Researching web information architecture, usability, and standards

If you are a web developer, web designer, web architect, web usability expert, in a similar role, or just have an opinion on the subjects of web architecture, usability, and standards, I need your help! I am doing a research paper on the arguments in favor of having large enterprise organizations develop policies for the following issues:

  • Implementing and enforcing a standardized user interface for an enterprise web presence.
  • Developing an enterprise web information architecture.
  • Developing and enforcing a web style guide.
  • Enforcing web standards (i.e. valid XHTML, CSS, DOM scripting using ECMAScript standard, etc.
  • Usability and accessibility issues (Section 508, case law, etc.)

Broad category? Yes. But hey, it’s easier than writing about how to curb global population growth or global warming. I’m trying to positively influence the world through better enterprise web strategy. My goal is to bring standards-based web design out of the sidelines and fully into the mainstream at the enterprise level. I think the case has been made clear for small web infrastructures and web 2.0 plays, but the enterprise still lags in this area and it is a far more challenging problem due to the information and organizational complexity of such behemoths.

I need your help! If you have any suggestions, opinions, recommended books, citations, essays, or good URLs to post, please let me know in the comments! Any opinion on this topic is welcome.


11 thoughts on “Researching web information architecture, usability, and standards”

  1. Wonderful suggestions all! Thank you very much – keep it coming.

    Molly: Yes I have seen the survey results. We were discussing that at the recent Voices That Matter conference. In particular, I was struck by the survey’s indication of such a low ratio of women in the business. A quick look around that particular conference floor or at my own workplace would indicate otherwise, but I don’t doubt that the world beyond my little demographic might trend more towards the numbers reflected in the survey.

    Maybe it’s just guys that fill out surveys? πŸ˜‰

  2. Laura – I am finding the resources on your site to be most helpful in the area of information architecture all areas. Thanks!

  3. I ran across a professional organization trying to promote accessible web design.

    The Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS) is a worldwide association of professional organisations, web designers and developers working together to promote the use and preservation of accessible design standards.

  4. Thanks everyone – I appreciate the interest. This has all been wonderfully helpful.

    The one thing that I am finding is that we as web developers tend to focus on things like accessibility, cross-platform compatibility, and so on and so forth. But when I’m talking to executives and such, they tend to hear only one thing: Money. It is my aim to insert as much capitalist rationalization into this research as I can… πŸ˜‰

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