Sunday, June 11, 2006

Blueprints for the web

I‘ve taken an interest in information architecture and information design. I'm thinking that Google has changed things so dramatically that a lof of this has become irrelevant. I've been reading Christina Wodtke's Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web. Her first principle is “Design for Wayfinding”:

Where the Things They're Looking For Are Located

As you prepare to design your navigation system, take a moment to consider, “What do the bulk of the visitors coming to my site want?“ And ask yourself a follow-up question, “What do I want them to be able to find easily?” Once identified, you want to keep these items in front of your site‘s visitors as they travel throughout the site.

So my question: How do you design navigation when the thing your visitor is wanting most is where they enter your site? Maybe I‘m clueless, but it seems to me like it changes the rules when the bulk of your visitors are never going to “travel throughout the site”.

I think Chris Lawer at Futurelab is on to something with his Dynamic Customer Experience Wheel. It changes the focus from your content to your customer's needs:

So your first question should not be what the customer wants, but what they want to do? And perhaps more importantly, what are you willing to let them do?

TRUST is the primary driver of customer choice; It is the foundation on which deeper interactions, experience and firm-customer relatedness are built. Therefore it is the first segment of the wheel. Without trust, not even the most basic of transactions can take place. Good brands focus on creating trust first and foremost.

Trust starts with a progressive copyright, but I‘ll save that discussion for another day.

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