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57084 Information Architecture and Design

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2018 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: IKM and Digital Studies
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

This subject introduces students to user-centred information design and architecture principles. These are applied specifically to the development of information products and services that facilitate a variety of communication interactions. Content management and organisation is examined in relation to models for designing and structuring information and communication products. These models are evaluated in terms of their appropriate application to the opportunities and capabilities available for distributing information across a range of print and multimedia. Policies and key issues such as accessibility, ethics, intellectual property, privacy and security, publishing, usability and online teaching and learning are related specifically to implications for accessing, using and sharing knowledge. On a practical level, students develop professional capabilities for translating information architectures into web materials using web authoring and HTML skills. They also develop professional communication and collaboration skills by working in teams to meet collectively negotiated goals.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Understand advanced principles in user-centred information design and architecture
b. Relate content management and organisation to various models for designing and structuring information and communication products and services
c. Assess a range of print and multimedia options in terms of the opportunities and capabilities available for distributing information
d. Evaluate policies and key issues affecting the usability of information products in relation to implications for accessing and sharing knowledge
e. Demonstrate professional capabilities for translating information architectures into web materials using advanced web authoring and HTML skills

Teaching and learning strategies

The learning experiences available in this subject include weekly workshops comprised of lectures, discussion of set readings, visiting speakers and 'hands-on' use of web authoring and image scanning and manipulation software in the computer laboratory. Students work collaboratively on a major project, thus developing project management and team-based skills.

Content (topics)

  • Advanced principles in user-centred information design and architecture
  • Applying information design and architecture skills to the organisation and management of content
  • Print and multimedia options in terms of the opportunities and capabilities available for distributing information
  • Policies and key issues affecting the usability of information products and implications for the design of print, electronic and web-based products
  • Translating information specifications and architectures into print, electronic and web-based products.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Design of a printed information product (individual assessment)

Objective(s):

a, b, c and d

Weight: 40%
Criteria:
  • Ability to evaluate an information product based on recognised design principles
  • Demonstrated understanding of user-centered analysis and design
  • Appropriateness of the product design in alignment with the users' needs
  • Clear and effective content structure to maximise impact
  • Demonstrated ability to document the information design process
  • Evidence of an understanding of the key concepts of information design principles
  • Demonstrated use of appropriate theoretical literature.
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Ability to evaluate an information product based on recognised design principles 14 a .3
Demonstrated understanding of user-centered analysis and design 14 b .1
Appropriateness of the product design in alignment with the users' needs 14 c .1
Clear and effective content structure to maximise impact 14 d .1
Demonstrated ability to document the information design process 14 .1
Evidence of an understanding of the key concepts of information design principles 14 .1
Demonstrated use of appropriate theoretical literature. 16 .2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Design journal (individual assessment)

Objective(s):

a, b, c and d

Weight: 20%
Criteria:
  • Appropriateness and relevance of the examples to demonstrate a design issue
  • Clear and informative description of the design features (good and bad)
  • In the case of poor design, an appropriate recommendation to resolve the issue
  • Appropriate references to the theory of information design
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Appropriateness and relevance of the examples to demonstrate a design issue 25 a .2
Clear and informative description of the design features (good and bad) 25 b .1
In the case of poor design, an appropriate recommendation to resolve the issue 25 c .1
Appropriate references to the theory of information design 25 d .1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Website interface prototype (team assignment)

Objective(s):

a, b, c, d and e

Weight: 40%
Criteria: To demonstrate:
  • an understanding of user-centered Website design
  • an ability to design appropriate classification of content to match the needs of the user community
  • an ability to design a logical website architecture for a specified user community
  • an understanding of appropriate information design and architecture principles to organise and structure content (content layout, operational links, navigation features, maintenance and strategic use of graphic user interfaces)
  • ability to work effectively on a team-based task
  • an awareness of current issues and academic debate in designing Web-based information products
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
an understanding of user-centered Website design 17 a .1
an ability to design appropriate classification of content to match the needs of the user community 17 b .1
an ability to design a logical website architecture for a specified user community 17 c .1
an understanding of appropriate information design and architecture principles to organise and structure content (content layout, operational links, navigation features, maintenance and strategic use of graphic user interfaces) 17 d .3
ability to work effectively on a team-based task 17 e .2
an awareness of current issues and academic debate in designing Web-based information products 15 .2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Students are expected to read the subject outline to ensure they are familiar with the subject requirements. Since class discussion and participation in activities form an integral part of this subject, you are expected to attend, arrive punctually and actively participate in classes. If you experience difficulties meeting this requirement, please contact your lecturer. Students who have a reason for extended absence (e.g., illness) may be required to complete additional work to ensure they achieve the subject objectives.

Attendance at tutorials is essential in this subject. Classes are based on a collaborative approach that involves essential work-shopping and interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor. A roll will be taken at each class. Students who have more than two absences from class will be refused final assessment (see Rule 3.8).?

References

There is no set textbook for this subject. Specific readings will be assigned on a week-by-week basis in class. The reference list below is indicative of the texts we will be using in the course.

Brown, D.M. (2007). Communicating Design : Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning, 2nd Edn.. New Riders, Berkeley.

Cooper, A. (2004). The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. Pearson Education.

Cooper, A., Reimann, R., Cronin, D. & Noessel, C. (2014). About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, 4th Edn. Wiley, Indianapolis.

Garrett, J. J. (2011). The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond, 2nd Edn. New Riders, Berkeley.

Hackos, J.T. & Redish, J.C. (1998). User and task analysis for interface design. Wiley, New York

Horn, R.E. (1999). ‘Information Design: Emergence of a New Profession’, in Information Design ed. R. Jacobson, MIT Press.

Krug, S. (2014). Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. New Riders, Berkeley.

Krug, S. (2010). Rocket Surgery Made Easy. New Riders, Berkeley.

Morville, P., Rosenfeld, L. & Arango, J. (2015). Information Architecture for the Web and Beyond, 4th edn. O'Reilly, Cambridge, Mass.

Nielsen, J. (2000). Designing Web usability: the practice of simplicity. New Riders, Indianapolis (Ind).

Norman, D. A. (2013). The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded. Perseus Books Group, New York.

Norman, D. A. (2004). Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things. Perseus Books Group, New York.

Pernice, K., Whitenton, K. & Nielsen, J. (2014). How People Read on the Web: The Eyetracking Evidence. Nielsen Norman Group.

Redish, J. (2007). Letting go of the words: writing Web content that works. Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann, Boston.

Tufte, E.R. (1997). Visual explanations: images and quantities, evidence and narrative. Graphics Press, Cheshire, Conn.

Tufte, E.R. (1990). Envisioning information. Graphics Press, Cheshire, Conn.

Website: Nielsen Norman Group Articles, https://www.nngroup.com/articles/.

Website: Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), http://www.w3.org/WAI/ .

Other resources

Journals
Design Issues
Information Design Journal
Interactions
Technical Communications