Top-Down IA”.
As its name implies, this approach helps the information architect understand the big picture and work down toward the details of delivery, page flow, and content structure.
3. What are some common questions a user has upon landing on a page on a web site?
- How do I search?
- How do I navigate?
- What is the site?
- What does it do?

4. Explain what is meant by “Bottom-Up IA”. Why is Bottom-Up IA becoming increasingly important?
This helps the information architect understand the underlying small pieces that make everything work, namely metadata and all the things that involve metadata: what it should do, where it should be stored, how to deploy it, and how the different metadata interact. It is getting more important with the way metadata is being used.
5. What is an organisation system?
 The main ways of categorizing or grouping a site’s content (e.g., by topic, by task,
by audiences, or by chronology). Also known as taxonomies and hierarchies. Tag

clouds (based on user-generated tags) are also a form of organization system.

6. What is a site-wide navigation system? Provide a screenshot of an example.
Primary navigation systems that help users understand where they are and where they can go within a site (e.g., breadcrumbs).


7. What is a local navigation system? Provide a screenshot of an example.
Primary navigation systems that help users understand where they are and where they can go within a portion of a site (i.e., a subsite).

8. What is a sitemap/table of contents? Provide a screenshot of an example.
A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.

9. What are site indices? Provide a screenshot of an example.
Index terms are also used to make browsing easier: the metadata from a collection of documents can serve as the source of browsable lists or menus. This can be highly beneficial to users, as index terms provide an alternative to a site’s primary organization system, such as an information architecture organized by business unit.

10. What are site guides? Provide a screenshot of an example.
Supplementary navigation systems that provide specialized information on a specific topic, as well as links to a related subset of the site’s content.

11. What are site wizards? Provide a screenshot of an example.
Supplementary navigation systems that lead users through a sequential set of steps; may also link to a related subset of the site’s content.

12. What is a contextual navigation system? Provide a screenshot of an example.
 Consistently presented links to related content. Often embedded in text, and generally used to connect highly specialized content within a site.

13. What is a search interface? Provide a screenshot of an example.
 The means of entering and revising a search query, typically with information on how to improve your query, as well as other ways to configure your search (e.g., selecting from specific search zones).

14. What is a query language? List some Boolean operators and provide examples of queries using these operators.
 The grammar of a search query; query languages might include Boolean operators (e.g., AND, OR, NOT), proximity operators (e.g., ADJACENT, NEAR), or ways of specifying which field to search (e.g., AUTHOR=“Shakespeare”).

15. What is a query builder?
 Ways of enhancing a query’s performance; common examples include spell checkers, stemming, concept searching, and drawing in synonyms from a thesaurus.

16. What is the purpose of a retrieval algorithm?
The part of a search engine that determines which content matches a user’s query; Google’s PageRank is perhaps the best-known example.

17. What are search zones?
 Subsets of site content that have been separately indexed to support narrower searching (e.g., searching the tech support area within a software vendor’s site).

18. What are search results?
 Presentation of content that matches the user’s search query; involves decisions of what types of content should make up each individual result, how many results to display, and how sets of results should be ranked, sorted, and clustered.

19. In terms of content, why are headings important?

 Labels for the content that follows them, important to explain following information.

20. What are embedded links?

 Links within text; these label (i.e., represent) the content they link to.

21. What is embedded metadata?
 Information that can be used as metadata but must first be extracted (e.g., in a recipe, if an ingredient is mentioned, this information can be indexed to support searching by ingredient).

22. In terms of content, what are chunks?
 Logical units of content; these can vary in granularity (e.g., sections and chapters are both chunks) and can be nested (e.g., a section is part of a book).

23. What are sequential aids?
 Clues that suggest where the user is in a process or task, and how far he has to go before completing it (e.g., “step 3 of 8”).

24. What are identifiers?
 Clues that suggest where the user is in an information system (e.g., a logo specifying what site she is using, or a breadcrumb explaining where in the site she is).

25. What is meant by “invisible components” in IA?
 Certain key architectural components are manifest completely in the background; users rarely (if ever) interact with them. These components often “feed” other components, such as a thesaurus that’s used to enhance a search query.

26. What are controlled vocabularies and thesauri?
 Predetermined vocabularies of preferred terms that describe a specific domain (e.g., auto racing or orthopedic surgery); typically include variant terms (e.g.,“brewskie” is a variant term for “beer”).Thesauri are controlled vocabularies that generally include links to broader and narrower terms, related terms, and descriptions of preferred terms (aka “scope notes”). Search systems can enhance queries by extracting a query’s synonyms from a controlled vocabulary.

27. What is best bets?
 Preferred search results that are manually coupled with a search query; editors and subject matter experts determine which queries should retrieve best bets, and which documents merit best bet status.

28. List some of the difficulties with organising information.
Every user reacts differently to information organisation, its hard to know the way that will best suit your users.

29. What is meant by the term “taxonomy”?
A taxonomy is a way to group things together

30. What is hierarchy a natural way for humans to organise information?
Its an easy way to break things down so we understand it better.

31. List some design rules when designing a hierarchical organisation scheme.
• Recognize the danger of overloading users with too many options.
• Group and structure information at the page level.

• Subject your designs to rigorous user testing.

32. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of a hypertextual organisation structure.
Advantages     -  Great flexibility
Disadvantages -  Without context, users can quickly become overwhelmed and frustrated.
                        -   Hypertextual links are often personal in nature. The relationships that one person sees                             between content items may not be apparent to others.

33. What is social classification?
  Users tag objects with one or more keywords.
The tags are public and serve as pivots for social navigation. Users can move fluidly between objects, authors, tags, and indexers. Example Flickr

34. What is meant by the term “folksonomy”?
A folksonomy is a system of classification derived from the practice and method of collaboratively creating and translating tags to annotate and categorize content; this practice is also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging.

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