Wayfinding in multiple dimensions: a web case study

A session at Information Design conference 2009

Thursday 2nd April, 2009

4:00pm to 4:00pm (GMT)

A website for ‘hard to reach’ users needs to help diverse user groups find what they want in a large information repository. There are many ways of approaching ‘site wayfinding’ – most commonly through the hierarchical organisation of user types, typical tasks/user goals, subject classification or even by type of interaction/content. This may be organised though an essentially rational approach driven by cognitive theory, iterative development and extensive testing.

On the other hand, there are inevitable constraints on rationality including uncertainty, time and resources, so in practice the web designer/architect has to trade off opinions, guesses, and the path of least technological resistance.

This presentation is a reflexive case study. It looks at how initial decisions on structure, navigation and metadata were taken for a particular site – knowhownonprofit.org – and their outcomes, both successful and less successful.

We will explain:

  • the options we thought were available to the project in the context of not-yet-recruited future users and not-yet-written future content (much of it created in ill defined ways by these future users);
  • the initial graphic and interaction solutions we devised to deal with content architecture and metadata classification;
  • the testing we did and how that affected the initial structure, functionality and visual design of the site; and
  • what we learned after the site was ‘soft launched’ quietly in October 2008 and before it was ‘officially’ marketed and launched in the spring of 2009.

About the speakers

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Clive Holtham

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Time 4:00pm4:00pm GMT

Date Thu 2nd April 2009

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