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Dallas User Experience Group Message Board › TEKsystems: Information Architect Opportunity / San Antonio

TEKsystems: Information Architect Opportunity / San Antonio

Elisa M.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 4
Information Architect –
The types of projects the candidates would work on would be fast-paced, (usually) Scrum Agile projects with varying degrees of design involvement. Some are very heavy on the design (building a new iPhone app from the ground up), and some are light on design (modifying existing applications flows/screens within a desktop website or mobile app).
All of these projects would involve a “revolutionary” component – something that hasn’t been done before by our competitors or by any business. And the projects would come in from literally every line of business. They may be member facing, general employee facing, segmented employee facing (like power users or very narrow skill sets), and any combination thereof.
The IA/Producer would be responsible for:
1. Attending meetings with IT team and stakeholders to understand the scope and requirements (or user stories) of the project
2. Distilling the information into actionable items for themselves and the UX designer
3. Creating preliminary (then later finalized) IA documentation (the boxes and arrows of an app flow)
4. Working collaboratively with the UX designer to whiteboard ideas on wireframe designs
5. Creating wireframes in Balsamiq, OmniGraffle or Visio (applicant’s preference), when the Designer and/or Producer feels the need for them
6. Coordinating with different process owners to get sign offs as needed (design governance, legal sign off, content review, UX strategy teams, etc.)
The role of “Producer” often does double duty as a shield for the designer when they need “heads-down” time to work on design visuals – sometimes taking on the role of point-of-contact for the design team. The dynamic of the Producer and Designer is that of an equal team. Much like pair programming in Agile, we typically engage in pair designing.

An information architect will generally do the following activities as part of a project team:
1.Research the audience and the Business
IAs take on a myriad of responsibilities for the project. To learn about the project’s audiences, IAs should have access to the results of, or conduct: usability tests, card sorting exercises, stakeholder interviews, user polling, etc. The goal is to provide as much information about what factors are influencing the project as possible. Information architects need to know what people will do with your application, how people will use information provided by the application, and what mental models< http://en.wikipedia.o...­ > user’s create while using your application
2.Analyze Data
The IA takes knowledge gained from the discovery period to define what the site’s primary objectives are and how it will realize those goals. At this point, it’s helpful for the IA to work hand-in-hand with the designers, developers, and other members of the team with an interest in the project deliverable. By analyzing data, the IA may generate a set of user personas< http://en.wikipedia.o...­ >.
A user persona is a representation of the goals and behavior of a real group of users. In most cases, personas are synthesized from data collected from interviews with users. They are captured in 1–2 page descriptions that include behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and environment, with a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character. For each product, more than one persona is usually created, but one persona should always be the primary focus for the design. < http://en.wikipedia.o...­ >
3.Develop labeling/navigation/site structures
Finally, an Information Architect will, in essence, architect the site. IAs will produce things such as site maps, site-flow diagrams, and wireframes to convey how the site will work from a practical perspective. Indeed, the best Information Architects will take all perspectives into account while creating these deliverables: business, technological, and social (user). From this point on, the IA will help make decisions about the overall direction the site gravitates towards. For example, the IA should be involved in periodically testing the site, reading the copy, and evaluating any user-testing that is occurring during development cycles.

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