Data, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence Clients don’t understand their customers, they just think they do! It’s not for the lack of trying or spending millions on developing and building huge data systems, the problems are many but can be traced back to one simple thing; “Data only describes part of the what is happening and almost nothing of the why, let alone what should be done to change the situation” Clients have been sold that data gives them the answers and that big data will close the loop for them to understand the upstream and downstream thinking of their customers, WRONG. Douglas Adams noticed the realRead More →

After a year and a half of planning and work UCD2012 is almost due to start. It started as a conversation on Linkedin for me, then for a while between contacts became all consuming to make it happen. As a contractor myself I argued for an event that would also be available on a Saturday as I know how hard it is to motivate someone to lose a day’s rate and then pay for a conference on top of that. To my knowledge UCD2012 is the only United Kingdom conference to focus on it’s users in this way. It’s totally appropriate for a user centredRead More →

Given the response from the last post I’m going to take the educational publishing example a bit further, if I have time before my next contract I will also create an investment banking example. I am also being asked for diagrams that explain these relationships, again if I have time I will do these also. Educational publishing Information Architecture (IA) The last point in the previous post was describing multiple audiences looking at the same content from different perspectives. The example in educational publishing the audiences often include; Distributors Sellers Institution Teachers Pupils Parents Each one of these groups will have a very specific contextRead More →

User experience (UX) and Information Architecture (IA) are very different and have separate skill sets, processes and outputs. I often talk to people who add IA on the their CV as if it’s some simple skill, it’s actually more complex and difficult than UX. IA is also hundreds of years old as an activity while UX is less than twenty in it’s current form. Information architecture is involved in the classification and structure of information. User experience is involved in; defining who the audience is, what they can do, how they can do it and matching the aspiration of the content provider with the desiresRead More →

A simple website may only include 8 top level pages, 50 secondary and perhaps only 300 tertiary labelled (taxonomy) navigation elements, that’s only 358 entities. However IA tends to be associated with the structure and classification of websites, intranets and software that accesses in excess of 100,000+ separate entities to be classified. I have worked on several huge taxonomies for Government, Publishers, Colleges, Universities, Insurance Companies and Banks involved in trading that involve between 1,000,000 and 25,000,000+ entities. An IA when embarking on a new project will investigate if there is a standardised taxonomy for the project domain and conduct a content audit. For exampleRead More →

On the O2 site you can tell it’s all user experience and no information architecture though, everything links so there are no dead ends, unfortunately the information being sought is missing it’s an annoying merry go round.Read More →

There are lots ways to elicit UCD requirements so I don’t intend on listing them all here, what I will note are some of the effective ways that I utilise. They can be described as structured, unstructured or a mixture of the two, but importantly the methods produce differing depth of requirements dependant not only on the method but on the skill of the facilitator and the characteristics of physical location used. In effect the method used is limited by the capability of the facilitator.Read More →