UXLabs offers a range of training courses from introductory user-centred design to advanced classes on search usability and information architecture. Some of our most popular courses are listed below. If you have specific requirements you’d like to discuss, get in touch.

Introduction to Information Architecture

Why is it easy to find information in some digital information environments, but difficult in others? Why do some websites make navigation easy, while others disorient us until we eventually get lost? A good information architecture can help ensure that digital information environments are easy to navigate, well-labelled and well-organised. It can also help ensure that they are usable and effective in meeting business objectives.

Information architecture involves the development of schemes to support the organisation and labelling of digital assets. It also involves the structural design of digital information environments to support users in finding and navigating those assets.

This 1-day course describes the purpose and value of IA across different platforms and environments (websites, mobile apps, Intranets, digital libraries) and outlines the important elements of an effective information architecture. It focuses on the development of practical skills in capturing IA requirements, designing IA solutions and in the user-centred evaluation of digital information environments.

Participants in this course will study and practice the following concepts & techniques:

  • Purpose and value of Information Architecture
  • Capturing Information Architecture requirements (including domain/concept models)
  • Organising and labelling information (including sitemaps and card sorting)
  • Supporting navigation through search and browse (including producing wireframes)
  • Evaluating Information Architectures

Search Usability: Filters and Facets

Faceted search offers tremendous potential for transforming the search experience. It provides a flexible framework that can satisfy a wide variety of user needs, from simple fact retrieval to complex exploratory search. It is now the dominant interaction paradigm for most eCommerce sites and is being increasingly applied to a wide range of enterprise search applications.

However, with this power comes a challenge: what kinds of categorisation schemes are effective and how should we use them to support search and navigation? Above all, how can we deliver search applications that address a growing range of user needs without compromising usability?

This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of search usability with a focus on the development of faceted navigation schemes that deliver both search effectiveness and user satisfaction. Participants will:

  • Explore the fundamental concepts of Human-Centred Design for information search and discovery
  • Learn how to differentiate between various types of search behaviour: known-item, exploratory, lookup, learning, investigation, etc.
  • Understand the dimensions of search usability and how to apply them to different user contexts
  • Study the fundamental principles of faceted classification and how to use them to deliver effective search and navigation experiences

The course will include both presentations and group work to enable delegates to analyse, evaluate and improve the effectiveness of search applications within their own organisation.

Designing the Search Experience

This tutorial explores the fundamental concepts and principles of User-Centred Design for information search and discovery and demonstrates how to apply them in a range of practical contexts. Participants will learn how to differentiate between various types of search behaviour, develop an understanding of the key dimensions within the search user experience, and discover how to apply UI design patterns to commercial search applications. The session concludes with a group exercise applying these skills to a range of practical design challenges.

Participants in this tutorial will:

  • Investigate models of human information-seeking behavior and how to apply interaction design principles based on those models
  • Learn how to differentiate between various types of search behaviour: known-item, exploratory, lookup, learning, investigation, etc. and understand how they may be combined to form composite search strategies and patterns
  • Develop an understanding of the key dimensions of user type, goal, context and mode of interaction, and how to apply these dimensions when designing for different user contexts
  • Understand the role of design patterns, and how to apply UI design principles and patterns from various libraries in designing search user interfaces
  • Gain an awareness of the key design resources available within the UX community and how to apply these to practical design challenges