IA Design & Usability: Steven Heitman, Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Project/Product Manager,  Usability Expert


Information Architect Specialist / User Experience Designer


Design Projects



Signage Design

Designing signage systems is similar to doing research on navigational systems and wayfinding. This makes a physical space accessible to end users. This applies to the digital landscape, since Websites have to be used by end users to obtain information online or complete transactions.

Information Architects make information on Websites accessible to end users, including structuring the Information Architecture for databases to work congruently together.

It also means understanding navigational systems and many other things with regard to Information Architecture. That also means understanding the right labels to use for links. Then end users can grasp and understand how to use Websites without too much trouble.


Contemporary Strategies

In this seminar, examination of contemporary strategies and professional practices in the field of Information Architecture, graphic design, and communications. A signage design class I took as part of my MAIA degree program. In our seminar, we studied about making physical environments accessible to every person.


Project Successfully Completed

A project was completed and demonstrated clear guidance to end users, wayfinding signs, wayfinding information, including signage design. I think learning about signage design, and how that can be applied to navigational systems for Websites is helpful.


User-Centered Design

While Websites are cyberspaces, not physical spaces, end users have to be able to navigate successfully from Web page to Web page—or from Website to Website. In terms of interaction design, end users also have to be able to successfully complete their transactions online. If they cannot be successful in completing their transactions online, then a business may not gain revenues from selling products online.

While using Websites, end users will not hang around for a long time, if they cannot access information on any given Website. This speaks to the importance of user-centered design for Websites, including information architecture and interaction design.


Keeping End Users in Mind

That is why collecting data from end users prior to designing Websites is an important step, with regard to user-centered design. End users oftentimes know what they desire to have in a Website. End users can always act as subject matter experts, when they give valid reasons as to why they need it designed in a certain way.

That means tapping into their desires via user research or doing card sorting. Information Architects are designing with end users in mind, when research is done. That means thinking about and employing user-centered design principles with regard to Websites.

User-centered design is really important in terms of usability. Of course, other considerations, like meeting the requirements of business plans are taken into account. What the client desires to have for their Website is very important, balancing between user-centered design, information architecture, end users, and business plans.


Experience

My jobs during this project were:

Project manager,
Production artist,
Graphic designer,
Signage designer,
Information architect,
Navigation systems design,
Field work,
Design research,
Design exploration,
Case study
Client presentations, and
Final signage design project.


Team Environment

All our projects were done in teams of 4-5 students. That means everyone has to get along and work successfully together to complete their projects. Dr. Buss supervised our real-world project for Zeum.

Illustration  |  Design Projects



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Updated: November 1, 2017

Steven Heitman
IA Design & Usability
Information Architect
User Experience Designer
Project Manager