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Monday, September 23 • 1:30pm - 5:00pm
How to Create and Maintain an Effective Information Architecture and Navigation System for Science Gateway Websites

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Part one of IA-SEO tutorial: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ew02M7NrAz0gx4c8pYCq7TwyQJaq-q2K/view
Part two of IA-SEO tutorial: https://tinyurl.com/yxsgs87e

Whether you have an existing Science Gateway website or are creating your first one, this hands-on tutorial will show you, step by step, how to create and update gateway websites so that their content is easier to find and easier to use.

As a Science Gateway provides its web-based tools and resources, it is essential that these sites utilize specific usability tests and other research methods to ensure positive and productive experiences with the sites. Successful information architecture (IA), intuitive site navigation, and clear user interfaces (UIs) all rely on knowing where various users expect to find needed information.

Since many Science Gateway creators are educated as subject domain scientists (e.g. biological, chemical, physical, environmental, social, mathematical, and computer scientists), many are not likely to understand the importance of IA and site navigation, including the downstream dependence they have on search engine visibility and user engagement. Additionally, the information architecture and site navigation processes are iterative ones, requiring ongoing measurement, assessment, and updates. To accomplish optimal findability (which includes the behaviors browsing, searching, and asking), creators of gateway websites should understand the information architecture vocabulary, different architecture research methods, and when to use each research method to determine the best ways to label and organize content. Then, based on the data gathered from both qualitative data (desirability studies, interviews, diary studies, and so forth), and quantitative data (web analytics data for an existing website, search tools, performance-based usability tests, and so forth), gateway managers should create and maintain a navigation system that contains at least five types of navigation schemes.

If the navigation system of a gateway’s site is effective, visitors will have positive user experience (UX), and search engines will be able to properly access a site’s documents and prioritize its content. Ultimately, the site’s IA and navigation system will lead to increased page views per visitor, a low bounce rate, and other conversions such as filling out and submitting forms, creating an account, logging in/out, downloading/uploading resources, and using gateway tools.

This tutorial includes exercises as well as downloadable checklists (PDFs). At the end of this tutorial, attendees will:
  • Know what to put in design templates to make gateway content more findable before & after people arrive on the site
  •  Identify & measure significant architecture & navigation metrics
  •  Learn various methods to identify, evaluate, & fix common IA/navigation issues
  •  Communicate with web professionals, usability/UX professionals, & information architects in an informed way
Skill level: All (Beginner – Advanced) This tutorial is created for gateways of all types & for all stages of web design/development from (planning to site launch). No programming skills required.

Technology requirements: A laptop or notebook computer is highly recommended so attendees can view live gateway sites & useful online tools.

Monday September 23, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm PDT
Macaw Room, Catamaran Resort