Wednesday, February 21, 2007

An IA Approach to a Second Life Buildout

The IA Institute is preparing to build a SL presence. The team is defining requirements. We're also simply trying to get a handle on the enormous job of representing good IA practice while communicating the mission, values, and activities of the Institute in a Web 3-D environment.

I've suggested starting with scenarios, figuring out key elements of the virtual environment, conducting research, then building information structures that support the scenarios. But what approach would YOU take?

Who are the audiences? What are the 5 or 8 things people intend to do on Info Architecture island? For instance:
* Wanting to locate and visit to find out what’s on the island
* Wanting to attend a specific event
* Wanting to acquire a tour HUD
* Wanting to organize a meeting on the island
* Wanting training in how to make buildings
* Wanting to discover points of interest elsewhere in SL

Key Elements
Identify the key elements in the virtual environment that support or hinder people accomplishing their intentions. For instance:
* Finding things (geolocations, info repositories, events, objects...)
* Creating things (info repositories, events, buildings, applications...)
* Interacting with people (meet, hear presentations...)

What research is needed before scenarios and key elements can be finalized? For instance:
* Participant observation
* Surveys of other islands’ solutions
* In-world focus groups or other interviews
* Literature review

Plan and begin buldout of information structures that support the scenarios. For instance:
* Teleport hubs for the island with appropriate signage
* Outdoor meeting place with screens for presentations
* Sandbox for building practice and tutorials
* Kiosks or other structures for delivering objects
* Catalog solutions for providing access to information repositories
* Easy-to-use instructions on “how to hold an event”
* Library of relevant case studies—e.g. “IA Challenges in Second Life”
* Think of how to support the SL build with non-SL channels

IA Exercise
Does the focus on communication and information-seeking cover enough of the territory? Are the scenarios good ones? Are the key elements sufficient? What research is really needed? What information structures are sufficient?

No comments:

Post a Comment