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from Digital Web Magazine – An interview with Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld, Information Architects “Digital Web: Many […]

from Digital Web Magazine – An interview with Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld, Information Architects

“Digital Web: Many have stated they believe IA is only for content-rich sites like magazines, news, and search portals. Do you get the same impression from people on this view? What are your thoughts? Why should IA be done on other sites?
PM: Our personal backgrounds in library science and our passion for findability have led us to focus a good deal of our energy on content-rich sites. However, many other information architects focus on the design of highly interactive Web sites and software products where navigation and task completion go hand-in-hand.
LR: And let’s not forget that even in an application-rich site, you still have to find the right applications before using them.”

After hunting for “check spelling” in Adobe InDesign, Macromedia Dreamweaver and MS Word, I can tell you a little IA in software design would go a long way. And I never know what I’m going to find when I look under the “file” menu, beyond “save.”

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  1. 1
    Adam Kalsey

    No kidding. Do I change my settings with File/Preferences, Edit/Preferences, or Tools/Options? The Edit menu refers to editing the document, not editing my configuration. So why do so many apps insist on putting the prefs there?

    But the award for worst menu design goes to Eudora. They have a “Tools” menu that has your filters, address book, and prefs. And they have a “Special” menu that lets you empty your deleted items and change your passwords. And even though your address book is under Tools, the item to add a user to the address book is under Special.

    If you want to check mail, the option isn’t under Tools or Special, but under File.

    And there’s a menu called Message that lets you reply, create a new message, or add an attachment. But for some reason, to add a recipient from your address book to a message, you have to visit the Edit menu.

    If you want to empty your deleted items, you vist the Special menu. Unless you use an IMAP server. Then you use Message/Purge Messages.

    Eudora suffers from the fact that it’s been around a long time. The menu options are in the same places they have always been, even if it was a bad design decision to begin with. And as new features get added on, they’re just tacked onto the application instead of being carefully integrated into the design. It’s like the Winchester Mystery House.

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