SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] IA Missions
Re: [Sigia-l] IA Missions
From: Anne Hjortshoj (anne_at_optical.mindstorm.com)
Date: Fri May 10 2002 - 11:35:49 EDT
I worked at a Web consulting firm until very recently (I am now
contracting for a software company). While I was there, I was frequently
asked to do estimation for the IA portion of proposals.
Here's what I would do:
1 - Steps one through three as you listed them
2 - I would think about how I would do the IA for this particular project:
deliverables required, process, what the final product would be, etc.
3 - I would contribute a list of deliverables and estimated times per
deliverable to a project plan (which would cover the overall project).
4 - I would pull together examples of the deliverables that I would use
for this project from a bank of faked-up deliverables. We used to use
screenshots of the deliverables with descriptive text.
5 - The final proposal would contain the IA deliverables in a project
plan, an explanation of our IA process fine-tuned to address the major
points of the project, and a list of IA deliverables to be used for the
project with descriptions for each ones (including what the deliverable
would specifically accomplish for the potential client).
We found that this approach avoided "giving away" IA work for free in our
On Fri, 10 May 2002, Thomas Donehower wrote:
> Hi all,
> I've been thinking a lot about "Real World" IA. My experience is only from
> an Agency background so I might be biased. However, it seems that a lot of
> thinking out there doesn't account for the "Messy Real World" just like a
> lot of online user experiences don't account for the "Messy Real World." The
> result of this thinking has led me to want to spur discussion about "IA
> Missions". IA Missions are those "Messy Real World" scenarios where you're
> assigned a task and have to demonstrate value in a minimum amt. of time.
> Below, I've shared one IA mission that may or may not be something you can
> relate to, but I'm hoping you can. I'm proposing a format for them and
> sharing this one with you hoping that others can relate, offer their
> "Solution" and possibly there own IA Mission(s).
> I'm hoping that this post will spur the posting of many IA Missions w/ the
> actual solution the poster used and that each IA Mission will prompt the
> posting of alternative solutions.
> IA Mission: CONTRIBUTE TO BIZ DEV PROPOSAL
> Context: It's 9:00 AM and out of the blue, a biz dev. guy swings by and says
> "Hey, we need some IA stuff for this proposal by tomorrow. You can do it
> right?" You say "yes" and put everything else on the back burner. Your given
> the RFP and get to work.
> Biz Goals: From the poorly written RFP you learn that the project is a
> redesign of an existing site and that the client's goals are 1)consistent
> branding, 2)provide product info. 3) provide a seamless user experience
> 4)Increase "stickiness" 5) Track ROI
> You also learn that everything is being repurposed and that there is no
> budget for new functionality. The biz dev guy tells you It's just a facelift
> and navigational rework. He says "They just want it to be easier to use, but
> still look credible."
> Time: You have 8 hours to provide value to the proposal.
> Tools: You have a computer w/ fast connection and the RFP. You cannot talk
> to the client and no one else on your team knows any more than what's in the
> My Solution:
> 1) I started by reading the RFP and making notes along the way
> 2) I rapidly reviewed the existing site and made quick notes where I
> experienced confusion
> 3) I then went and looked at competing sites and took quick notes.
> 4) I created a detailed Feature/Functionality Matrix of the online market
> and showed gaps in the current site's content offerings
> 5)I created a quick Persona chart based on a quick discussion w/ a
> strategist and the info in the RFP about the target audience
> 6) I did a rapid IA assessment of the existing site where I pasted screen
> captures into PowerPoint and placed callouts pointing out areas of confusion
> in the navigation and individual page elements
> 7) Finally I drafted a preliminary wireframe showing a possible direction
> for the IA
> Result: Looking back, it seems I was preoccupied with providing "quantity."
> I'm not sure I took the best approach and my gut says it doesn't make sense
> to start doing preliminary wire frames for a proposal. However, the Biz Dev.
> guy loved it, said "Looks good!" and we were invited to the pitch.
> How would you have handled this IA Mission? What IA Missions have been
> thrown at you? How did you handle them?
> Thomas Donehower
> Sr. Information Architect
> EURO RSCG NETHOD CIRCLE
> 200 Madison Avenue
> New York, New York 10016
> Main: 212-251-8800
> Fax: 212-251-8819
> Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp.
> Content Management Symposium, Chicago O'Hare Marriott, June 28 - 30.
> See http://www.asis.org/CM
> ASIST SIG IA: http://www.asis.org/SIG/SIGIA/index.html
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:13 EST