The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Introduction

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Information architect, usability analyst, teacher, editor.

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Introduction

Introduction

Recently, I realized something.

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Introduction

Introduction

Lies!

Rules are easy, but guidelines are hard.

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Lies, rules, and guidelines

Typically, there’s a higher power.

And commandments.

There are characters,

heroes,

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The beginning

and heroines.
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The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

COMMUNITY AWARENESS

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The beginning

The beginning

W3C (1994)

COMMUNITY AWARENESS

COMMUNITY AWARENESS

Jakob Nielsen Usability Heuristics (1994) Apple Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) (1987) Strunk & White The Elements of Style (1959) Christopher Alexander A Pattern Language (1977) U.S. Air Force Interface Guidelines (1984) IBM Ease of Use Guidelines (1996)

Strunk & White The Elements of Style (1959) Christopher Alexander A Pattern Language (1977) Henry Dreyfuss The Measure of Man (1960)

Henry Dreyfuss The Measure of Man (1960)

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1960

1970

1980

1985

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1995

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2005

2010

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The beginning

And people are holding fast to their claims

W3C (1994)

The Web Standards Project (1998) Yahoo! Pattern Library (2005)

COMMUNITY AWARENESS

Jakob Nielsen Usability Heuristics (1994) Apple Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) (1987) Strunk & White The Elements of Style (1959) Christopher Alexander A Pattern Language (1977) U.S. Air Force Interface Guidelines (1984) IBM Ease of Use Guidelines (1996)

Chris Messina flickr Patterns (2005)

Henry Dreyfuss The Measure of Man (1960)

Hong, Landay, van Duyne The Design of Sites (2002)

Fate of Nielsen’s Web usability guidelines from the 1990s.

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The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

For good reason.

There is a lot to choose from. Splash pages are bad. Navigation must be consistent. Experiences must be consistent. Flash is not friendly. Users must understand where they are at all times. Experience is king. Magic number. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Links need to be blue. Pareto Principle is true 80% of the time. Visited links must be purple. Animated GIFs are evil. Consistency. Flash is not friendly. Users must understand where they are at all times. Experience is king. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Links need to be blue. Roads to everywhere. Splash pages are bad. Navigation must be consistent. Experiences must be consistent. Short=good. Four clicks are too many. Flash is not friendly. Users must understand where they are at all times. Experience is king. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Links need to be blue. Seams=bad. Splash pages are bad. Blink tag should be banished. Navigation must be consistent. Experiences must be consistent. Flash is not friendly. Users must understand where they are at all times. Place is in. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Links need to be blue. Visited links must be purple. Pareto Principle is true 80% of the time. Animated GIFs are evil. IAs do IA. Users must understand where they are at all times. Experience is king. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Splash pages are bad. Navigation must be consistent. Users must understand where they are at all times.

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

There is a lot to choose from. Splash pages are bad. Navigation must be consistent. Experiences must be consistent. Flash is not friendly. Users must understand where they are at all times. Experience is king. Magic number. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Links need to be blue. Pareto Principle is true 80% of the time. Visited links must be purple. Animated GIFs are evil. Consistency. Flash is not friendly. Users must understand where they are at all times. Experience is king. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Links need to be blue. Roads to everywhere. Splash pages are bad. Navigation must be consistent. Experiences must be consistent. Short=good. Four clicks are too many. Flash is not friendly. Users must understand where they are at all times. Experience is king. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Links need to be blue. Seams=bad. Splash pages are bad. Blink tag should be banished. Navigation must be consistent. Experiences must be consistent. Flash is not friendly. Users must understand where they are at all times. Place is in. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Links need to be blue. Visited links must be purple. Pareto Principle is true 80% of the time. Animated GIFs are evil. IAs do IA. Users must understand where they are at all times. Experience is king. Content is king. The shortest path is the best path. Splash pages are bad. Navigation must be consistent. Users must understand where they are at all times.

1

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Navigation must always be consistent.

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Need

Interpret

Navigate

React

Store

Mac

iPod + iTunes

iPhone

Download

Support

Store

Mac

iPod + iTunes

iPhone

Download

Support

1

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Navigation must always be consistent.

predictable and familiar

2

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

There is a magic number seven (plus or minus two).

“The maximum ideal search result set is 7 to 10 items. That’s about as much as the human brain can process without getting overwhelmed (if I remember my cognitive psych correctly). And we almost always return fewer than 7 tours in our results.”

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

2

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

3

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

but it always just ‘depends.’

There is a magic number seven (plus or minus two).

Users must get to all parts of the site all the time.

+

3

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

4

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

everywhere from everywhere.

Users must get to all parts of the site all the time.

Users must know where they are at all times.

4

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

5

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

what’s next.

Users must know where they are at all times.

The user experience must be seamless.

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

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5
designer

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The user experience must be seamless.

design beautiful seams.

6

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Shorter is better.

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

6

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

Shorter is better.

and sometimes long is too.

7

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

7

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

and so should developers, designers, writers, clients, and users.

Information architects do information architecture.

Information architects do information architecture.

7

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

7

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

1. Navigation must be consistent. 2. There is a magic number (plus or minus two). 3. Users must get to all parts of the site all the time. 4. Users must know where they are at all times. 5. The user experience must be seamless. 6. Shorter is better. 7. Information architects must do information architecture.

1. Navigation must always be predictable and familiar. 2. There is a magic number but it always just “depends.” 3. Users must get to everywhere from everywhere. 4. Users must know what's next. 5. The designer must design beautiful seams. 6. Short is better and sometimes long is too. 7. Information architects do information architecture and so should developers, designers, writers, clients, and users.

The Seven Lies of Information Architecture

The end

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