Museums and the Web 1999

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Published: March 1999.


WebSite Information Architecture: Planning and Designing Information Collections on the Web

Paul Kahn , Dynamic Diagrams, USA

Session: Workshop 11

Just as the architect coordinates the engineering, aesthetic, and functional needs of a physical building, the information architect works to develop the structural foundation and functional specifications of a web site. This workshop will review the steps in planning and executing a sound information architecture for public Internet sites, with special attention to sites built around publication content (journals, magazines, encyclopedias). The visual logic of the web site design is then built upon the structural logic of the architecture. The result should be a site that is easy to use, easy to maintain, and flexible enough to grow as the content expands.

We will review important questions that must be answered when developing, analyzing, and designing web sites, such as:

  • What are the key objectives for the web site?

  • What are the advantages of planning diagrams?

  • What is the web site's user profile?

  • What are the user's information needs?

  • What unique features can a web site offer?

  • What is the overall structure of a web site?

  • What types of information should be linked?

  • What types of navigational controls are required?

  • How do we design for limited screen space?

  • How do we monitor a web site to capture appropriate usage information?

The course will include discussions of projects done by Dynamic Diagrams, and the d/D methodology for creating planning and analysis diagrams. Examples drawn from throughout the web will also be discussed, including web sites of major museums and large public institutions.

For Information Architecture notes, see

For Mapping Web Sites notes, see