Blog 5 – IA

1. What is the goal of a label?

  •  Communicate effectively – Cause the right association for the user
  •  Communicate efficiently – Don’t take up too much physical space, Don’t take up too many cognitive resources

Reference: LectureNotes

2. Why is labelling an important aspect of web site design?

Because web site communications are very different from real-time physical conversations between people and a web site serves as an intermediary between people. There is no immediate feedback. A labelling system is needed to provide visual cues to educate the user about new concepts and help them quickly identify familiar ones.

Reference: LectureNotes

3. What are the aspects of a good labelling system?

  • Consistency, Use user’s perspective language, Use of appropriate one of voice

Reference: LectureNotes

4. List and describe the types/varieties of labels?

  • Nouns (“Flight reservations”)
  • Verb phrases (“Book a flight”) (“Sign up Now”) (“Apply Today”)
  • Gerunds (“Giving to Maryland”)
  • Prepositional phrases (“For applicants”)
  • Questions (“How do I sign up?”)
  • Idiomatic (“What’s new?”, “Guestbook”, “Shopping cart”)
  • Icons

Reference: LectureNotes

5. Why do index terms facilitate faster searching and make browsing easier?

Because index terms often referred to as keywords, descriptive metadata, taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, and thesauri, the records used to represent documents in content management systems and other databases typically include fields for index terms. Using index terms for controlled vocabularies or thesauri is a systematic approach to labelling.

Reference: LectureNotes

6. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using iconic labels.

  • Advantages: add aesthetic quality to a site, repeated exposure : representational, esay to visually recognize
  • Disadvantages: more limited carry of meaning than text, Risky proposition to use in many instances

Reference: LectureNotes

7. What is the purpose of “scope notes”?

Scope notes are way to put a restriction on meaning. Scope notes are what you want to share with the world; editorial notes are what we will share with the team


8. How do homonyms and synonyms affect label design?

  • homonyms: words that sound the same but have different meanings
  • Synonyms: different words that mean the same or a similar thing
  • Different context affects user’s understanding of a particular term

Reference: LectureNotes

9. Why is it important to be consistent when designing a labelling system?

Because if a labelling system is not designed to be consistent, user will get confused and easy to get lost when they are searching and browsing.

10. Why is it better to have a narrower scope when designing labels?

  • Focusing on a more defined audience reduces the number of possible perspectives of what a label means
  • Sticking to few subject domains achieves more obvious and effective representation
  • A narrower business context means clearer goals for the site, its architecture, and therefore its labels

11. List and describe the key issues that affect the consistency of a labelling system.

  • Style: Avoid haphazard use of punctuation and case
  • Presentation: Consistent application of fonts, font sizes, colours, whitespace and grouping
  • Syntax: Choose a single syntactical approach
  • Granularity: Present labels that are roughly similar in their specificity
  • Comprehensiveness: Don’t leave gaps in the labelling system
  • Audience: Consider the language of your sites intended audience

Reference: LectureNotes

12. What are the main sources of labelling systems?

  • Current main web site
  • Competitor’s web site
  • Controlled vocabularies and thesauri

13. Create a labelling table for a web site of your choice. Comment on the quality of the labelling system. Are there any inconsistencies? How would you improve the labelling system?

14. What are the advantages of using controlled vocabularies and thesauri as a source for labelling systems? Provide some examples of controlled vocabulary and thesauri resources.

These vocabularies are often publicly available and have been designed for broad usage. You’ll find these to be most useful for populating labeling systems used for indexing content.

15. Describe the three most important sources for creating a new labelling system.

  • Software tools
  • Content authors
  • Subject matter experts

16. Take a screen capture of the main page of web site of an e-commerce web site of your own choice and post it on your blog. Ensure that you capture the entire page with your screen capture, not just the top portion of it. Note that you can’t choose a search engine or your own blog to critique. The e-commerce site must make use of a search system.

a) Create a table (similar to one below) describing ALL the navigation labels. The table
should present the name of the label, the destination page’s heading label, and the
destination page’s <TITLE> label.

b) Describe what labels you do not like and why, and suggest improvements.

c) Describe whether there are any inconsistencies in the labelling system between the pages on the basis of style, presentation, syntax, granularity, comprehensiveness and audience.

d) Describe what forms of navigation are used?

e) Describe what type of search system is used and the strategies for facilitating search?

f) Examine at least two other similar or competing web sites and undertake the following tasks:

a. Provide screen shots of these competing web sites.

b. Describe how similar the labelling systems are.

c. Describe the similarities in the navigation systems.

d. Describe the similarities in the search systems

e. State whether you think any particular site is clearly the winner (and if so, why)?

