2018 Main Conference Talk
When designing information systems for human use, there’s no substitute for putting a contextually authentic experience in front of actual users and getting real, actionable feedback. This is especially true for the solutions we design as information architects: our categories, labels, and menus don’t “work” unless they work for our target audience. Common methods for prototyping and testing information architecture, however, tend to be either very abstract (like card sorting and tree testing), or mind-numbingly tedious (which you know if you’ve ever had to “”find and replace”” menu items in an InVision or Axure prototype).
In this talk I will show you a method for building lightweight, medium fidelity prototypes that start with content and structure and let you easily model and test information architecture solutions early in the design process. I’ll share the goals of this approach, and then walk through how to build your own prototypes using free, open source tools. I’ll also illustrate how IA prototyping works in the context of a project with a case study drawn from my own recent client work.
By the end of this talk, you’ll have seen:
- why prototyping IA is important and how it differs from interaction and visual design prototyping
- how to build structured content driven IA prototypes for your own projects and how to access a free, open source framework to get started
- how to integrate an IA prototyping approach into your existing research, ideation, review, and iteration process
About the speaker(s)
Andy Fitzgerald is an independent digital experience designer with applied expertise in design research, information architecture, interaction design, and prototyping. He works with organizations of all sizes to create elegant solutions to complex information problems.
Prior to forming his own practice, Andy held design and director positions with Frog Design and Deloitte Digital where he tackled the problem of effective communication in complex information spaces for a wide range of client organizations in healthcare, education, financial services, retail, entertainment, and transportation. Andy is an active member of the IA and experience design communities and has spoken and led workshops at UX and IA Conferences all over the world.