- What is information? Describe the qualities of information.
Information is accurate data presented in a context that improves an individuals understanding. Information should be relevant, precise and well presented to ensure that it is fully understood with no confusion.
2. What is the Dewey Decimal System? Describe how it operates.
The Dewey Decimal System is a system to accurately categorise the ever growing number of books in the world. Each book is assigned three numbers and a series of subsequent numbers after a decimal point with each number determined by the content of the book itself. For example take the book Glasslands by Karen Traviss with its Dewey Decimal of 823.92. The 8 identifies it broadly as Literature, the 2 narrows it down to English Literature and finally the 3 identifies it as English Fiction. The numbers following the decimal point further specify the books contents.
3. Explain what Library Science is.
Library Science is the total collection of techniques and technologies used to store and categorise the massive amounts of content that libraries are required to deal with.
4. What is Information Architecture?
Information Architecture is an emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape. In simple terms, it is the art of ensuring that data is stored safely and effectively to allow easy access and usability while also ensuring that such data is relevant to the users needs.
5. List and describe at least three reasons for why information architecture is important.
a. IA ensures that data is as relevant as possible for the users needs.
b. Well structured information reduces the cost and time required for more complex tasks to be completed.
c. User satisfaction can be greatly improved through effectively structuring information and increases repeated use.
6. List and describe the four key information architecture concepts that help information architects articulate user needs and behaviours.
Complex Systems – the complicated combination of the user’s need, the context and the available content
Invisible Work – the unseen processes that run behind the scenes
Knowledge Network – the network of systems that work to simultaneously store content and make it readily available to users
Information Seeking Behaviour – the way in which users go about searching for content
7. List and describe the three main information architecture systems that support a web site.
Searching Systems – the way in which a site searches for and retrieves information
Navigation Systems – the systems that allow users to navigate their way through the site. A navigation bar is a prime example.
Semantic Networks – determines how different terms relate to each other to aid in the retrieval of relevant information
8. List and describe the four main information architecture deliverables.
Wireframes – a visual representation of how the finished site should look
Blueprints – a visual representation of the various sections of the site and how they are connected to each other
Controlled vocabularies – the understanding of how various different terms can have the same meaning (Email, Electronic Mail, E-Mail)
Metadata schema – defines the properties of a web page
9. Five careers:
Title: someone who develops websites
Duties: ensuring sites are user friendly, function as intended and appeal to the target demographic
Employers: virtually any business that wishes to increase peoples awareness of it
Average salary: $67,540
Title: someone that structures data as efficiently as possible
Duties: identify user requirements, plans the structure of information networks and assists in providing a positive user experience
Employers: organisations that deal with large amounts of information
Average salary: $117,035
Search Engine Optimiser
Title: someone that makes web sites easier to find with search engines
Duties: modifying the code of existing web pages to increase the chances of it being returned after querying search engines
Employers: anyone that wishes the increase the online presence of their website
Average salary: $79,375
Professional Web Content Writer
Title: writes content for web pages
Duties: writing new web content, rewriting existing content and making sure that content is written in a way that represents the target demographic
Employers: businesses that would like to have the content of their websites as relevant as possible to the targeted audiences
Average salary: $40,300
Title: manages records for an organisation
Duties: manage all records from their creation to their disposal, provide access to accurate records, devising and implementation of retention and disposal schedules
Employers: organisations with large amounts of both electronic and physical records
Average salary: $69,630
10. The Information Architecture Institute
The IAI would be of great value as it offers assistance to anyone attempting to get into the industry and to those looking to hire Information Architecture professionals. This would allow them to easily connect job seekers with potential employers by essentially being the middle man for the two.
11. Describe what is meant by the term “information ecology”.
Information Ecology is a way of describing the relationships that exist between users, content and context in a digital environment.
12. What is content management and how does it relate to information architecture?
Content management involves the collection, managing and publishing of any information and is one of the duties of information architects.
