School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 534 Outline

LIS 534: Information Architecture: Web Design for Usability

Course Outline
Winter 2018

Instructor: Dr. Dangzhi Zhao

Email:; Phone: (780) 4922814; Office: 313 Rutherford South
hours: 4:005:00pm (Mountain Time) on Fridays

Calendar Description:

An examination of the principles and practice of web usability, with a focus on information architecture, layout and design, metadata and other topics related to effective web design and management. Includes an introduction to HTML and other web coding.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. apply essential information architecture and usability principles to website evaluation and design
  2. create standards-­‐compliant websites using HTML and CSS
  3. discuss important issues in web design, (e.g., accessibility, mobile web, global audience)

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

  • actively contribute to and participate in informed and engaging discussions and other activities related to information architecture and website usability.
  • apply website information architecture and usability principles to evaluate individual aspects as well as the overall usability of websites.
  • design effective information architectures for small websites using a user-­‐centered approach drawing on website information architecture and usability principles.
  • construct small standards-­‐compliant websites by hand-­‐coding HTML and CSS.


  • Information behaviour & the Web
  • Content design and organization systems
  • Labeling systems; Writing for the Web
  • Navigation design; Search systems
  • Page design; Multimedia
  • Web usability evaluation & testing
  • Designing websites for mobile devices
  • Accessibility for users with disabilities
  • Global audiences
  • Web standards & policies
  • Metadata and Search engines
  • Website design trends and issues
  • Web design software; Web Content Management Systems


A combination of discussions, case studies, and handson tutorials and labs will be used throughout this course.

Course Relationships:

LIS 501 & 502 are pre or corequisites.

Required Texts:

  • Rosenfeld, L., Morville, P., & J. Arango (2015). Information architecture: For the Web and Beyond. 4th edition. O'Reilly Media.
  • Krug, S. (2013). Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. 3rd edition. New Riders Press.

Assignments and Weighting:

  • Class Contribution (18%)
  • Website Evaluation and Re-­‐design (30%, group)
  • Website Design and Construction (40%, individual)
  • Tutorials and labs (12%, individual)

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Procedure:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade.(­‐of-­‐library-­‐and-­‐information-­‐studies/resources-­‐and-­‐forms/slis-­‐policies-­‐ and-­‐documents/slis-­‐grading-­‐procedure).

Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff, and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Student Accessibility Services.

Recording of Lectures:

Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.


Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.