Information Architecture for SharePoint Training

Note: Currently this class is only available for on-site delivery.  Please contact Sharon Foley to learn more about bringing our SharePoint Information Architecture class to  your team at the location of your choice.

What is different about this class?

There are many places to get SharePoint training– from end user training to various types of developer and administrator webinars, workshops, and classes.

What most of them fail to do is provide clear guidance about why and when to do things a particular way versus the how to do things.

With SharePoint, decisions need to be made from the business perspective as well as the technical perspective.  For example, it is important to understand how to create sites and libraries, content types and columns.  Many courses will illustrate how this is done, and where to do it (the “SharePoint button-ology”).  It is left to the business users to tell developers how to organize information most effectively or to the developers to ask business users the appropriate questions to determine ways to leverage SharePoint design elements.

This course helps do exactly that.  It sits precisely in that murky area between requirements and design where there are countless possible ways to do things.  Here are some of the questions that people typically ask themselves when designing in SharePoint:

  • How can I translate my business and user requirements into SharePoint functionality?
  • How can use cases and user scenarios inform SharePoint design? 
  • What are the best practices for creating a taxonomy?  How and where can I use the taxonomy to improve usability?
  • How does taxonomy relate to site collection and site organization and navigation?
  • How many site collections do I need and how should they relate to one another?
  • What is the best way to set up navigation across sites?  Within sites? 
  • How many content types do I need and how do I design them? 
  • How many libraries do I need?  How should they leverage the content types I have created?
  • What are the best approaches for creating metadata?  How many columns (metadata fields) should I have? Where and how do I get started?
  • How should I consider content lifecycle?
  • How can I personalize content for users?
  • How can I improve search and overall findability?
  • What are the best ways to manage terms in the term store?
  • How do I design for the new functionality in SharePoint 2013? (including using the term store to manage and drive navigation, ways to design for cross site publishing, IA for search based applications, how to design to best leverage new personalization and collaboration features)

These and many more are the questions that are answered in our three-day hands-on class around SharePoint Information Architecture.  We focus on the best practices around user centered design and show how use cases and user scenarios are core to developing the correct structures in SharePoint.

The course has been updated to include ways to design information structures to take advantage of the powerful new functionality in SharePoint 2013.

In past classes, students have said “I wish I had this course when I got started."  If you don’t feel the same way and leave with tools and approaches that you can leverage in your projects that you find valuable and applicable, we will refund your full tuition.

This 3-day hands on course will cover the following topics:

Day 1

Module 1: Getting Started

  • Introductions
  • Framing the Problem
  • What is Information Architecture?
  • Information Architecture Process
  • Introduction to the Course Project (Acme Consulting)

Module 2: Understanding Content

  • Content Audits & Inventories
  • Taxonomy & Terms
  • Metadata & Site Columns
  • Content Types

Day 2

Module 3: Understanding People & Processes

  • User Analysis and Personas
  • Scenarios and Use Cases
  • Content in Support of Processes
  • Designing Libraries

Module 4: Site Maps, Navigation & User Experience

  • Site Map Design
  • Aligning Scenarios and Use Cases with Content
  • User Experience and Wireframe Construction
  • Case Study – PCL (time permitting)

Day 3

Module 5: Social Features

  • The Role of Folksonomy
  • Social Tagging
  • Tracking Content and People through Tags

Module 6: Search Based Applications in SharePoint 2013*

  • The Problem of Search
  • Developing an Effective Search Experience
  • Deriving Context:  Modeling Users and Queries
  • Query Rules, Result Blocks, Result Templates
  • Improving Ranking
  • Search Analytics
  • Course Evaluation

*Many of the core approaches also apply to SharePoint 2010 and FAST for SharePoint.  There are new mechanisms in SharePoint 2013 to leverage but principles will also inform search in other versions.


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Job Role: 

What attendees have said about the course...

"This workshop is powerful and more than meeting my expectations! ....  It is immediately applicable to my job.  I plan to share the information with the project team when I return to the office.  I may have the presenter do a webinar with our executive team.  I have already gained some excellent tools to work with each of the businesses as we migrate them to SharePoint 2010.  This is perfect for our project.  I'm learning some great techniques and obtaining some super tools to use with each group."   -- Catherine Wilson, Enumclaw Insurance Group (Anaheim)

"Raised awareness on the importance of IA to solve exactly some of the challenges my organization is facing or it is heading to." --Alin (Calgary)

"Very Informative concerning the processes that can be used to develop a comprehensive, workable share point site.  I can see where this course could be extremely helpful to many levels of users & administrators." --Curtis (Santa Clara)

"Use of practical exercises to reinforce concepts presented during lecture.  Seth [was] very receptive to questions and very good at engaging attendees in exercises. I felt comfortable contributing to the discussion because he took my ideas seriously and encouraged sharing and also helped to flesh out ideas to make them concrete. " --Anthony (Philadelphia)

"For me, covering the fundamental organizing elements in SharePoint, such as the term store, site columns, content types, metadata, lists and libraries  - and how they fit together was most valuable." --Britt (Anaheim)

"[Instructors were] good at answering questions that were relevant to the discussion and not necessarily addressed in the materials specifically.  Together as a team they both are great at covering the technical and logistical difficulties of information management and made the course as a whole rewarding and informative." --Vanessa (Chicago)

"I liked all the IA templates and the deep IA knowledge that the instructors shared with the class. I appreciated their openness and passion about their business. Clearly they are experts in this area. I'm fascinated with the IA discipline and can see many ways to apply what I've learned in my consulting practice."  --Chrystine (Arlington)