17. What is meant by the term “subject matter expert”?

A subject matter expert means that an individual who exhibits the highest level of expertise in performing a specialized job, task, or skill within the organization. A subject matter expert might be a software engineer, a helpdesk support operative, an accounts manager, a scientific researcher.


18. What is card sorting? Describe how card sorting can be useful for creating a labelling system.

Card sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture of a site. In a card sorting session, participants organize topics into categories that make sense to them and they may also help you label these groups.


19. What is meant by the term “folksonomic tagging”?

Folksonomic tagging means another useful indirect source of labels for you to learn from. In many of these sites, users’ tags are publicly viewable. When you display them in aggregate, you’ll find a collection of candidate labels that approximates the results of a free-listing exercise.


20. What is search log analysis? Why is it useful/important?

Analysing search queries is a good way to understand the types of labels your site’s visitors typically us

21. What is an embedded navigation system? What are the three types of embedded navigation systems?

An embedded navigation system is a navigation system that is inserted and merged within the content of the site.

-global, local, contextual


22. What is a supplemental navigation system? What are the three types of supplemental navigation systems?

Navigation system that runs outside of the content page.

-sitemap, index, guide


23. Describe the main types of built-in web browser navigation.

-URL box

-Back and forward buttons

-Bookmarks, Favourties

-Browser history

Reference: LectureNotes

24. What are the some of the ways designers override or corrupt browser-based navigation?

Cluelessly modifying the visited/unvisited link colours • Killing the back button • Crippling the Bookmark feature

Reference: LectureNotes

25. Apply the navigation stress test to two different web sites and describe your findings.

26. Describe the purpose and key features of a global navigation system.

helps users navigate the site to find the areas of interest to them. global navigation tends to concern itself with hierarchies of information or broad categories. Global navigation usually appears in the same way and at the same place on every page, listing the same items. Global navigation shows users where they are within the site and how to get somewhere else. It usually remains consistent throughout the site.

27. Describe the pros and cons of hypertextual navigation.

Pros: Lateral and vertical navigation is available

Cons: Not easy to understand for user how the system navigates

28. Go to two large websites that support global and local navigation. Post screen shots of these two websites and highlight the navigation systems.

global nava


29. Describe the purpose of a contextual navigation system. Find two examples of web sites that use contextual navigation. Use these example to explain how contextual navigation supports associate learning.

The purpose of a contextual navigation systems is to allow for associative learning as users learn by exploring the relationship between items.



Reference: Chapter 7 Navigation Systems – Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites

30. Find an example of a web site that uses a sitemap as a supplemental navigation system. Critique the sitemap according to the design criteria outlined in the lecture notes.



31. Why is the level of granularity an issue when designing a web site index?

The level of granularity can be an issue as it depends on designing a website index this can be difficult to determine the correct level of granularity you should use when indexing the site.

Reference: Chapter 7 Navigation Systems – Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites

32. What is term rotation? Provide some examples of term rotation for a site index.

Term rotation is when the words in a phrase are entered in a different order by the user so they don’t miss out on the correct result because they entered the term differently to others
Example.  Searching for Iphone 6 or 6 Iphone should resolve the same result .

33. Find an example of a web site that uses a guide as a supplemental navigation system. Critique the guide according to the design criteria outlined in the lecture notes.

34. List and describe the advanced navigation approaches.

– Personalisation and customisation: Personalisation is presenting tailored pages to the users according to their previous behavior where customisation allows the users to change element of the page to suit their preference.
– Visualisation: The visualisation approach istrying to present a websites to users as physical places and have them navigate through them as if they were at that physical place.
– Social navigation: Social navigation is whenusing the actions of the group to guess the likely actions of a user. For example, other users that purchased this, also liked this.

Reference: Chapter 7 Navigation Systems – Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites

35. Design a site map or index for your proposed Drupal CMS web site for the assignment.


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