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I’ve brought you to a secret entrance

If you’d rather visit from the “front” go ahead.

For those who are staying for the private tour, welcome…

Secret Canyon Trail

This page was created as a landing page for my INF213 assessor.

Hopefully the site is self-explanatory, however as I happened to be checking my work against the assignment criteria, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to document my perspective.

Information Architecture qualities

The realm of IA qualities is overwhelmingly broad so I set myself a target of 15 points, or at least 3 attributes for each of the areas we were to have critiqued for Assessment 2.

Organise information

  • Use of WordPress‘ category feature for  a sort of “table of contents” although categories I have planned for future content will not activate in the sidebar until I post in those topics.
  • Use of WordPress‘ tag feature = index words & might interconnect potential future associated posts.
  • Chunked content, using header tags for human and machine readability.

Represent information

  • Common pages and features with standard labels: “About”, “Recent Posts”, Contact.
  • While I was testing, I had “Tests” as a top menu item, changing that to “Reviews” once I had the reviews publishable.
  • Choice of categories – as a nascent site, what I choose now is merely alpha, categories will change through the site’s puberty.
  • Choice of tags: I used product names (as relevant to main idea of post); its function/purpose/use within IA; alternative terms for major ideas in post plot (if not used in content); nouns.

Enhance findability

  • WordPress search box widget.  I’d have liked a theme that located the box higher, but the best for that did not have a sidebar on post pages.
  • I chose a theme that included a sidebar on every page and post, to retain facilitate browsing with Recent posts, Archives and Categories.  I’ve quibbled over whether to include a tag cloud there too.
  • ‘Appropriate’ tags, but also trying to use alternative terms in different content sentences – for findability via search engine.
  • Use of keywords in titles and post headings – also for the search engine.

Optimise usability

  • Image alt attributes – Thinking about the users of text readers: as the alt attribute is read out, Zeldman advises that if image content is not essential to understanding your message, make it blank (not none, but ” “).  When I found that WordPress includes alt=”Image” as a default, I imagined that being irritating to hear, and have endeavoured to alter each one to something meaningful or ” “.
  • It took a while to find a theme with suitable layout and also good contrast. I may not have been completely successful given that I wanted to use a pretty background picture – I am still working with the artist to lighten the background under the right side bar. The theme I chose has unfortunately (ie would have preferred otherwise) chosen to de-underline and minimise the contrast of in-text hyperlinks 😦
  • Blog standards: layout, sidebar, expected pages.
  • Extra menu and categories in the footer
  • One possible theme offered the page-based font size control, but I didn’t like anything else about the theme. I compromised, thinking my audience is not prevented from altering with browser or touch controls.

Targeting of primary user groups

  • As I am not qualified to dedicate a site to webmaster needs, my site presents a personal perspective. It addresses a potential audience of amateur and professional webmasters (as only one area of potential audience) through optimising discovery of relevant content via search engine with keyword usage, tags and categories (assuming I would continue to write relevant webmaster relevant content).
  • Using a blogger approach enabled me to write from an honest personal perspective, so I avoided pretending expertise I don’t have.
  • I used built in communication features to facilitate sharing, and practiced invitations in my content to initiate conversation.
  • Using WordPress’ social media sharing options may be a minus according to Reichenstein and readers, but I like to find them when I’m reading.

Number of pages = depends

  • If category and tag pages count, hm I lost count.
  • Otherwise, at last count I have
    • 3 compulsory content posts I call “Reviews” (evaluations of Gliffy, WebSort, and tablet-readiness of WordPress as CMS)
    • at least 3 posts discussing my tests of WordPress,
    • 2 posts of background material on content management, IA & WordPress
    • + “About” + References

References

Image credit

Soltesz, D. L. (2003). Secret Canyon Trail. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsoltesz/3228064310/

If you’ve read this far: Thank you 🙂

… More navigation available below

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