MICHAEL HILL - USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER, INFORMATION ARCHITECT, USABILITY PROFESSIONAL.

Information Architect

Methodology

Form follows function.

I use a simple approach in which content structures are mapped to user and project goals & objectives.

My principles when developing a new IA:


Common Ground Alliance - Complete information architecture, content, and page designs.

Common Ground Alliance required several workshops to refine the core association message and provide a meaningful membership offering.


Call 811 - Complete information architecture, content ideation and strategy, voice, tone, and page designs.

Related to the CGA project, this site is intended to promote and encourage dig safety.


U.S. Dept of Transportation Office of Civil Rights - Core information architecture and page designs.

DOCR wanted to provide clear access to EEOC and Civil rights services and support. All existing content was inventoried, and a Drupal solution implemented.


AFPM.org - Complete redesign & rebranding.

AFPM set out to rebrand themselves and speak to a wider audience. By using audience & goals-based scenarios, the core site structure was optimized to support existing members and the greater public.


Google Search - How do you architect a search experience?

With the Wirefly site, I took the approach that an e-commerce search should always use common information elements. Pictures of phones, who the carrier was, and a distinct call to action (buy a phone from us) were my underlying drivers.

Taking a look at the competetive landscape, I identified what the internal expectation was. eBay, Amazon, Dell, and Newegg were identified as top e-commerce sites who had a great search. We should now emulate that. Okay, perfect.

To get started, I did two things;

First, I identified what types of information we had in our product database. How granular or coarse was the information? Could I chunk things into manageable and recognizable pieces? (the answer was yes to both).

Next, I looked at consumer research to determine what information consumers used when making a cell phone purchase, which resulted in the following information structure.

Information is clearly chunked, labels are concise and in plain language, and the most relevant information is displayed in just the right places. Launched in the spring of 2007 with great success.

The result was one of the most rewarding projects in my portfolio to-date (and still active at: http://www.wirefly.com)

Wirefly original search design
Wirefly search IA
(current version at http://www.wirefly.com)


USGS - Combine several sites into one mega architecture.

Original individual sites.

USGS - Original Site Map
USGS - Original site IA (nine individual sites)

After conducting a detailed audience analysis, and identifying the most frequent tasks, and their respective users, I designed a completely new IA.


USGS - Revised IA (single site)

After the site structure was developed, I needed to show my client how all the existing content would be accounted for during this drastic redesign. What I developed was a multi-level information hierarchy, starting with a homepage, a landing page, and ending with a content article.

For each screen, a wireframe was developed, which showed how each element of the page would be represented. These wireframes were used both to present ideas to the client, and converted to HTML for rapid prototype testing (clickable HTML prototype).


ASCD - Vignette portal CMS and site redesign project.

With ASCD in 2004 we were undergoing a complete site redesign as well as building and launching a Vignette CMS.

A major part of the redesign was the primary site navigation and the respective drop down menus. Prior to my work, the site was organized in no particular fashion, and items in the drop down were organized as they were needed, and whenever our developer could make the fix.

My solution: Speaking with users and looking at search logs, I noticed that people knew the content they were repeatedly searching for. I conducted several card sorts and ultuimately arrived at the following structure. For ease of use, all items in the drop down were organized alphabetically, again something that users told me helped them skim and move.

USGS - Original Site Map

 

 

Contact |2016 Michael Hill