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Following the first part of my Barcamp Singapore 3 writeup, after lunch, I jumped onto the first talk there is which is a rather fun discussion of what April Fool joke should Google play the year.

There were several interesting one and funny one too. Of course I will not spoil any by blogging about it, just in case the Big G implement any of those.

Following it was a quick talk on the “other” Google API. A technical track and very quickly, the content can be summarise by two links:

Interestingly the very day, a coupon API was release and no one, even the speaker have an idea of what is it. What interest me is the iGoogle Theme Creator. I might just get my hands on that one nice day.

I jumped to the next room where Coleman Yee have attracted a crowd to his talk:

How to bluff your way through information architecture by Coleman Yee

Coleman Presenting

Coleman Presenting

In short, the goal of IA is to

  • Make user friendly website
  • Easy to access information

In the redesign of a website to achieve the above, consider 3 factors which are Content, Context and Users.

  • Context is about the goal of the website and can be derived by talking to the stakholders.
  • Content are the information on the site. Which then requires a content audit to capture the inventory and what is what.
  • For Users, it is the audience of the site and attention is to be given via survey and focus group to understand how the users used the site and the difficulties encountered. Seek to resolve these difficulties.

With the understanding of the site taken care of, then is the design of the site structure and hierarchy. Use wireframes to test both layout and functionality and test both only using wireframes.

The presentation style of Coleman was entertaining and educational. I give him a two thumbs up. And of course, he already given himself 2 thumbs up pointing at himself everytime he mention “Good Information Architect”

Just go easy on the high blood pressure. Another coverage of this outstanding presentation.

I caught Coleman after the talk and asked about the differences between information architecture and site usability and it seems that there is a growing overlap between the 2. But the differences are secondary as it is essential to appreciate the benefit both brings to the eventual success of a site.