SIGIA-L Mail Archives: RE: SIGIA-L: Measuring IA
RE: SIGIA-L: Measuring IA
From: Louis Rosenfeld (lou_at_argus-inc.com)
Date: Wed May 17 2000 - 06:04:41 EDT
Andy Breeding wrote:
> In response to Lou's question about measuring IA, I think:
> -In pragmatic terms IA can be measured indirectly though things like
> customer satisfaction or perhaps more directly though usability
> tests which
> address specific facets of information architecture (e.g. What %
> of people
> find what they're looking for?). Of course I'm sure there are some
> projects where good IA is more critical than others--perhaps in situations
> where the information space is large or complex. The context of a
> particular project will affect both the importance and measurement of how
> good the IA is.
[the rest of Andy's message snipped]
I agree that you can measure certain facets of an architecture indirectly.
But I'm still having a hard time seeing how we can legitimately measure how
many people find what they are looking for EXCEPT when they're doing "known
item" searching (i.e., they already know what they're looking for and what
they're looking for is actually available). In just about all other cases,
users aren't sure what they were looking for in the first place, so how can
success be measured?
Alternatively, we can measure user satisfaction. But this is not the same
thing as measuring whether or not users find what they are looking for. Not
knowing any better, a user might express satisfaction with the inaccurate or
incomplete information that a system provides. Ignorance is bliss, but
blissful users don't necessarily indicate a successful information
I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I think we need to be
careful when wading into the issue of measuring IA success.
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:54:19 EST