13. What is metadata and how is it used in information architecture?
Metadata is data that describes data. In IA metadata can be used to describe aspects of content such as whether they were tagged manually or automatically, the levels of quality/consistency and whether or not there is a controlled vocabulary in place.
14. Explain why the “Too-Simple” information model is unrealistic for modelling users’ information seeking behaviours.
In many cases the user does not know exactly what it is that they are searching for or have the language to properly express it.
15. Describe how a web site user typically finds information.
Users will typically attempt to find information through the use of search engines, website navigation menus or by asking others who may know where the information can be found.
16. What is known-item seeking? Give two examples.
Known-item seeking is when users know exactly what they are looking for, what to call it and where to find it. This is the case when searching for a particular person on Facebook or when searching for a specific stores details.
17. What is exploratory seeking? Give two examples.
Exploratory seeking is when users have an idea of what they are looking for and hope to find something useful in their searches. This can be the case when shopping online trying to find the best product for your needs and when searching through related videos online.
18. What is exhaustive research? Give two examples.
Exhaustive research is essentially leaving no stone unturned in the search for information. One of the most common examples of exhaustive research would be with university students trying to find as much information as possible for their related assignments. Exhaustive research is also how some people approach but fixes, by finding as many solutions as possible before actually attempting any.
19. What is re-finding? Give two examples.
Re-finding is attempting to the find something that the user has already found before. This is the case when trying to find a particular news article that you have read before and when searching for the name of somewhere you have already been before.
20. What is the Berry Picking Model? Give an example of how you might search for a topic using the Berry Picking Model.
The Berry Picking Model is when users start with an information request and pick bits of information and move through the information system along potentially complex paths until they find what they need or refine their information request. This would be the way in which most people navigate the Griffith Portal site by clicking on a variety of links that seem related to the required task until the correct pathway is found.
21. What is the Pearl Growing Model? Give an example of how you might search for a topic using the Pearl Growing Model.
The Pearl Growing model is when users have one or more documents that are exactly what they need and attempt ti build on that by finding similar documents with more information. This is the way in which the Wikipedia site should be used. Wikipedia displays large amounts of information and provides links to the source material which users can also view to see exactly where the information came from.
22. Explain what search analytics is and how it helps your learn more about information needs and information seeking behaviours.
Search analytics is a review and analysis of users’ search queries to more accurately determine their information needs and tailor results accordingly.
23. Explain what contextual inquiry is and how it helps your learn more about information needs and information seeking behaviours.
Contextual inquiry is a method of user research that allows analysers to observe how users interact with information and find out why they are doing what they are doing.
24. Digital Asset Management
a. To understand Digital Asset Management (DAM) we first need to know what a digital asset is. Digital assets can be any format (text, audio, image, etc) that are owned by your institution. DAM involves activities associated with the creation, cataloguing, storing, retrieving and backing up of these digital assets. The main goal of managing digital assets is to improve access to these resources and ensure that they are available for reuse when needed. DAM is undertaken to improve efficiency in the areas of file management, metadata management, workflow, policy tracking and enforcement, and access.
b. The first step was googling “Digital Asset Management” which displayed a brief description of DAM taken from the Wikipedia page and then I went to the page itself. The end of the article linked to the Canadian Heritage Information Network’s page on Digital Asset Management And Museums which provided in depth information as to the definition of digital assets and DAM techniques.
Electronic Records and Documents Management
a. Electronic Records and Documents Management (ERDM) is, as the name would suggest, a system of managing records and documents in electronic formats. It relates to how such information is gathered, processed, stored, accessed, used, shared and when and how it is preserved or destroyed. There are numerous vendors that provide software known as Electronic Records and Documents Management Systems (ERDMS) that are designed to aid in the management of such records and documents.
b. As before, the first step was to type “electronic records and document management” into google which returned a similar result to the DAM query by providing a short explanation of Electronic Records and Document Management Systems taken from Wikipedia. The Wikipedia page mentioned a professional organisation named the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS). The IRMS About Us page provided explanations as to what Information and Records Management was.