SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] mixing apples and oranges
Re: [Sigia-l] mixing apples and oranges and tomatoes
From: Thomas Vander Wal (thomas_at_vanderwal.net)
Date: Wed Apr 10 2002 - 10:41:41 EDT
Katherine Lumb wrote:
> The three arguments that I have the most difficulty countering are:
> 1. You claim to be an advocate for the user, but isn't the solution
> you're proposing more confusing to the user? If they go looking for
> tomatoes under Fruits and click that link, they get whisked away into
> the Vegetables section and lose their context. If they want to
> continue exploring information about other fruits, they have to
> navigate their way back to that section.
It is usually best to keep the information tied to the USERS context.
Test with actual users. It may be time to think about moving to a
system that manages your content all easily allows you to keep your
content consistent and accurate no matter where the information is
linked from. Like a library card catalog there are many ways to
categorize the information. But unlike a library we do not go to a
physical place to get the information, that information comes to us. As
IA and designers the context should be based on the user's understanding
of the information (taking for granted that the user understand widely
accepted classifications/context). If the user thinks about the
information (tomato) as a fruit they should see links to other fruits
around them as that is what their attraction to that information is
based. A content management approach to structuring information in this
manner makes life much easier for not only building the site, but also
upkeep of the information.
> 3. Why not do it our way? At worst, isn't it just benign redundancy?
Neither the client nor the designer are the user. Ask the users.
Building information structures around how the user (or various user
groups think about the information is the fun part). You are trying to
attract the user to the information to the information they seek. Let
the attraction be an easy interaction for the user.
> So, can you give me some bulletproof arguments and evidence to support
> my case? Or, conversely, convince me to let my client have their way?
Ask the user. If the site if for the user's, only the users can be right.
All the best,
Sigia-l mailing list
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:08 EST