Ambiguous term, information wavers from particle, data, collections of data, detail, component, documentation, intelligence and finally pieces of information or knowledge. In turn abstract or physical, hiding under a multiplicity of forms, so is the living nature of information.
Let's briefly evoke this area of achievement and attempt to uncover the facets of information and fields of work involved. The interdependent nature of information makes it a main target for web usability.
The e-publishing chain
Information architecture for services-rich intranet and portals
In-house market data modelling
Search functions design
Portals in a web environment
Cooperative networked environment for data sharing
How we see information
We consider information from both angles: the user and the designer. We see it as:
1. A living body allowing to circulate, manage and deliver information and knowledge. A dynamic involving critical analysis and imagination. We bring the proper expertise to identify the information needs, and develop a delivery strategy. A prospective vision enlighten the critical analysis and correlation of the data to gather.
2. A logical system involving information modelling, data architecture and communication technology: On the logical side, an information system allows to collect, transform and deliver information and set up an e-publishing chain. We bring the proper expertise to analyse and describe the use cases. We design the system and develop a web based information delivery chain. We recommend methods, technology and tools, eventual data mining and semantic analysis. The delivery chain might include producing or sourcing information.
Data Structure & Modelling
Part of the ambiguity, information architecture involves 'data structure and modelling'. 'Data architecture' goes one step deeper into the development. The interdependent nature of information takes us to manipulate data structures, models, groups, labels, rules, means, methods, tools... in order to achieve the goals and targets defined.
'Information architecture' targets organising, structuring and navigating content from a visitor or user's perspective. It allows (or not) to find data and functions and achieve actions.
How to get, store, link, organise data?
Assessing the needs and clarifying the assets sheds light on content, information and data and contributes to define a modelling process. Our understanding in turn allows the user or visitor to form a clear picture of the possibilities offered. This way we contribute to the usability.
While the website's owner is key to producing suitable content, the adequacy of data and information design is the responsibility of the design and development team. A proper analysis of the business needs, the quality of design and development pave the road for content.