"This is a book for people who want to create better websites. It will show you how to create an underlying structure so your site communicates your ideas, promotes your services, and sells your goods. In many ways, this structure is like an architectural blueprint - but instead of showing the builders where to put the kitchen, the structure maps out the location of the information you want to share with those who visit your site. The structure is the "blueprint" of the information architect.
"A well-designed structure helps the designer create more effective graphics and navigation. It helps the programmer write the code. Most important of all, it keeps your visitors from getting lost, frustrated or bored.
"Unfortunately, most people don't think about the structure; in fact, most people don't even know such a thing exists. Instead, they plunge ahead with the more entertaining parts of a web project, like the graphics and typefaces, and let the structure grow naturally - like weeds in a garden.
"It doesn't have to be that way "
Practical Information Architecture is a concise, step-by-step guide to this vital but all too often neglected aspect of website creation. Author Eric Reiss draws on his extensive experience in the field to guide you through the information architecture process, from defining your goals to fine-tuning your site. Supported by a wealth of illustrations and examples, Practical Information Architecture is an invaluable source of hands-on advice to help you:
o set meaningful website goals
o determine what information needs to be on the site to achieve these goals
o incorporate useful browser-based features that enhance the user experience
o produce easily understood diagrams to guide programmers and graphic designers
o define menus that visitors will immediately understand
o segment a site to meet the needs of widely divergent target audiences
o understand the impact of wireless technologies such as WAP.
Practical Information Architecture is written for web marketing professionals, site-owners, designers, webmasters, copywriters, consultants, students, and anyone else involved in building a website.
PART I: CONSIDERATIONS
1. Setting the Scene
2. Defining the Task
3. Measuring Your Sucess
4. Defining the Content
5. Providing Useful Services
6. Ensuring Successful Online Sales
7. Deciding on the Type of Site
PART II: MECHANICS
8. Putting Together the First Structure
9. Getting It Down on Paper
10. Calling Things by their Right Name
11. Structuring the Lower Levels
12. Getting the Most Our of Hyperlinks
13. Adding Secondary Features
PART III: FINE-TUNING
14. Refining the First Structure
15. Building a Subsite
16. Talking to a Specific Audience
17. Movi on to the Production Phase
18. Testing the Usability
19. Looking Forward