Hillman Curtis’ minimalist approach to design also appears to be his approach to writing. In just a few words he captures the essence of what it means to be a New Media designer and what it takes to push into unknown territory.
When PeopleSoft decided to unify its websites, the information architects involved used bottom-up techniques to make sense of the enormous number of different pieces of content.
Fifty years before web, 30 years before the personal computer, Vannevar Bush envisioned a new machine to make sense of the growing mountains of information, creating the notions of “hypertext” and the modern link.
In September 2000, Razorfish, Germany was tasked to redesign the main websites for Audi. In the process they explored workgroup software, utilized technology to support the brand ideals and challenged the status quo of current web navigation thinking by proposing a right handed navigation system.
Brand should be a component of every decision a company makes, from its customer service to its logistics to its letterhead to its interactive properties. Tips and advice for the IA needing to support the brand experience within a quality user experience.
There’s a natural balance that can be mastered between both intensely imaginative, and passionately logical lines of thought. We need to seek out this synergy to be good at design. The surprising truth is that for designers everywhere, the scientific method can be an extremely powerful tool for finding and evangelizing your great ideas.
Part 2: The intense focus on the user experience differentiates websites from printed products—and information architects from print designers and writers—more than anything else. Information architects must think like print designers and writers—and they must do what print designers and writers do—on a much bigger scale, in “N dimensions.”
Recently Boxes and Arrows caught up with Samantha Bailey, formerly at Argus and current lead IA for Wachovia Corporation’s Wachovia.com website. She talks about the transition from being a consultant to an “innie” IA, unravels the mysteries of metadata and taxonomies and shares her vision of the future of IA.
One nonprofit + two web agencies + nine months = SchwabLearning.org. Yes, that was the formula to launch our Web site, and I am one of the sole survivors to tell you about it. In 1999, after eleven years of serving San Francisco Bay Area parents and educators through direct services and outreach, we realized that we could effect greater change if we expanded our web presence. This is the story of our redesign process.
The seeds for Usability.gov were sown in early 1999 when the popular CancerNet web site came up for a redesign. As usual, we began by seeking input for the new design from technical professionals: web designers, content writers, engineers. Our “kitchen cabinet” also included users. But the opinions from this broad group of professionals and laymen were as diverse as their backgrounds. Whose ideas were right?