If you are working on a website redesign, 404s are the very real monsters under your bed. Ignore them, and they will wreak havoc on your website’s traffic. Worst of all, by the time you realize what’s happening it may already be too late.
Posts in Information Architecture
You've been doing Drupal permissions wrong for years (probably). And the fix is pretty simple. The Problem: Drupal permissions are an administrator's nightmare. The settings page is a daunting wall of nondescript checkboxes with overlapping meaning and lots of duplication. This makes bugs hard to find and permissions hard to manage. Worst of all, this user experience poses a security risk. It's just too tempting to scroll and check box after box without thinking too deeply about the consequences.
A technical architecture document is not only helpful for planning, but can also be used to automate the creation of content types and other site elements. This cuts down on development time, allowing for rapid prototyping. This process plays well into a content first approach to web development and helps the client understand the power of structured content.
As information architects, we love tools that help clients think about the structure of their content. One which we’ve found particularly helpful is what we call our Technical Architecture document. It’s a spreadsheet that defines the structure of the site. This approach is not uncommon, especially within the Drupal community; however, we have promoted this spreadsheet from information architecture tool to site generator. By automating a once manual process, we’ve introduced some really exciting opportunities around rapid prototyping and efficient product iteration.
Google has developed a wide range of products to help teams collaborate on projects. Here at Aten, we use Google Drive to foster collaboration between Aten employees and the awesome organizations we work with on a daily basis.
Most non-profits are great about establishing a vision, mission, and goals for their organizations. All too often though, that strategic work ends up divorced from an organization’s online presence and communications approach. When you’re in the throes of the non-profit hustle and staff are strapped for time with deadlines looming, the website, blog, or Twitter account is oftentimes the first thing to be neglected. While this reality is understandable, an organization’s content is crucial to its success.
Providing clear and compelling navigation is key to a site’s success. Testing that navigation with an online survey for real users to complete ensures that you'll answer your audience's questions.
During our Information Architecture process, we help clients organize their content and create a content creation plan for the different types of content to use on their new website. Our clients have experienced authors who are experts in their field, but writing for the web has its own challenges. Ginny Redish explains it well in Letting Go of the Words, “People come for information that answers their question or helps them complete their task.