Archive for category: Information Architecture

SPC14: Best practices for Information Architecture and Enterprise Search

05 Mar 2014
March 5, 2014

Information Architecture (IA) for a large organization is often as complex as a twisting labyrinth. In this session, we will explain, and demonstrate, why a good IA design is important for search and also provide best practices on how to plan, maintain and govern. We will also demonstrate how search provides the building blocks (entity extraction, metadata processing, etc..) for improving knowledge management and discovery scenarios for people and content.

Session “Best practices for Information Architecture and Enterprise Search” by Agnes Molnar at SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas.

Another session by Agnes – really looked forward to this session, here are my notes.


Information Overload

Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant – Mitchell Kapor

Everything is connected – we get much more information than we can process, example 63000 words on average we read today – in relation an average size of an amazon book is ~64000 words, so we read a book a day.

And “social” does not make this any better – it gets “worse” because you get more information.


You have SharePoint – you have Search!

Search is not only a technology problem – the challenge is to have a good search, where users can find the right information. Project Oslo helps tackle that, increase findability, discover relevant information around me.



Analyze what your users want and do – profile them. Then


Analyze what you have (Inventory), review the content (Audit), gather what Metadata and Taxonomy you have and analyze the structure. Do this with a “golden set” – a well defined small set of your data.

Targeting / Semantic Search

With SharePoint OOTB (out of the box) you can interpret the query and correlate it to the current users profile – with this you can control what the user will get, even with the same search query. Sales Manager search for “presentation” and will get sales presentation. Consultant search for “presentation and get consulting presentations – very powerful tool in SharePoint.


Metadata and Properties

Map inconsistent fields from lists and sites to consistent, recallable properties. You can increase the quality of your metadata with auto-tagging. Take in mind that changing Properties require a full crawl – this can take time and consume resources.


More of this, please! Good stuff – very good structure of the presentation, I could totally follow it. If you don’t follow Agnes blog – she shares very good information there – follow her!

SPC14: Designing and applying information architecture for SharePoint and Office 365

05 Mar 2014
March 5, 2014

This session will demonstrate a proven process for defining, designing, implementing and governing your information architecture (IA). IA is more than just columns and metadata. You will learn how the different components available in SharePoint and Office 365 can be leveraged to their fullest potential and your users’ ultimate benefit to content organization and discovery.

Session “Designing and applying information architecture for SharePoint and Office 365” by Agnes Molnar and Israel Vega Jr.


Here are my notes.

Information Architecture (IA)

IA: The art and science of organizing and labeling content

Three points to think about when designing an Information Architecture.

  1. Try to determine your cost when user do not find documents vs. the cost of finding
  2. Cost of development
  3. Value of learning



You need (to establish) a convention how to name documents and define a structure where to put them – keep your SharePoint clean.

IA Components

Search has the problem that it needs to find things that humans created.

Don’t rename adjust the Document Content Type – instead inherit from it and create at least a “My Document” (my = company).

It is always very sad when a SharePoint Farm dies – I cry (Israel Vega)

Minimal Components are: Content Types, Navigation, Taxonomy, Site Structure, Site Types.


Plan Plan Plan!

  1. Plan Migration (Inventory what you have, Cloud?)
  2. Plan Structure (Sites, Host Headers, Cloud Strategy)
  3. Plan Information Lifecycle

Make Search Better

Key message: SharePoint Search is really good, User need to take care of the document/metadata quality otherwise Search has no chance.



Search is the key – I totally agree.


Very very solid session  – totally liked what Agnes and Israel presented. Their experience in this area is outstanding, I follow Agnes on twitter and she shares so many good articles how to layout a good Architecture – for me as a technical person she highlights how to focus on the not so technical problems. Seeing her on stage in combination with Israel was good fun!

The presentation style was – WOW – supporting slides, nice pictures – that was my most valuable session so far (so good, I could not write everything down, notes are not complete).

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