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UXA2023 Penny Goodwin - Information Architecture and product development

UXAustralia
August 25, 2023

UXA2023 Penny Goodwin - Information Architecture and product development

Information Architecture (IA) is foundational for great usability and user experience. But for IA to become embedded in the product development process, we must use the language of product: what user problems does IA solve and what are the commercial/ organisational benefits?

In this talk I will share ideas and approaches on:
- A better way to explain IA to product people/stakeholders
- How to frame IA work in terms of stories, strategy and metrics

UXAustralia

August 25, 2023
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  1. Information Architecture
    & Product Development
    Penny Goodwin, Head of Product, Optimal Workshop

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  2. Product Manager

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  3. A Product Managers perspective on how we can
    embed Information Architecture into the product
    development life cycle

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  4. 🚧 Current problems & barriers
    🕸 Where the opportunity of Information Architecture is for PMs
    🚀 Approaches to help and what you can do about it!
    Topics!

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  5. Trying to get work into the backlog od
    roadmap
    Trying to improve the product
    development process
    And… making Information Architecture
    part of normal development
    The problem
    🛣

    🤝
    There is a lack of understanding
    IA is often not considered when building
    product or services
    Or retrospectively, when things haven’t
    gone well… after the fact!
    For Information
    Architecture specifically:

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  6. Is there hope for
    IA?

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  7. Opportunity of
    Information
    Architecture
    Words
    Concepts
    Space

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  8. Your product: A garden of weeds or flowers?
    Intentional or unintentional, Information Architecture
    is going to be a part of your product

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  9. Barriers
    😄 Me!
    i.e. the role of a Product Manager
    ● Understanding your Product Manager
    ● Communicating with Product Managers
    🏢 And:
    Lack of ownership
    ● Who is going to champion the IA for
    your organization?

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  10. Understanding your
    Product Manager
    🤔 Why?
    Main gate keeper to the roadmap, backlog
    and the product development process

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  11. Communicating with
    your Product Manager

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  12. “We want to do some discovery and exploratory research.
    …including understanding our users ontology and
    taxonomy.
    After this we plan on modeling our users key abstractions
    and concepts.
    We will also complete a heuristic evaluation of key pages.”
    🔍
    🗣
    🧠
    🔨

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  13. “We want to do some discovery and exploratory research.
    Understand user problems
    …including understanding our users ontology and
    taxonomy.
    What words they use
    After this we plan on modeling our users key abstractions
    and concepts.
    How they make sense of these concepts
    We will also complete a heuristic evaluation of key pages.”
    Make changes based on best practices
    🔍
    🗣
    🧠
    🔨

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  14. Talk to your
    PM about:
    Strategy
    User story
    Data & metrics
    Simple plan
    with hypothesis

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  15. Let’s do an example

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  16. 2002 “Amazon on Wednesday will also begin
    to bundle products to encourage
    customers to buy more items.
    The program--which will typically pair a
    hot-selling product such as the movie
    "Gladiator" with an older title, such as
    "Spartacus"--offers consumers a discount
    if they buy the products together.
    Amazon will begin the initiative in its
    DVD department, but plans to expand it
    to other stores in the near future.”
    Company strategy

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  17. 2002
    Company Strategy: Bundle products
    Find the story: Interview customers who are
    completing a purchasing task
    Talk Data to me: e.g. right now bundling
    happens 2% of the time

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  18. Initiative:
    Improve bundling by testing variations with
    customers
    Hypothesis/Assumption:
    Improvements to our information architecture
    can increase the bundling rate from 2% to 3%
    2002
    Steps
    ● Interview customers on to understand
    what they think of key words and ideas
    on this page
    ● Map this out, compared to the ideas and
    words we use
    ● Design and test some prototypes
    ● Provide you with results and suggested
    information architecture improvements
    ○ Any changes could be run as an
    A/B experiment

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  19. Who owns
    Information
    Architecture
    of the product?

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  20. ● Brief reminder of IA, and/or maybe
    go into one aspect or concept
    within IA
    ● Give an example story from a
    person who uses our product or
    service/
    📚 How: Regularly Report on the IA of parts of your product/service
    How can we champion Information Architecture?
    ● Give the context of this key flow
    and metric within the
    company/product strategy
    ● Invite people (including leadership)
    to come listen to a customer

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  21. A Product Managers perspective on how we can
    embed Information Architecture into the product
    development life cycle
    To revisit:

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  22. Understand the opportunity 25
    IA helps us build in a way that works with humans
    ○ Everything has an IA so you may as well be intentional
    about it
    ○ IA work can be an opportunity for business value too
    💃
    🕺

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  23. Work on the framing 26
    PM’s can be a key gatekeeper to this work so focus on:
    ○ Understanding the role and your relationship with us
    ○ Communication & language you use
    ○ Framing it
    🔑

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  24. Champion the work 27
    Champion the IA in your organisation by adopting it as a
    faculty and becoming responsible for it
    ○ Report on IA, with stories, data and tying it to
    company product strategy
    ○ Help others see their part to play
    🏅

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  25. Thank you!
    Special thanks to: Peter Harvey

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