7 Responses to Welcome!

  1. Bev Corwin says:

    Welcome to the W3C Information Architecture Community Group. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments here.

  2. Keith Instone says:

    My thought is: what is the purpose of this group? Is it just another place to talk about IA amongst the typical IA tribe?

    Or, since it is a W3C community, does it have a special purpose? Like, trying to affect technical standards (without writing them)? Our discussions would be very focused here, if that is the case.

    Is it more about getting the typical W3C community member familiar with our flavor of IA (vs. the TOGAF kind)? Getting them thinking about context and ambient findability and persuasive IA and other more advanced IA topics?

  3. Bev Corwin says:

    This group is for discussions at this point. What do you think about reviving the old IA Metrics initiative discussions?

  4. Keith Instone says:

    Do you mean this initiative? http://iainstitute.org/projects/wiki/index.php?page=MetricsForIA

    Looks like it is about 10 years old, so if it was ahead of its time, then now might be a good time.

    But I am not sure if there is enough there for me to judge its applicable to a W3C community. If it is about metrics for IA for the internet as a whole, then that makes more sense to me than IA metrics for specific sites. Or said another way, why should we talk about IA metrics HERE vs. over on some other platform? Why not in some IAI-only list?

  5. Bev Corwin says:

    This is an IAI W3C list for discussion of Information Architecture related topics. We can discuss on the IAI only list too, if you like.

  6. Nick Berry says:

    I think we need to establish standards where standards are possible to establish. Doing so will help promote and evolve our discipline. There are no doubt highly mature IA practices and standards that have been established outside the W3C, but this organization provides the right kind of visibility, as opposed to the IAI which has a limited audience.

    Here are some areas I think we can explicitly standardize:
    -High-level definitions (IA, site map, user flow, wireframe, controlled vocabulary, etc – the tools and processes we use in our daily work)
    -The IA process (research, evaluation, design, testing and its substages)

    Only after establishing standard processes and measures can we assess the maturity of an existing information architecture. We should have as a goal the creation of some sort of IA Maturity Model for benchmarking.

    Here are areas I think we cannot explicitly standardize:
    -The ROI of an information architecture. I think this is subjective and varies from business to business. Also, IA has too many shared boundaries with other disciplines (e.g. software engineering and visual design/branding) to be able to measure its effect separately. As a side note, I think discussions of ROI are a waste of time; it’s more fruitful to use that energy tying IA into the strategy of the business itself if we want to be adequately funded and supported at the leadership level.
    -Metrics. Yet. In my experience, we’re still learning how to disambiguate the various components that feed into an understanding of user actions as measured quantitatively. For example, with search tools, we know that targeting specific fields in a database based on query types can improve search performance. But do we have a way to predict how much improvement should be expected as a result? Even our KPIs are suspect. Does more time on page mean more engagement, or more user confusion? Or neither?

    Looking forward to an interesting discussion here!

  7. Nicholas Berry says:

    Hi! My question is, why wouldn’t this group seek to establish specifications or standards? I think we need to establish standards where standards are possible to establish. Doing so will help promote and evolve our discipline. There are no doubt highly mature IA practices and standards that have been established outside the W3C, but this organization provides the right kind of visibility, as opposed to the IAI which has a limited audience.

    Here are some areas I think we can explicitly standardize:
    -High-level definitions (IA, site map, user flow, wireframe, controlled vocabulary, etc – the tools and processes we use in our daily work)
    -The IA process (research, evaluation, design, testing and its substages)

    Only after establishing standard processes and measures can we assess the maturity of an existing information architecture. We should have as a goal the creation of some sort of IA Maturity Model for benchmarking.

    Here are areas I think we cannot explicitly standardize:
    -The ROI of an information architecture. I think this is subjective and varies from business to business. Also, IA has too many shared boundaries with other disciplines (e.g. software engineering and visual design/branding) to be able to measure its effect separately. As a side note, I think discussions of ROI are a waste of time; it’s more fruitful to use that energy tying IA into the strategy of the business itself if we want to be adequately funded and supported at the leadership level.
    -Metrics. Yet. In my experience, we’re still learning how to disambiguate the various components that feed into an understanding of user actions as measured quantitatively. For example, with search tools, we know that targeting specific fields in a database based on query types can improve search performance. But do we have a way to predict how much improvement should be expected as a result? Even our KPIs are suspect. Does more time on page mean more engagement, or more user confusion? Or neither?

    Looking forward to an interesting discussion here!

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