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Leverage Acquired Know-how Immediately! IA Skills Workshop for Web Team Members

January 26, 2018

Daisuke Tanida
Manager/Information Architect, Information Architecture Dept.

Information Architecture (IA) is one of the key skills required by corporate web team employees.

Therefore, we’ve released a workshop training program for client company employees to learn more about IA concepts and methods of information design. This program is delivered by our professional information architects with both large and small project experience.

In this Column, I’ll provide an overview of this service.

Information architecture, a key skill required by corporate webmasters

Website IA can be defined as the thinking and processes related to the classification and structuring of website content so users can find what they need in an efficient manner. Some clients feel that this form of information design is difficult and entrust the work to specialists in external production companies.

To enhance the value of corporate websites, web team members across a variety of industries perform improvement measures on an almost daily basis. Teams remedy issues discovered through analysis of web traffic data, perform SEO measures to increase site inflows, and conduct day-to-day operation such as preparing for new product/service announcements; however ultimately, true quality is dependent on the website or application that embodies the pages. So, even after investigating a multitude of factors from various viewpoints, having discussions with internal stakeholders and making improvements, if page content and structure is poor when released it’s difficult to achieve desired results.

Therefore, it’s important to acquire the knowledge and techniques of information architecture to properly consider page content.

Do you have the following concerns?

Among client companies who’ve attended the training to date, common themes included:

  • “although the problems with our website and application have been clarified, we’d like to have the know-how and ability to implement improvements should issues arise on other pages in future”
  • “after much self-study, I want to confirm whether I’m employing techniques in the correct manner”
  • “with only a fragmented and patchy knowledge, I want to learn more complete and systematic methods”
  • “in addition to the theory, I want to know how to put IA into practice”
  • “we want to build-up in-house expertise and improve employee skills, but we’re unsure where to begin”

Each participating client company desired to further develop their knowledge and skills relating to IA, so requested this workshop.

Through a combination of lectures and practical groupwork, leverage acquired know-how straightaway

To produce a page that is “easy to find, easy to navigate, and easy to understand” for visitors, it’s first necessary to think about “who is the target user of the content? In what situations will the target user access the page? What do they want to achieve by visiting the page? What information is necessary for this? And what is the most effective way to provide this information?”

Through a combination of lectures and practical skills sessions (group work), workshop participants experience typical website information architecture flows. The informative lecture content supplemented with practical skills sessions allows participants to deepen their understanding of the role and significance of each process.

The IA training content is similar to considerations of page design,

  1. What are business/user needs?
  2. What kind of experience do you want to provide?
  3. What are necessary functions and content?
  4. What is the desirable structure?
  5. What is the desirable navigation and elements of each screen?

and is based on the Five Planes model of user-centered design which considers web strategy in five stages.

For more information, please visit our Information Architecture (IA) Workshop service page (in Japanese).

  • * Please note: the Five Planes Model is not covered in this training.

Workshop participant impressions

The following are a collection of thoughts from training participants:

  • “even as a beginner to information architecture, the content was easy to understand. I learnt a lot”
  • “it was good to actually practice the flows of determining website information architecture”
  • “this provided much material to reflect upon if I lose direction at work”
  • “the task where we logically built site structures and screens based on needs and scenarios was very useful. I would like to implement these practices within my team in the future”

By applying IA theory through group work activities this workshop is universal in its targeting, therefore, participants can implement acquired know-how into their web projects from the very next day.

Additionally, when delivering this training, I heard the comment “to date we’ve often been concerned as to whether current policies and methods were appropriate, however utilizing this framework we’ve eliminated any doubts and now have belief in our measures”. This training, through increasing confidence, facilitates accelerated updates and creates positive flows for both individuals, departments and the company as a whole. This is a further merit to taking this workshop.

As information architecture is a skill increasingly required by corporate web team members, through this training we seek to advance client companies’ in-house skills, knowledge and employee motivation.

We have more detailed content on the training and outcomes on our Japanese website’s “Our Work” pages.

Furthermore, we also offer a continuous website improvement service employing “ideal user experience scenarios” and “effect verification indicators” to facilitate both quantitative and qualitative measurement. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.

For more on our Usability Solutions – in English – please follow the link below.