User-centred Information Architecture
Study plans 2016-2017 - IMT4042 - 10 ECTS

Expected learning outcomes

The student, upon completion of this course, will be able to:
    •    Understand how collections of information are organized (categorized and labeled) and accessed (through navigation and search)
    •    Understand how users experience content collections
    •    Evaluate the architecture of existing collections of information, identify issues, and suggest improvements
    •    Carry out informed analysis and research on the tools, methods, and concepts of information architecture, and present those findings to others
Overall competence:
After completing this module, the student should be able to contribute to the development of sound and user-friendly information architectures for commercial and public web sites, based on a familiarity with commonly used approaches and strategies. In addition, the student should be able to discuss and reflect on the practices and the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that are current in information architecture.


    •    The codex book and its global and local access structures as a forerunner of the web
    •    Categorization and classification, including hierarchical and faceted schemes
    •    Labeling
    •    Indexing: automated and manual indexing methods, thesauri
    •    Information retrieval: search languages, matching, ranging, Boolean operators, metadata
    •    Information structures: Sequential structure, matrixes, hierarchical tree structures, hypertext structures, deep versus shallow structures
    •    Navigation
    •    Search
    •    Social navigation, collaborative filtering, tagging
    •    Prototyping techniques

Teaching Methods

Group works
Laboratory work
Net Support Learning
Mandatory assignments
Project work

Form(s) of Assessment

Multiple Choice Test(s)

Form(s) of Assessment (additional text)

    •    Written evaluation of the information architecture of a website or other content collection (40%)
    •    Written assignment reflecting on methods or theory of information architecture (50%)
    •    Multiple choice on basic information architecture concepts (10%)

Students must receive a passing grade on all assessment parts in order to pass the course.

Grading Scale

Alphabetical Scale, A(best) – F (fail)

External/internal examiner

Internal examiners. External examiner is used periodically, next time autumn 2018.

Re-sit examination

If one or more assessments must be re-sat, new examination possible next time the course is running.

Examination support

Dictionary – English/first language

Coursework Requirements

Active participation in seminars, including oral presentation(s), approval of topics for written assignments.


Teaching Materials

Required reading:        
    •    Rosenfeld, Louis, Peter Morville, and Jorge Arango (2015). Information architecture for the web and beyond. Fourth edition. O’Reilly.
    •    Hearst, Marti A. (2009). Search user interfaces. New York: Cambridge University Press. Available for free online at
Supplementary reading:
    •    Garrett, Jesse James (2003). The elements of user experience: User-centered design for the web. New York / Berkeley: American Institute of Graphic Arts / New    Riders.
    •    Porter, Joshua (2008). Designing for the social web. Berkeley: New Riders.
    •    Resmini, Andrea and Luca Rosati (2011).  Pervasive information architecture: designing cross-channel user experiences.  Burlington: Morgan Kaufmann.
    •    Hunter, Eric J. (2009).  Classification made simple: An introduction to knowledge organisation and information retrieval. Third edition. Farnham: Ashgate.
    •    Levene, Mark (2010).  An introduction to search engines and web navigation. 2nd edition· Wiley.
    •    Russell-Rose, Tony and Tyler Tate (2012). Designing the search experience: The information architecture of discovery. Elsevier / Morgan Kaufman.
    •    König, R. and Rasch, M. (editors) (2014). Society of the Query Reader: Reflections on Web Search. INC Reader #9. Amsterdam. Institute of Network Cultures. (E-book available here: