Information architecture for Windows Store app

There is should be considered that Windows Store app is used in touch devices and mobile device. In order to create Windows Store app considering a use case like this, it is necessary to spend a lot of time for the design of information. Because organizing of information affects to a user operations of Windows Store app compared to past applications.

In this article, the specific steps of the design of information is described.

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A characteristic of Windows Store app

Used in touch devices

Do not be an application that has a deep hierarchical structure.

Should not provide information by many detail split area a screen.

Used in mobile devices

Require a mechanism of roaming data for offline.

It’s easy to handle if roaming-data is maintained as an object model.

It is necessary that information provided by the content is well organized.

Information Architecture

*Classification

Richard Saul Wurman (1935.3.26 – ) , in his book “Information anxiety”, proposed concept of classification of information has become one of the design methods of information at the time of a contents providing.

Five classification of information (Information anxiety 1)

A lot of information can be classified by Location, Alphabet, Time, Category, Hierarchy (LATCH).

Information architecture of recent years (Information anxiety 2)

Information can be classified by Time, Alphabet, Category, Location, Continuous amount.

*Reason why tagging and layering is not included in the information architecture.

A layering is able to instead of a tagging. In addition, both a tagging and a layering depends on user-driven changing to handle an information.

The classification like this depends on the place where the information is used. It means a layering can use to a unique classification, only if it is not changed frequently such as hierarchy of an organization. Also a tagging can use to a temporary classification, only if it is not aimed to shared with another user such as user tag.

Example : The minutes of the meeting saved to a file server (layering of the left in the figure below) is representable by tagging. The right of figure below.

Representation by tagging information can substitute the representation of information by hierarchy, but not vice versa.

In order to know the location of the file by everyone.

*Tiering in same scope of the content.

If all tiers of a hierarchy is structured by one classification of the information architecture, anyone can reach purpose information easily (See figure below). A content should be navigated by same scope. If information classification is mixed in the hierarchy, a user must go to the tier below of the hierarchical structure to do the next operations. (Figure above left, In order to get to the minutes of the April 27 2011, a user can’t know that there is a folder called “Windows Phone app development projects” without opening the “NEC” folder.)

*Navigate to the content using the menu or the like that leads in same scope.

There is the most appropriate classification for information when providing it. (Time series classification is the best in the case of breaking news. To classify a minutes is same also).

Classification of project or customer (gray area in figure above) is implements as menu items or tab items. An items of a menu or the like such as a tab is used for assist to navigate information by the other classification.

In the case of breaking news, “Domestic, Abroad” (Location) or “Political, Crime” (Category) is an aid to navigate by other classification. The items of a menu or a tab navigate to last scope of the content, (time series).

When offering the past news archive however, position or category is more important classification, compare to time series. Thus, time series is better to used as a menu or the like, and position or category is last scope of the content.

Like this, a scheme to information is different by an aims for use.

Therefore, navigation of information should be designed by which classification is main or aid.

Anti-pattern of an object model

Information group that is consistent scope of the content (classification of information architecture is not crossed) can be provided to an application, as the information properties by an object model that is implemented in MVVM or MVC design pattern.

Consequence, an object model can be separated from a business logic that is a transfer of the object model. An object model as this type is domain model completely.

*Disadvantage of providing an object model as tagging information or layering it.

An object model is a container in order to create a combination of data for a form of business from data for a form of regularized to be persisted. And it to be transferred among application tiers as a refer of a data model properties.

For example in case of providing songs data. Some songs is performed by many artists, and an artist performs many songs.

If a scope of the content for an object model is not consistency, It leads to a reduction in development efficiency because a developers must understand a form of all of the models (shape of the information difficult to predict).

Because an object model is a fixed manner information characteristics, if the information would be changed frequently, as an object model should not be provided from an application.

A tagging or a layering is better to be able to determine freely when user handle the information. Or it should be able to extending function by a programmer. Therefore those classification is not suitable to object model.

*An object model can not change without it’s new release.

Modification of the application is required in order to change the object model provided by an application.

In the case of Windows Store app that provides UX, application changes due to an object model changes can not follow an evolution of user experience.

As addition to viewpoint (inefficiency of the development) which described above, a tagging or a layering of information should be controled by end-user. It is one approach of keep an evolution of UX by an application that leave a portion of operate information by end-user.

To provide high information interactivity by object model rather than application logic.

A pattern of designing object model

*A classification of temporary or unique.

A function that create shape of tag or hierarchy is able to provide.
Thereby an application becomes possible correspond to the evolution of an application that would born from a changes in the operation of the user.

As other side, temporary information or unique information can provide as an object model.

Example : Unique classification in the department management in the enterprise. And the temporary classification as a certain period music information.

*The provision of business object for a particular

The case of classifying the departments information in the enterprise can be provided as a hierarchy object model fixedly. The reason is below.

1. Changes of the form of organizational structure is small.

2. Changes of the form is not frequently.

3. People who don’t know the form of organizational structure would not operate in-house systems.

In addition, for a particular purpose, such as to send the weekly featured song information for applications can be implemented as a unique object model in the form of temporary information.

Under conditions other than these particular usage, information classification should be able to freely set by the user.

Design Considerations

*Preparing five properties for a classification of the information architecture

Fitting least one classification of information architecture to the properties of the object.

Example as music information.

Example as the place of birth information of the members of the artists, by inheriting the position model which is a classification of information architecture.

About takao

I'm Microsoft MVP since June 2010.

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Location Stored URL, Band formed at, Activity place
Alphabet Initials, First letter of title in other language
Time Release date, Data update
Category Genre, Language, Region
Continuous Number of sales, Number of broadcasts