site structure and interaction

16 May 2005 - 5:15am
8 years ago
6 replies
2516 reads
Klas Thorsén
2005

I recently started to work on an assignment for a government with a huge
information density. They have some different areas of interest with lots of
information (1000+ pages), all from public interests to law texts. The
challenge for me is first to define a nice information architecture and
second a ground breaking interaction design :) At this point I try to avoid
to deep architecture but at some spots it will be 5 levels and more. I have
encountered this before many times and use to solve it with a top navigation
and then a left nav with 2 more levels and supplement it sometimes with a
'simple' page nav of some kind. I am never really satisfied with the end
solution and wonder if there is someone who can give tips or have examples
of how to solve many levels of interaction in a nice way. Both IA and ID
perspective is interesting.

Thanks!
Klas

Comments

16 May 2005 - 9:38am
Klas Thorsén
2005

The site has different types of target groups and it will be possible to
customize the information but I am not sure if it will be possible to build
the structure on this and remove pages. I know this is commonly used on
business sites for private and business sectors, but it (maybe) is too
drastic in this case.

.klas

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Bagnall [mailto:pete at surfaceeffect.com]
Sent: den 16 maj 2005 16:20
To: Klas Thorsén
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] site structure and interaction

Are there different types of users of the information? Maybe splitting
the site into a section for the public, for lawyer, for etc might be a
way of filtering the information and reducing the quantity in a way
that would be helpful.

Cheers
--Pete

On 16 May 2005, at 11:15, Klas Thorsén wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I recently started to work on an assignment for a government with a
> huge
> information density. They have some different areas of interest with
> lots of
> information (1000+ pages), all from public interests to law texts. The
> challenge for me is first to define a nice information architecture and
> second a ground breaking interaction design :) At this point I try to
> avoid
> to deep architecture but at some spots it will be 5 levels and more. I
> have
> encountered this before many times and use to solve it with a top
> navigation
> and then a left nav with 2 more levels and supplement it sometimes
> with a
> 'simple' page nav of some kind. I am never really satisfied with the
> end
> solution and wonder if there is someone who can give tips or have
> examples
> of how to solve many levels of interaction in a nice way. Both IA and
> ID
> perspective is interesting.
>
> Thanks!
> Klas
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>
>
--------------------------------------------------
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade
they know they shall never sit in.
- Greek proverb

Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/

16 May 2005 - 10:04am
Josh Seiden
2003

Just keep in mind that information structure does not
equal navigation structure. Although it is sometimes
advantageous to make the information structure visible
by means of the navigation structure, other times is
it a liability.

For example, it would be possible (and perhaps even
desirable in some situations) to organize and store 10
years worth of appointments in a nested set of folders
structured as //year/month/day. It would be absurd,
however, to present this information through a
navigation / retrieval method based on files and
folders. In this (admittedly extreme) example, a
calender model would make a much more natural
expression of our linear experience of time.

Similarly, your retrieval space should leverage the
information structure, but should not be a slave to
only one aspect of it.

Pete's response hints at one way to solve the
problem--figure out how the user thinks about the
space.

But this also seems like a really good opporunity for
a good search engine.

JS

--- Klas Thorsén <klas at doberman.se> wrote:

> I recently started to work on an assignment for a
> government with a huge
> information density. They have some different areas
> of interest with lots of
> information (1000+ pages), ... at some spots it
> will be 5
> levels and more.

> ... to solve
> it with a top navigation
> and then a left nav with 2 more levels and
> supplement it sometimes with a
> 'simple' page nav of some kind.

16 May 2005 - 11:04am
Mike Baxter
2004

KT>> assignment for a government with a huge information density.
KT>>Both IA and ID perspective is interesting.

Hi Klas

I'm working on faceted navigation for a client right now and if you haven't
done so already, you should take a look at it. Essentially, it uses multiple
attributes to categorise each piece of information and then exposes these
attributes to the customer as attribute breadcrumbs. This is becoming a big
issue in e-commerce (enabling customers to find products based on their
features) and I have just posted a discussion of it at .

see Wikipedia's definition of faceted navigation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faceted_navigation

one of the first sites to use faceted navigation (I believe):
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/find/browse
(This lets readers find recipes according to main ingredient, cuising,
preparation method and meal/course)

probably the classic use of faceted navigation for finding products:
http://uk.shopping.com/xPP-Digital_Cameras

Best regards

Mike Baxter

ps I'm posting a review tomorrow of 3 emerging technologies that I believe
e-commerce managers should be watching, including faceted navigation. see
www.cx-i.com

16 May 2005 - 11:13am
Klas Thorsén
2005

My approach is almost always that I try to have a page structure that can be
fit into a standard navigation. Of course not if I have to organize 10 years
of appointment records ;) The most important for the page structure is that
it's based on user view and goal. To not make the user lost in the
information space I would like to have the navigation path visible to the
user. A breadcrumb or trail navigation does give a little help but not
enough satisfying for me.

If the user has a goal on the site entry she picks the best navigation path
to reach the goal. If the pick was wrong and the goal not achieved the user
can either try to look around for a new entry for the goal or hit the logo
for a new try on the start page. I want to satisfy both cases with the main
navigation. Cross referencing and internal promotions helps a lot but im
currently only looking at the main navigation.

I would gladly get more creative views and criticism on this.

.klas

-----Original Message-----
From: Josh Seiden [mailto:joshseiden at yahoo.com]
Sent: den 16 maj 2005 17:04
To: Klas Thorsin; discuss at ixdg.org
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] site structure and interaction

Just keep in mind that information structure does not
equal navigation structure. Although it is sometimes
advantageous to make the information structure visible
by means of the navigation structure, other times is
it a liability.

