David Krakauer on Claude Shannon’s definition of information

[Claude] Shannon said “Look, here’s what information is. Let’s say I want to navigate from one part of the city to another, from A to B, in a car. I could just drive around randomly. It would take an awful long time to get there, but I might eventually get there. Alternatively, I could give you a map or driving…

Design Singapore: Changi airport (1)

Design Singapore: Changi airport (1)

It’s simple, but so rarely done well: put yourself in your customers’ shoes at every point of interaction with your organisation and ask “What do I need at this moment? What would help me, and make me feel helped?” This photo is classic Changi – just after immigration and the bustle of putting your passports away, as you look up…

Postbox: good info

Crikey, it’s a very long photo of a postbox – read on for some thoughts about information architecture and the Royal Mail. From a distance Everyone knows what a postbox looks like – if you’re looking for one, they’re easy to find Anyone who isn’t looking for a postbox can ignore the postbox at no cost to their time and…

Peter Morville on Category and Taxonomy (1)

While findability comes first, we must also remember that categories are about more than retrieval. Classification helps our users to understand. Through splitting, lumping and labeling, we reveal choices and invite questions. … Of course, all taxonomies are imperfect, as is the language they’re built on… like maps and myths, taxonomies hide more than they reveal. They bury complexity to…

Deep literacy: Kevin Kelly on more than reading

… producing books with ease on Gutenberg’s press did not fully unleash text. Real literacy also required a long list of innovations and techniques that permitted ordinary readers and writers to manipulate text in ways that made it useful. For instance, quotation symbols make it simple to indicate where one has borrowed text from another writer. We don’t have a…

Structure Counts: Information Architecture reading list and who’s who

I know almost nothing about Information Architecture, but I’ve been thinking a lot about structuring information recently. Here’s the metaphor: Jacques Carelman‘s famous Coffee pot for Masochists. All the pieces are there, but it just. doesn’t. work. We’ve all used badly put together tools, instruction manuals, software, doors. At best they’re slower and frustrate us. At worst, they cause us to…

(Information) literacy

Unlike “the three Rs” of reading, writing and arithmetic which are woven within the K-12 curriculum, information literacy falls through the cracks. It doesn’t fit into any one subject area, and teachers fail to include in class. And it’s an big problem, because the internet makes literacy more important, not less. When I was a kid, I had a mom,…

Your role (1)

If you’re leading an organisation or a team, a big part of your job is to help others to do their jobs. The reference escapes me, but I’m pretty sure Peter Drucker used the phrase “to make the work meaningful and the worker effective.” Making work meaningful is about vision. It means making sure people understand why what they do is important.…

Intertwingled

In the era of ecosystems, seeing the big picture is more important than ever, and less likely. It’s not simply that we’re forced into little boxes by organizational silos and professional specialization. We like it in there. We feel safe. But we’re not. This is no time to stick to your knitting. We must go from boxes to arrows. Tomorrow…