#3. Information Architecture & UI Design: human-system interaction design for advanced applications
This 4-hour workshop addresses the knowledge and skills necessary for advanced information architecture and UI Design. It teaches a state-of-the-art approach founded on Cybernetics, Information Theory, Communication, and General Systems Theory.
Who The Workshop Is For
The workshop provides knowledge and skills essential for work usually performed by
- Information Architects (IAs), Interaction Designers, and UI Designers
- Product Managers
- GUI developers
It is also highly relevant for business analysts, graphics designers, and software developers. who are interested in moving into or doing more of such work, perhaps as part of their professional development.
Common Problems Encountered in IA & UI Design
- Users are dissatisfied, because they cannot accomplish some tasks easily or effectively.
- Clarity: Easy to understand what it's telling me; hard to lose your way or forget "where you are".
- Accessibility: Easy to locate important features or information; easy to access and use important features or information.
- Speed: Fast enough to use, e.g., minimum number of steps, no waiting, etc.
- Error-avoidance: Forgiving of user errors; easy to avoid making mistakes.
- Feedback: Easy to tell what you did; easy to tell if what you did had the right result, and easy to correct any mistakes.
- Ease of learning: Easy to learn how to use, intuitive; does not take too long to learn or get used to.
- Usage of your website or application is lower than expected.
- Your website analytics show massive drop-off or failure to complete tasks.
- Many user complaints about ease of use.
- Poor expert reviews of the website or application
- Confusion among stakeholders and internal team-members about the different functions performed by UI design versus Visual design
- Need to go beyond subjective evaluations of usability and information-design considerations, to allow for fast, efficient group decision-making about UI problems
- Need to verify that the specifications and user interface are what is intended and of adequate quality and a way to easily revise the design, so that defects do not remain undiscovered until the costly coding and testing step.
- Need to communicate the design clearly to a visual designer and programmers, so that they can faithfully execute the design.
- Want to use separate teams for design and coding/testing, but anticipate collaboration and communication problems between them.
Contents of the Workshop
- Introduction to the Discipline of Information Architecture & UI Design
- An Overview of the Design Challenges of Software: Complexity & Communication
- UI Design in its Organizational Context
- How to Assess the Difficulty of a UI Challenge
- Analyzing & Modeling Users
- Functional Structure
- Taxonomies and Nomenclatures
- Content & Communication
- User-Interfaces and Interaction
- How to Master Any Specific UI-Technology
- Technical Aspects of GUI Architecture
- Prototyping Techniques
- Assessing & Improving UI (“Usability”)
This workshop incudes approximately 60 minutes of practice exerices.
What Can Be Improved: Quality, Efficiency, & Satisfaction
- UIs that allow users to perform all the tasks needed to achieve their aims
- UIs that make it quick and easy for users to perform these tasks effectively
- Permits user-group testing and revisions prior to expensive coding & testing
- Prototypes that allow you to try out and validate the UI, versus flowcharts & descriptions
- Saves stakeholder’s time in deciding on and communicating changes needed
- Avoids long, difficult, unproductive, and grueling review-meetings
- Visual designers & programmers get exactly what they need to do a good job efficiently
- Ensures a design that will work well with the chosen technology-platform
- Contributes to code that has fewer bugs & is easier to test, maintain, and extend
- Prevents unanticipated expansion of scope and going over budget
Benefits to the Company that Owns the Website or Software
- Higher ROI from its online-product development efforts
- Increased sales of its online products, because of higher quality & more satisfied users
- Company able to compete more successfully, now and in the future
- Get to market quicker
- Decreased marketing, sales, and support costs
- Lower turnover, as a result of more satisfied product-development team
- Evaluating and improving classification schemes, Taxonomies, Nomenclatures, Terminology
- Critiquing & improving Site Maps and Navigation
- Evaluating & improving screen layouts
- Evaluating & improving user interfaces
- Evaluating & improving report formats
- Writing good instructions
- Evaluating the ease-of-use of software applications
- Optimal specification of a User Interface optimally
Alternatives to this Workshop
The field of information architecture and UI design is so new that little has been worked out formally, and what exists is founded on industrial design, psychology, and anthropology, disciplines that are ill-suited foundations for a design activity that is by its nature informational. UI quality-testing is usually little more than mechanical trial and error with sample users. So-called "expert analysis" is very limited and effective at diagnosing only the most egregious problems.
As a result, most UI designers have to learn on the job, through "apprenticeship" with more senior designers, with very variable results. Courses and workshops run by great practitioners are few and far between, and most do not offer any kind of formal grounding in a solid discipline. Books offer many great examples, but usually fail at teaching the skill behind them. We offer both practice with a skilled UI designer as well as a solid grounding in the right theoretical principles to allow you to apply and expand your knowledge and skill after the workshop is over.
This workshop is taught by Simon Hill, an award-winning pioneer in the fields of online product-development and UI design, with decades of experience as an industry practitioner.
Simon is an award-winning digital strategy, innovation, design, and product-management professional for 12+ years, on over 85 projects. He has been instrumental in the planning, design, and launch of over 45 successful new websites, new online products, SaaS, software applications, and mobile applications, for Fortune 500 clients and start ups, serving millions of users.
Simon is expert in all of the major disciplines that form software-product development: business and product strategy, brand strategy, research, concept innovation, business analysis, UI design, and project management. He is a seasoned leader of UI design departments..