For example, it would be possible (and perhaps even
desirable in some situations) to organize and store 10
years worth of appointments in a nested set of folders
structured as //year/month/day. It would be absurd,
however, to present this information through a
navigation / retrieval method based on files and
folders. In this (admittedly extreme) example, a
calender model would make a much more natural
expression of our linear experience of time.

Similarly, your retrieval space should leverage the
information structure, but should not be a slave to
only one aspect of it.

Pete's response hints at one way to solve the
problem--figure out how the user thinks about the
space.

But this also seems like a really good opporunity for
a good search engine.

JS

16 May 2005 - 11:17am
Anonymous

This might seem obvious goes-the-by-definition thing, but for a project like
thing, one approach woudl be to start the other way round i.e. first decide
& design how people will search and retrive the information. Often this
approach suggests how to go about IA. Its not that bad to have a deep
architecture if the information is easily retrivable and is relavent - point
in case Googel.
Vikram Singh
National Institute of Design, India

16 May 2005 - 12:34pm
Daniel Harvey
2004

I did a ton of research around search and parametric search (what empowers faceted metadata models like what Mike mentioned below). I can't vouch that all these links are still active but I hope they help in your hunt, Klaus.

SEARCH METHODOLOGIES
GENERAL SEARCH
Google: http://www.google
Altavista: http://www.altavista.com
MSN: http://www.msn.com/
Yahoo: http://www.yahoo.com

IMAGE SEARCH
Corbis: http://www.corbis.com/
Getty: http://www.gettyimages.com/
Thinker: http://www.thinker.org/fam/subpage.asp?subpagekey=70
MS Offi ce (clip art)

FACETED META-DATA/CONTENT FILTERS
Academia
Mesh: http://www.nlm.nih.org/mesh
Blobworld: http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/photos/blobworld/
QBIC: http://wwwqbic.almaden.ibm.com/
Piction: http://www.piction.com/index.html
Flamenco: http://bailando.sims.berkeley.edu/fl amenco.html
Floogle: http://www.fl ash-db.com/Soap/
Medline: http://intapp.medscape.com/px/medlineapp/medline?cid=med&adv=1

Commercial
Facet map: http://facetmap.com
Epinions: http://www.epinions.com/
Burnitblue: http://www.burntblue.com/home/default.asp
Odd Bins: http://www.oddbins.com/products/Wine.asp
NBA store: http://store.nba.com
Autotrader: http://www.autotrader.com/fi ndacar/index.jtmpl?ac_afft=none

SCATTER-GATHER CLUSTERING
Cha-Cha: http://cha-cha.berkeley.edu/
Teoma: http://teoma.com/
Northern
Light: http://www.nlsearch.com/
Vivisimo: http://vivisimo.com/
Search methodologies

PARAMETRIC SEARCH
Amp: http://www.amp.com/search/default.asp (see product family search)
Sears: http://www.sears.com (Dieselpoint)
Dieselpoint: http://dieselpoint.com/fl ashlink.htm (for Dieselpoint 2.0 demo)
Grainger: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/start.shtml (Requisite's BugsEye?)
Cypress: http://www.cypress.com (Saqqara's one step)
Infi neon: http://www.infi neon.com/cgi/ecrm.dll/ecrm/scripts/search/parametric_search_
overview.jsp
IDT: http://www.idt.com/tools/parametric.html
TI: http://www.ti.com/
GSC: http://www.gensemi.com/search/productsearch.htm
Samsung: http://www.samsungusa.com/cgi-bin/nabc/semiconductors/semiconductors_
index.jsp
Gearfi nder: http://www.gearfi nder.com
My Simon: http://www.mysimon.com/category/index.jhtml?c=babydiaperingbathing

COMMERCIAL SITES
INFORMATION-RICH
Epicurious: http://eat.epicurious.com/
MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.com/news/default.asp?cp1=1

GROCERS
Peapod: http://www.peapod.com
Netgrocer: http://www.netgrocer.com/

E-COMMERCE
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com
My Simon: http://www.mysimon.com/index.jhtml?ptag=cnet_footer
Wal-Mart: http://www.walmart.com/

COMMERCIAL TOOLS
PARAMETRIC SEARCH
Endeca: http://www.endeca.com/
Easy Ask: http://www.easyask.com/

GENERAL SEARCH
Inktomi http://www.inktomi.com/

ONLINE CATALOGS
Dieselpoint: http://dieselpoint.com/
Requisite: http://www.requisite.com/
Saqqara: http://www.saqqara.com/Nav

QUESTION-ANSWERING
Askjeeves: http://www.ask.com/
Primus: http://www.primus.com/

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com]On Behalf Of Mike Baxter
Sent: Monday, May 16, 2005 12:05 PM
To: Klas Thorsén; discuss at ixdg.org
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] site structure and interaction

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

KT>> assignment for a government with a huge information density.
KT>>Both IA and ID perspective is interesting.

Hi Klas

I'm working on faceted navigation for a client right now and if you haven't
done so already, you should take a look at it. Essentially, it uses multiple
attributes to categorise each piece of information and then exposes these
attributes to the customer as attribute breadcrumbs. This is becoming a big
issue in e-commerce (enabling customers to find products based on their
features) and I have just posted a discussion of it at .

see Wikipedia's definition of faceted navigation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faceted_navigation

one of the first sites to use faceted navigation (I believe):
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/find/browse
(This lets readers find recipes according to main ingredient, cuising,
preparation method and meal/course)

probably the classic use of faceted navigation for finding products:
http://uk.shopping.com/xPP-Digital_Cameras

Best regards

Mike Baxter

ps I'm posting a review tomorrow of 3 emerging technologies that I believe
e-commerce managers should be watching, including faceted navigation. see
www.cx-i.com

_______________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
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