Blog 3

Information Architecture Design of a Corporate Web Site

Question 1.

Audience’s Characteristics

The website that I am intending to publish through Drupal by the end of the session is based on my personal interest i.e. tourism. The website will be based on Australian tourism and will be called VisitAustralia.

As is obvious by the nature of the website, the audience is comprised of a large spectrum i.e. it will include people of all ages and backgrounds who plan to visit Australia and can get all the required information about different tourist locations beforehand. But as anticipated, the audience will primarily be families; married couples which can be of age 18+ and so on. Basically anyone who wants to know about Australian cities and attractive locations will be using the website. As stated earlier, people of both genders will be accessing this website before planning their trip to the beautiful country.

At the same time, since it is an educational/information website, the website is intended to be made as simple as possible so that it is easier for the user to find and navigate through all the desired information without much of a hassle. But if we talk about the socio-economic background, people having medium or middle class background are more likely to visit this website much since they tend to plan their tours in advance.


Question 2.

Website Blue-prints

The website consists of several similar pages which tell the user about the information of different tourist attractions in different cities. On opening the website, the user gets to the Homepage which tells the user some basic details about Australia and the content of the website. The rest of the pages are mostly about different cities and locations along with the About Us and Contact pages.

A basic sitemap or blue-print of a website shows the structure of the website. Or in other words, it shows the relationship between pages i.e. what is accessible from where in the website. Moreover, it shows the collection of all the pages that are intended to be in the website along with their hierarchy within the website.

The sitemap or the blue-print of the website will be as follows:

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Sitemap

As seen in the sitemap above, the arrows are all bidirectional which means that the user can go from any webpage to any other webpage using the global navigation inside the website.

Starting from the Homepage, a user can see the city-wise details i.e. the history and the tourist spots in that city. The hierarchy of pages is set such that the user can go to any page directly from the homepage as well as there is the option of going step-by-step.

Moreover, the Search option can be accessed from anywhere in the webpage too.

Form of Navigation:

The form of navigation used in the website is Global navigation since we want the user to be able to go to any page. There is not much need of local navigation since I want the information to be accessible to the user from everywhere. Moreover, the use of contextual navigation might be used as needed.

Search strategy:

Since this is a static informational website, the focus is mostly on the display of the pre-gathered information to the user. The user will see all the relevant information there is about certain locations. However, I have included the option to search for different locations and cities. Using the index matching search within the website, in search results user will see the relevant cities and/or locations along with their pictures and relevant textual information.

Organization of the site:

The organization scheme used in the site is subjective i.e. can be classified as an Audience website since the purpose is to spread awareness.

The organization structure is based on the top-down approach, mostly hierarchical i.e. the user can view the hierarchy of cities and the places to visit in those cities will appear under separate cities.


Question 3.

Website Wire-frames

The design of the website is pretty straightforward i.e. the pages are mostly just texts and images therefore the following wire-frames show the basic outline of the homepage and a couple of other pages. The pages show the logo and the navigation structure as well.

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Homepage Wire-frame

The first wire-frame, as shown above, is of the Homepage. On opening the home page, the user gets to see the introduction to the country of Australia and the basic outline of what the website has to offer to view. As we can see in the wire-frame, the site uses both horizontal as well as the sidebar navigation. User can choose the locations city-wise where further information is being shown as a hierarchical structure.

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Places Wire-frame

The second page as shown above is the Places to go page which shows the user the most famous places in Australia that should be visited. Even though, the wire-frame is showing four images, there may potentially be much more images in the website. The rest of the structure is the same for the page.

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Search Wire-frame

As for the third wire-frame is concerned, this one shows the search results which will be based on the input text entered by the user in the upper right corner search-box of the website. Now, this search box is available all across the website as it is a part of the global navigation. Therefore, the user will be able to get to this page from any other page.


Question 4.

Website Metadata Matrix

The website has static information about different cities and their famous locations so the metadata is mostly comprised of cities and their details such as names and descriptions. Therefore, the maintenance is mostly straightforward.

The metadata matrix is given below:

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Site Metadata

If we look at the material in the website, we will figure out that most of the information is straightforward, therefore the metadata is not that broad and complicated. However, in case of user search there are some terms like he might search for a city that he already has heard about or the places that are famous. In case of such words, the system will have a collection of locations stored in the system already. And in case, it is not able to find the word in the system vocabulary, it might ask the user if he is looking for a city or some certain location inside a city.

Moreover, the list of accepted vocabulary terms used in the website are as follows:

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Website Vocabulary

The above list of vocabulary terms helps define the range of words and is helpful in assessing site’s common terms used throughout.

If we talk about the overall design of the website, it can be concluded that the design is considered to be as simple as possible. The primary reason for that is the fact that I want the user to be able to access the information as feasibly as possible. User does not have to try to figure out what means what in the website and to ensure that, all the vocabulary and text used in the website is in plain words. Moreover, the navigation is designed in such a way that the user can access anything from anywhere inside the website. The images are primarily in the relatively large thumbnail forms, however the full size images can be accessed when the user opts to see the full page or the description of a location or city.

This is an informational website and the primary Audience is people from different regions and from different age groups. Therefore, the access of information has to be made easy for the average user. In the sitemaps and wire-frames above, I showed the basic or minimized functionality of the website. The sitemap just showed the pages for three cities and one tourist location in each city. However, in the website I am intending to include more cities and tourist locations to increase the amount of information the user can get out of the website. Moreover, the wire-frames show just four images in the Places to go section but the plan is to incorporate more images than that. The search also shows just three results in the wire-frame but hopefully, the spectrum of results returned to user’s queries will be made more relevant and broad.

Though I am still working on some of designs. However, I am looking forward to update the full scale site on Drupal soon!

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