- Information-seeking behavior
I’m taking a refresher on Information Architecture by reading Information Architecture: For the Web and Beyond by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville, and Jorge Arango.
Information Architecture is as important as planning and strategizing in general—it’s one of the first steps when designing for many kinds of information systems and digital products.
I still could not wrap my head around the whole idea of frames. However, I did like the structure that was described in relation to linguistics.
- Surface Syntactic Frames – verb and noun structures
- Surface Semantic Frames – action–centered meaning of words
- Thematic Frames – settings
- Narrative Frames – stories
We could notice the structure—from the detail towards the bigger picture. Patterns like these are also relevant to Information Architecture.
There could be two approaches in defining elements in a User Interface (UI):
Say, for example, we have a blog post that has a date. In order to define what kind of date it is, we could either define it in a sentence:
- Published on 1 January 2020.
- This blog post was published on January 1, 2020.
or we could define it thru a label:
- Date Published: 1 January 2020
- Publishing Date: January 1, 2020
Please note that in order to create an effective description that communicates its purpose, we have to identify the context in which the element is in.
In finding the best term for separating a collection of items, which to use—list or group?
List implies linearity, structure.
Group implies randomness.
In generalizing the semantics of all items in a collection—in an HTML document—go for group.
<ul class="list group">…</ul> <div class="group">…</div> <dl class="list group">…</dl>
It is important to note that the all HTML elements in the examples could express hierarchy by nesting other elements—but it is in the collection of items that list or group provides semantics.
Use list for collection of items that implies order (yes, even for <ul>).
Use group for collection of items that does not imply order.
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
Colors of the Wind
The Name—Description—Purpose Information Structure or NDP becomes a tool in identifying any UI element within a system. The Designer would have a glimpse of what it is called (Name), what it does (Description), and why it exists (Purpose).