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Information Architecture (INFO90005)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeINFO90005
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Information architecture encompasses the processes for investigating and designing the interfaces for large-scale information systems. It involves planning and creating the search methods and browsing mechanisms that users will exploit to discover the information that they need. This subject will introduce a range of methods for discovering the ways in which users conceptualize the structure of the information that they are trying to navigate and discover, as well as theories on how information is organised. The subject explains how to analyse data about an information system’s use and from that analysis create concrete models of both cognitive and information behaviour. These models will be used to inform effective designs for discovery tools. Evaluation methods for testing the effectiveness of information discovery tools will also be taught. Good information architecture is the lynch-pin for modern information systems, from corporate websites to online libraries and public services. Throughout the subject, theory and practice will be closely interconnected, and design decisions will have to be justified with both empirical evidence and fundamental principles from information theory and science.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate through practical assessment an understanding of the different mechanisms for supporting information discovery
  • Ability to apply different approaches to modelling cognitive processes and information structures that are used in creating information architectures and evaluating information seeking
  • The ability to apply information theories to create information access tools for real-world settings
  • The ability to evaluate an existing information discovery tool (e.g. search engine), and create improvements through evidence-based and theory-based methods.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

Assignment 1 – User Modelling task (individual) – Students will elicit knowledge of users’ information needs from a small number (4-8) representative sample. A report of c. 2000 words requiring c. 20 hours of work per student. Due in week 6. (30%). Addressing Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO) 1 and 2.

Assignment 2 – Design task (individual) Students will present a proposed design for a target information tool, using evidence from Assignment 1 and supplemented by further data. Report of c. 3000 words and presentation requiring c. 25 hours of work. Due in week 10. (40%). Addressing ILO 2 and 3.

Assignment 3 – Evaluation task that reports the outcome of an assessment of the use of a real-world information system. Group task of 3-4 students and a report of 4000 words requiring c. 10 hours of work per student. Due in the second week of the examination period. (30%). Addressing ILO 1,3 and 4.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorGeorge Buchanan
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36
    Total time commitment200 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

200 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There are no specifically prescribed or recommended texts for this subject.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 22 August 2019