Independent IA & UX Consultant at Dialogue for Design, LLC
Dan Zollman (Cambridge, MA) is an independent consultant specializing in information architecture (IA) and strategy for complex digital experiences.
With experience leading design engagements in government (Mass.gov), university IT (Tufts University), finance (Vanguard), and digital agencies (Last Call Media), Dan enjoys working on challenging problems where UX intersects with questions of organizational strategy, structure, and process. His IA skills bring clarity to murky situations where teams are unsure how to proceed. Dan has "untangled the mess" for organizations who were struggling to manage sprawling bodies of content, complicated software workflows, and gnarly customer service issues.
Dan has a particular interest in responsible, ethical, and systemic approaches to human-centered design. He has explored these topics, and their relationship to information architecture, through speaking, writing, community organizing, and ongoing study. He has organized the World IA Day Boston conference, co-organized the Academics and Practitioners Roundtable on Information Architecture, spoken at conferences including the IA Conference, UXPA Boston, and Design4Drupal, and wrote a chapter for the book Advances in Information Architecture.
This session introduces approaches that will help you make confident decisions about website navigation. Beyond guessing, brainstorming, or even card sorting, we'll discuss how effective information architecture (IA) is guided by principles of human information-seeking behavior, and how it is grounded in core conceptual models for the business and its audiences.
Fundamentally, a website is built for users to navigate information—but designing navigation can be a mysterious part of the process. For important elements like menus and search, we may struggle to decide on a structure, or to give it due attention while busy with other aspects of the project. For the global navigation menu, menu items are sometimes chosen casually; sometimes through political compromise rather than thoughtful UX.
This session, presented by information architecture and UX strategy consultant Dan Zollman, introduces approaches that will help you make confident decisions about website navigation. Beyond guessing, brainstorming, or even card sorting, we'll discuss how effective information architecture (IA) is grounded in core conceptual models for the business and its audiences. We'll look at concept modeling as a tool that helps people in all disciplines make sense of complex and ambiguous structures, even beyond navigation-specific design issues. Along the way, we'll cover principles for making navigation systems user-friendly.
- How humans navigate: information-seeking behaviors, and other basic cognitive principles, that impact how you'll organize content
- The difference between a website's conceptual structure, its sitemap, and its menu structure
- Using concept modeling as a first step to define website structure, as well as your content model in Drupal
- The four main goals that a site's main menu, specifically, should achieve
- Tips on arriving at the final labeling & classification for a navigation menu