Some people in the design community insist on calling website menu systems “information architecture.” I think they do it to make menu design sound sexier or more esoteric. Unfortunately that’s not what information architecture is. Or rather, it’s only part of what information architecture is.
Information architecture (IA) is actually “the structural design of shared information environments.” It’s no good just having a well-thought-through menu system for your site. Once you get people to where they need to be, the content needs to be arranged in the way they expect, using words they understand. Knowing how your users think about and self-categorize your site’s content should be central to your whole design effort. It boils down to finding out how your users think about and categorize the concepts, tasks, and activities that your product deals with, and then creating an architecture that matches this world view. My course Foundations of UX: Information Architecture steps through the discipline of IA, and the practical steps needed to apply it to your projects.
Published by Jen Kramer | Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Bootstrap 3, the popular HTML5 front-end design framework (and top-starred project on GitHub), has finally been released—and what a release it is! With tons of new features and a revised API, there’s much to enjoy. Here are some of the new features and things to keep in mind when working with Bootstrap 3.
Mobile-first and fully responsive
The Bootstrap 3 framework has been entirely rewritten to follow mobile-first design principles, so you can more easily build responsive web experiences that adapt gracefully from smaller to larger screens.
Interaction design (IXD) and user experience (UX) design are increasingly recognized as essential skills for the web, mobile devices, and other digital interfaces and devices. But IXD and UX are much more than creating rollovers, knowing where to put buttons, and using attractive graphics and transitions. We need to understand what people need or want to do, what motivates them, how they interact with a device or interface, and we need to understand the technologies that are providing access to a nearly unlimited amount of information.
In this new fundamentals series David M. Hogue, Ph.D., an applied psychologist and UX designer, introduces the foundations of interaction design from a psychological perspective. Dave looks at the origins of interaction design and our basic need to record, understand, modify, communicate, share, and play with information. He also investigates key concepts in cognition, perception, learning, memory, and motivation to show how understanding the needs and behaviors of the people who will use the interface can inform and guide our design decisions.
The series is centered around five essential principles of interaction design: consistency, perceivability, predictability, learnability, and feedback. Dave uses the five principals to explore user experience and interaction design from a psychological perspective and to help explain how to craft more successful, usable, and enjoyable interfaces. His discussion covers a wide range of topics including how people develop a sense of place, cognitive friction, the Gestalt Principles, mental models, and perceived affordances.
The Interaction Design Fundamentals course is targeted at designers and developers who want to craft better, more engaging, experiences for their visitors and customers. Whether you are new to the field or are already creating interfaces for the web and devices, looking at interaction design from the perspective of human behavior, cognition, and motivation can help improve your design decisions overall.
Have other topics and techniques you wish Dave would teach, discuss, or demonstrate in this series? Leave us a comment on this post.