April 6th, 2004

Recently I had to write a critique of a site. and it occured to me about
halfway through that the process was more like solving a logic problem
than simply applying some critical faculties and saying ‘good’; ‘bad’

It was like this: Someone used some kind of logic to put the site together.
They must have done – there are a whole bunch of pages which are arranged
in a hierarchy and relate to each other in meaningful ways. The only
way for an architect to arrive at a structure for the site in the first
place was through the application of logic.

This makes necessary sense: Logic is the only tool a user has to find
what they’re looking for on a site. Your site better be structured logically
if you want your users to be able to intuit their way around.

My job was to work out the logic – to discover the thinking behind the
categorising and architecture of the site, and then figure out if this
system was valid.

By studying the existing site I could get most of the understanding
I needed – but not all. The kicker is that if the site is flawed in some
way then it’s impossible for me to get a complete understanding of the
logic behind the structure

but the site was more like a a clue in this hunt, rather than the complete
solution to be disovered – I couldn’t be sure that the site was built
sensibly, after all (indeed, it was not!)

It was ultimately quite a cathartic job. Rearranging the structure to
make more sense was satisfyingly like slotting tetris shapes together,
but on the way I frequently found myself thinking "what the hell
did they do that for?" (and worse). I can report that profanity
seems to be inversely proportional to apparent logic.

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