Articles & research papers

Information Architecture

Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Launching Your Data Governance Program

Your organization has invaluable data on customers, products, finances, employees, and inventory. And as you set out to create a single, consistent set of policies to manage it all, it’s critical to do it right.

Jill Dyché and Kimberly Nevala lay out a comprehensive list of issues that can trip up an organization as it gets started with data governance. Learn how to use good judgment and sound decision making to sidestep these common issues.

Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Launching Your Data Governance Program (PDF, 730 kb)

Google on URL Usability- Keep a Simple URL Structure

A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).

For example, if you’re searching for information about aviation, a URL like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation will help you decide whether to click that link. A URL like http://www.example.com/index.php?id_sezione=360&sid=3a5ebc944f41daa6f849f730f1, is much less appealing to users.

Keep a simple URL structure

Implementation Tactics for Multi-regional and Multilingual Sites

A multilingual website is any website that offers content in more than one language. Examples of multilingual websites might include a Canadian business with an English and a French version of its site, or a blog on Latin American soccer available in both Spanish and Portuguese.

A multi-regional website is one that explicitly targets users in different countries. Some sites are both multi-regional and multilingual (for example, a site might have different versions for the USA and for Canada, and both French and English versions of the Canadian content).

Expanding a website to cover multiple countries and/or languages can be challenging. Because you have multiple versions of your site, any issues will be multiplied, so make sure you test your original site as thoroughly as possible and make sure you have the appropriate infrastructure to handle these sites. Following are some guidelines and best practices for creating multilingual and/or multi-regional sites.

Multi-regional and Multilingual Sites

15 SEO Best Practices for Structuring URLs

It’s been a long time since we covered one of the most fundamental building blocks of SEO—the structure of domain names and URLs—and I think it’s high time to revisit. But, an important caveat before we begin: the optimal structures and practices I’ll be describing in the tips below are NOT absolutely critical on any/every page you create. This list should serve as an “it would be great if we could,” not an “if we don’t do things this way, the search engines will never rank us well.” Google and Bing have come a long way and can handle a lot of technical challenges, but as always in SEO, the easier we make things for them (and for users), the better the results tend to be.

Five of the fifteen are:

  1. Whenever possible, use a single domain & subdomain
  2. The more readable by human beings, the better
  3. Keywords in URLs: still a good thing
  4. Multiple URLs serving the same content? Canonicalize ’em!
  5. Exclude dynamic parameters when possible

15 SEO Best Practices for Structuring URLs

 

 

The Difference Between Information Architecture (IA) and Navigation

Summary: IA is the information backbone of the site; navigation refers to those elements in the UI that allow users to reach specific information on the site.

The Difference Between Information Architecture (IA) and Navigation

Happy New Year! These Were the Most Popular Posts of 2015

As the curator and creator of The UX Bookmark, I would like to wish you all a blessed 2016! 2015 has been a good year for me and I hope it was for you too. Get out there and chase your dreams. Be true to yourself and live in the now.

Here is what was read the most on The UX Bookmark in 2015. You might have read some of them. Read the rest. Enjoy!

  1. A huge list of Style Guides and UI Guidelines
  2. Ultimate guide to table UI patterns
  3. Charting application alternatives to using Excel
  4. Download IDEO’s Human Centered Design Toolkit
  5. Useful Visio Macros

Free Online Graph Paper / Grid Paper PDFs

Here is a very useful collection of downloadable and very printable graph papers of the types:

  • Squares
  • Triangle and Hexagonal
  • Circular and Polar
  • Asymmetic
  • Specialty
  • Writing and Note-taking

Free Online Graph Paper / Grid Paper PDFs

Designing for Faceted Search

Faceted search, or guided navigation, has become the de facto standard for e-commerce and product-related websites, from big box stores to product review sites. But e-commerce sites aren’t the only ones joining the facets club. Other content-heavy sites such as media publishers (e.g. Financial Times: ft.com), libraries (e.g. NCSU Libraries: lib.ncsu.edu/), and even non-profits (e.g. Urban Land Institute: uli.org) are tapping into faceted search to make their often broad-range of content more findable.

Essentially, faceted search has become so ubiquitous that users are not only getting used to it, they are coming to expect it. The power of faceted search lies in the ability of users to create their own custom navigation by combining various perspectives rather than forcing them through a specific path.

Designing for Faceted Search

Design at Facebook

Facebook’s design team walks the author through their philosophy and approach to designing for a quarter billion users. In particular, they emphasized the importance of writing code, sharing designs early and often, being involved with a project from start to finish, and not falling in love with your work. Making sure designers are technical enough to write code came up a lot.

This is an article from 2009.

Design at Facebook

Education in HCI

The HCI Education page is a collection of resources for students and educators interested in Human-Computer Interaction. The following are key resources for HCI Education:

  1. Curriculum: The SIGCHI Curriculum Development Group report Curricula in Human-Computer Interaction.
  2. Affordable Textbook: Clayton Lewis and John Rieman’s shareware book Task-Centered User Interface Development.
  3. Readings: Gary Perlman’s Suggested Readings in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), User Interface (UI) Development & Human Factors (HF).
  4. Educator’s Mailing List: The SIGCHI Mailing List: CHI-Educators (chi-educators-request@acm.org) CHI-Educators is archived on the Web
  5. Student’s Mailing List: The SIGCHI Mailing List: CHI-Students (chi-students-request@acm.org) CHI-Students is archived on the Web
  6. Program Ratings: Because it is so often asked, I have created: Gary Perlman’s Ratings of HCI Education Programs

Education in HCI