Dan Hasselius Searchland Wilsome Graphics Webdev
 


Information Architecture

The proposal looks good. What is the next step? Usually some agreed upon deposit is made towards the site. Upon the arrival of the deposit, information architecture begins.

Information Architecture
Let us say that you are my client. At this point, you must gather the team of people that will be involved with the development of the Site. The team can be one or many people. The team has homework and a due date based on the deadline:

  1. Review sites that are similar to your own.
  2. Make a list of sites that are in your market.
  3. Review sites in general.
  4. Make a list of things that you like and hate?
  5. Create short descriptions of the kind of people (your audience) that visit your site.
  6. Create a wish list of all the things you would like in this site.
  7. Create a wish list of everything that you wish the site to accomplish.
  8. What is the Misssion Statement of the company and how does the Web Site relate to this Mission?

The team produces the following documents:

  1. Competition Sites <so your new site is a competitor>
  2. Likes and dislikes
  3. Audience descriptions.
  4. Content wish list. <What you want in the Site, ranked in loose order of percieved priority>
  5. Web Site goals. <What you want the Site to accomplish.>
  6. Mission Statement <used to determine a mission statement for the Site.>

Once these documents have all been produced, a process of vision and revision happens. Through email and telephone calls, the "Team Contact" and I will question, clarify, distill, add, modify and delete stuff from all of those documents to develop an actual blueprint of the site The Blueprint contains the content, navigation, structure, functionality, look and feel preferences, etc. All are predefined before any code is laid down. The Blueprint, called the "Information Architecture" is documented. Within the blueprint is a "Content Inventory" that outlines all of the images, prose, adcopy, biographies, etc required for each of the content areas within the Site.

An actual quotation is produced, because at this point we know what work actually needs to be done. The quotation usually has options modularized so you can pick and choose what you want based on your budget. The deadline is modified accordingly. Once the parameters are defined and a contract has been signed, the Team gets another homework assignment: "Content Preparation," with a due date The Team begins to gather all of the content outlined in the Content Inventory doc. The project moves into the "Look and Feel" stage of development. The next page outlines that process.


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