Listen to Dan Brown’s “Designing Rules: The Engine of User Experience” talk at IA Summit 2009
Rules provide an underlying structure that governs the experience: what is displayed, when it’s displayed, and how it responds to user actions. The depth of systems means that information architects no longer design structures with specific pieces of content in mind, but instead have to design structures around classifications, categories, and abstractions. Information architects must consider the rules that govern these objects and their appearance, display, and response to users.
Co-founder and principal at EightShapes, Dan Brown lays the groundwork for how we think and talk about this aspect of our work and provides a rationale for why thinking about rules is important. He distinguishes good rules from bad and offers a framework for designing rules and documenting them.