Wednesday, September 27, 2006

community-based info architecture

One of the biggest problems we've had on our online community site at WebJunction is how to organize things. Funny, isn't it, since we're all a bunch of librarians in the first place? Well, when you're trying to "architect" a pretty hefty body of content, provide interactivity and participation around that content, and meet, quickly, the daily info needs of a wide variety of library staff all the while, organization & navigation turn out to be quite the challenges - librarians or not.

Luckily, we're hard at work with some of the folks at Forum One to resolve some of the confusion - and we're doing it with virtual input from the community at large. More than 200 WJ-ers have already filled out our virtual card sort and naming exercise - in aggregate we're creating new organization structures and naming conventions for everything at the site. (I think this will only be up for a few more days - so hurry if you'd like to try it out! It takes about 15 minutes or so...)

Cool, right? If you're having trouble with your library website, I'd strongly suggest this exercise, and this tool. It rocks - and I can't wait to share the results w/ everyone as soon as we have em. Stay tuned!!


Anonymous said...

I tried this, and loved it. I am very curious to see the 'average' architectual view that emerges from various folks trying it out. I wonder what the results will be compared to those built from skilled designers and user-testing.

Bruce Newell

Chrystie said...

Don't worry, we're doing this in tandem with skilled designers and user testing. This is just one tool to help us along with the process.