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Review - Flowcharting
What is a flowchart?
A flowchart is an analytical technique used todescribe some aspect of an information system ina clear, concise, and logical manner.
- A flowchart illustrates the steps or process tosolve a problem
- “Dummy Down” flowcharts for clients
- “Beef-up” flowcharts for developers
Navigation and IA notes
We’ll always have hierarchy. Hierarchy helps people forma mental model of a site and its content.
In an “information ecology, …you can’t think aboutnavigation without thinking about searching.”
Basic Navigation needs to answer these questions
- Where am I?
- Where can I go?
- How will I get there?
- How can I get back to where I once was?
- Most importantly… it must support the site’s(and user’s) ______s ?
How is navigation achieved?
Back / Forward (Where was I? I need to getback to where I was!)
Breadcrumbs (Where was I? How did I gethere?) -
Breadcrumbs is a misnomer, because they show“where you are, not where you’ve been”.
Search Engines (How do I get directly where Ineed to go?)
Top of Page (Where did I start? Take me backto where I was!)
Visited Pages (Where was I?)
- -No buzzwords or cute labels
- -Use the user’s language
- -No abbr.
- Consistency in grouping
- -How many items?
- -(Don’t) Forget Miller’s 7±2
- -Balance depth and breadth
- -The number of clicks required to get to the info
- Make them clearly identifiable
- Only links should be underlined
- Different color than body text
- Don’t separate them with a comma
Use descriptive labels, not “click here”
- Global Navigation
- -Sets the mental model
- -Incorporates the “main menu” elements
- -Can search the whole site
- Local Navigation
- -Consistent with Global
- -Movement only within a sub-section
- Ad hoc links
- -Allows movement from anywhere to anywhere
Road map of site
Demonstrates surf path taken by visitor
Purpose is to communicate
- Many different formats, two major types
- -Graphical Maps
- -Indexes (similar to a Table of Contents)
Site map is a visual presentation of yourfunctional specification document
Design and Function must be documentedduring the product development cycle, buttheir documentation has different purposes.
- -Details of application architecture and design goals
- -Provides the stakeholder with a singular vision/description of how the product under development issupposed to function.
Site Mapping & SEO
Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters toinform search engines about pages on their sitesthat are available for crawling.
A Sitemap can be an XML file that lists URLs fora site along with additional metadata about eachURL (when it was last updated, how often itusually changes, and how important it is,relative to other URLs in the site) so that searchengines can more intelligently crawl the site.
Sample Site Maps
Architectural blueprints (back-side terminology) are visualrepresentations of the site structure. They are diagramsshowing how elements of the site are grouped and how theylink or relate to one another.
Site Map Pointers
The Site Map should act pretty much like the table of contentsof a book.
The Site Map must clearly show all the sections of your site,and the information contained in each of those sections.
Every item in your Site Map must be hyperlinked to its URL.
Make sure that you place the link to your Site Map at a visiblelocation in your homepage (users shouldn’t need a map to findyour Site Map!).
Don’t get creative: simply call the link “Site Map”.
The Information Qwest – Browsing Aids
- How do people find information on the web?
- Searching: enter queries into search systems
Browsing: navigating from link to link
Asking/Sharing: email someone, chat withsomeone online, contact someone subsequent tolooking online
The Information Qwest – Browsing Aids
Organization systems: how site content is categorizedand structured
Site-wide (Global) navigation systems: primarynavigation across a site
Page-specific (Local) navigation systems: navigationwithin a sub-site or content area
Sitemaps & indexes : provide a condensed overview ofmajor content areas – Indexes provide an alphabetizedlist of links
Contextual links: connect related content in other parts ofthe site
The Information Qwest – Searching Aids
Search interface: all elements of UI including help
Query language: might include Boolean operators (AND,OR), proximity operators (ADJACENT, NEAR) or ways ofspecifying which field to search (AUTHOR=“Morville”)
Retrieval algorithms: how the search engine determinesmatches to user’s query
Search zones: subsets of content separately indexed
Search results: all elements of UI on results display page
Controlled vocabs, thesauri, meta data etc.: hiddenelements that assist searching (and browsing)
Database model information structure
Useful for content that is relativelyhomogeneous
Content is arranged for ease and speed ofsearch and retrieval
Metadata, controlled vocabularies are importantto this approach
Allows tagging of documents and info objects toenable searching and browsing