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The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DMCI) site goes live

OCLC has moved the Dublin Core information to the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DMCI) site.

"The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is an open forum engaged in the development of interoperable online metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models. DCMI's activities include consensus-driven working groups, global workshops, conferences, standards liaison, and educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of metadata standards and practices."

Available: http://dublincore.org/

Controlled Vocabularies Resource Guide

Queensland University of Technology site maintained by Michael Middleton "...links to examples of thesauri and to classification schemes that may be used for controlling database or WWW page subject content. It also provides links to descriptive and critical material about such metainformation."

Available: http://www2.fit.qut.edu.au/InfoSys/middle/cont_voc.html

Are Users Stupid?

Jakob Nielsen strikes the familiar chord that design should not stand in the way of use and posits that design complexity, not users -- stupid or sophisticated -- is what keeps Web sites from being usable. Nielsen believes that as the Internet grows and reaches broader segments of the population, usability will become even more important to those wishing to keep from excluding these users.

Available: http://useit.com/alertbox/20010204.html

Software for Information Architects

From Peter Morville's Strange Connections column on Argus CIA. Looks at current tools for IAs.

Available: http://argus-acia.com/strange_connections/strange011.html

CHI conference 2001

The annual CHI conference is coming March 31 - April 5, 2001 to Seattle, WA.

"The annual CHI conference is an international forum for the exchange of ideas and information about human-computer interaction (HCI). Sponsored by Diamond Bullet Design, Microsoft Corporation, and Sun Microsystems, the conference enables diverse members of the global HCI community to meet and discuss topics including portable, wearable, and wireless computing; internalization and implications of culture on design; and theoretical foundations of HCI Devices and display systems."

Available: http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chi2001/

A divided approach to Web site design: Separating content and visuals for rapid

Jeanette Fuccella (Human Factors Engineer) and Jack Pizzolato (Web Site Designer), both at IBM, have posted this paper on how to overcome obstacles in the site development cycle by separating content and visuals using wire frames.
Abstract from the paper:

    "A well-designed Web site fuses great content and effective visuals, among other elements. Ironically, integrating these elements too early in the design process can mask problems that might otherwise be detected early, and lengthen the design cycle. This paper describes a way to shorten your design cycle by getting focused, early user feedback on the different layers of your design."
Available online: http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/library/wireframe/wireframe.html

Boxes and Arrows: Defining IA Deliverables

Christina Wodke of Carbon IQ gives an excellent overview of the seven most common deliverables that Information Architects are, to varying degrees, responsible for.

We may use different names for each deliverable, but the concepts are universally applicable. They are: 1) Conceptual model, 2) Content inventory and organization, 3) User flows/scenarios, 4) Task analysis, 5) Site map, 6) Page architecture (Wireframes), and 7) Decision tables.

Available online: http://www.webmasterbase.com/article.php/326

ASIS&T 2001 Summit, Feb 3-4: Reflections and Projections Panel

Peter Merholz has posted notes from the "Reflections and Projections Panel" of the 2001 ASIS&T Summit 2001. "At the ASIS&T 2001 Summit on "Practicing Information Architecture," I had the pleasure of sitting on the Reflections and Projections Panel with Andrew Dillon, Andrea Gallagher, and Alison Head, where we were tasked to discuss "the past, present, and future of information architecture." (P. Merholz) Available online: http://peterme.com/asis/2001summit_intro.html

Presentations from ASIS Summit 2001

Presentations from ASIS&T Summit 2001: "Practicing Information Architecture".

Available online: http://www.asis.org/Conferences/SUMMITFINAL/index.html

webreference review: "Designing Easy-to-use Websites: A Hands-on Approach to

webreference review of the book "Designing Easy-to-use Websites" by Vanessa Donelly, from ibm's ease-of-use division. the review summarizes Donnely's thesis and includes an annotated list of usability tips excepted from the book.

"Jakob Nielsen has one. Jeffrey Veen has one. Steve Krug has one. Even Andy King has one. What the heck am I talking about? A usability checklist of course. These usability heuristics are guidelines for more usable sites and the big names in usability these days all seem to allude to lists they use (Jakob's is reportedly over 220 items long). The newest entry into the usability derby is IBM's Vanessa Donnelly. We review her new book Designing Easy-to-use Websites."

Available: http://www.webreference.com/reviews/easy/2.html

Interview with Vanessa Donelly available: http://www.webreference.com/interviews/donnelly/index.html

Why You Need to Test Your Web Site with Real Users

webreference.com article suggesting how to conduct user testing.

"Usability isn't sexy, but it certainly is becoming hot lately. With the mainstream press (U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 15, 2001) featuring cover stories on simplicity over complexity, you know it has arrived. Developers are learning that simple and streamlined are in, and complex and feature-laden are out. Just look at the Mac, or the Palm pilot, these products are models of elegance and simplicity. Lois Wakeman looks at various ways to assess your site's usability. Learn how to improve your site's usablility by testing real-live users."

Available: http://www.webreference.com/authoring/design/usability/testing/2.html

Who Says Design Should Be Simple?

Andy Ihnatko discusses what he calls, the most important book of the year -- Jakob Nielsen's book "Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity" -- in his design column on newmedia.com."What makes this book a cut above others promoting design simplicity is that Nielsen clobbers you over the head with this gospel. He quotes actual studies, and, more emphatically, cites example after example (mostly negative) of pages designed by one of those kids whose box of 128 Crayolas each were worn down exactly the same amount. ... In my opinion, what makes it the most important book of the year is the fact that it's a brilliant reference mark. Every year, hundreds of books are published that help us exploit technology, but only a handful help us think about it." Available: http://www.newmedia.com/nm-ie.asp?articleID=2275

Built 2 Order

Roger C. Parker's IA article from Publish magazine discusses how to make the transition from graphic designer to IA. Includes Parker's "10 Commandments of Information Architecture".Available: http://www.publish.com/features/0007/feature4.htm

Usability Experts are from Mars, Graphic designers are from Venus

Curt Cloninger's Information architecture vs. design article from alistapart.comAvailable: http://www.alistapart.com/stories/marsvenus/

Welcome to iaslash.

Welcome.

iaslash is a news site for information architects. Regardless of your field, if you are interested in information organization, usability, user testing, user interface design, and other areas related to the access and use of information in information-use environments, you may find some news and resources of interest here.

iaslash should be fairly easy to use if you have used any of the community news sites modeled after slashdot. If you've come across any news, papers or articles related to information architecture, please feel free to submit it.

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-Michael (jibbajabba)

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