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Subject:
From:
marilyn tahl <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
marilyn tahl <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Tue, 27 Feb 2007 18:38:20 -0800
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Dave,

Hope the following helps you out in your think through for the "it  
depends".

Okay, so you start with an IA. Given. The trick is how to access it/ 
apply it/ make it usable, right?

So, my questions are:
Who are the users and what are their needs?
Do they all share the same mental models of whatever is addressed by  
the webapp?
Which of the tasks are in common and which are specific to their roles?
How do their information needs and their tasks interplay with the IA?

Depending on the answers, there might be some things that are  
consistent (single point) access and some that are multiple access/ 
multiple path.
It is really about putting the information/functionality where the  
user is going to expect it/needs it in the task stack.  At least that  
is how I would approach it and those are the things that guide me  
when I am doing this sort of work.

I always try to pay particular attention to language, labels and page  
titles - and how the path indicator is handled (breadcrumb or other  
device)  - as well as the basic IA organization. Shared understanding  
can be a big boost to usability. Even if there are multiple paths,  
consistency becomes huge and being able to track to which page you  
are on and how you got there is important for collaboration -as well  
as whatever support will be provided for the app. Make sense?

Hope this helps, (yeh, I know, back to "it depends").

marilyn
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
marilyn tahl

user-oriented design and consulting
[log in to unmask]

"Empathy is not just about stepping into another's shoes. First you  
must remove your own shoes."  - Indian proverb




On Feb 26, 2007, at 1:43 PM, david broschinsky wrote:

>  I find myself asking if it's necessary or even wise to provide  
> multiple paths to the same content.  I imagine the answer can of  
> course be "it depends".

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