“In a formal taxonomy, a single root node sits atop the hierarchy. Properties flow from class to subclass through the principle of inheritance. Each object and category is assigned a single location within the taxonomy. We live at an address within a nested hierarchy of streets, cities, states, and countries. We exist as Homo Sapiens within the taxa of domain, kingdom, phylum, subphylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.

Of course, the world doesn’t always cooperate with this Platonic approach cation. Fish with lungs. Mammals that lay eggs. Documents about tiple topics. Words with many meanings. Meanings with many words. Reality confounds mutually exclusive classifications, and so we find ourselves debating which exlsting category works best or defining new categories to allow a perfect fit. Lumpers and Splitters have been haggling over the Linnaean taxonomy of living things for the past few centuries.”

From: Morville, Peter (2005), Ambient Findability, Sebastopol: O’Reilly, p.127

Layers and Facets of user experience (Honeycomb model)

The three circles [layers] of User Experience: Users – Content – Context

P. Morville in his classic article on User Experience Design

    Qualities that shape the user experience [aka as facets of UX]:

  1. Useful: As practitioners, we can’t be content to paint within the lines drawn by managers. We must have the courage and creativity to ask whether our products and systems are useful, and to apply our deep knowledge of craft and medium to define innovative solutions that are more useful.
  2. Usable: Ease of use remains vital, and yet the interface-centered methods and perspectives of human-computer interaction do not address all dimensions of web design. In short, usability is necessary but not sufficient.
  3. Desirable: Our quest for efficiency must be tempered by an appreciation for the power and value of image, identity, brand, and other elements of emotional design.
  4. Findable: We must strive to design navigable web sites and locatable objects, so users can find what they need.
  5. Accessible: Just as our buildings have elevators and ramps, our web sites should be accessible to people with disabilities (more than 10% of the population). Today, it’s good business and the ethical thing to do. Eventually, it will become the law.
  6. Credible: Thanks to the Web Credibility Project, we’re beginning to understand the design elements that influence whether users trust and believe what we tell them.
  7. Valuable: Our sites must deliver value to our sponsors. For non-profits, the user experience must advance the mission. With for-profits, it must contribute to the bottom line and improve customer satisfaction.”

From: Morville, Peter (2005), Ambient Findability, Sebastopol: O’Reilly, p.109

For graphic see also

The user

“Early studies of information retrieval systems featured quantitative approaches characteristic of the physical science”- Mathematical formulas for precision and recall created an aura of objectivity for the nascent field of information science. And yet behind every formula lurked a variable that resisted isolation. Today we call this infuriating variable “the user” and we recognize that research must integrate rather than isolate the goals, behaviors and idiosyncrasies of the people who use the systems.”

From: Morville, Peter (2005), Ambient Findability, Sebastopol: O’Reilly, p. 54

Information is about communication

Working definitions:
data: a string of identified but unevaluated symbols
information: evaluated, validated or useful data
knowledge: information in the context of understanding

“(…) And therein lies the key to the tower of Babel: Information is about communication. It involves the exchange of symbols. ideas, messages, and meaning between people. As such, it is characterized by ambiguity, redundancy, inefficiency, error, and indescribable beauty.”

From: Morville, Peter (2005), Ambient Findability, Sebastopol: O’Reilly, p.46

Spatial and container metaphors

“We use a mix of trajectory metaphors (e.g. I went to the IBM homepage) and container metaphors (e.g. ‘I found that inside Yahoo’). We construct cognitive maps. We remember (and bookmark) landmarks and anchor points. (…) And we often become lost and disorientated.”

From: Morville, Peter (2005), Ambient Findability, Sebastopol: O’Reilly, p.38

Search patterns (Morville)

  1. Behaviour Patterns
    1. narrowing results down e.g. by adding search terms
    2. browsing
    3. ‘pearl-growing’: picking one document and use metadata (author,
      links etc.) to expand on results
  2. Design Patterns

    1. Best Bets for popular search terms
    2. Federated Search (?)
    3. Faceted navigation as means of narrowing down results
    4. Auto suggest
    5. Structured results
    6. Social search (Using ocial data for improvement of search results, e.g.
    7. Media Search
    8. Mobile Search

Source: P. Morville, IA summit 2008