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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Introduction to Architecture Design - Content Architecture

The design process for identifying the subsystems making up a system and the
framework for sub-system control and communication is architectural design. An architectural design is :
- early stage in system design process.
- conducted in parallel with other design activities.
- establishes a link among goals established for web application, content, users visiting it, and the navigation criterion.
- identifying system components and their communications.

Content architecture emphasize on the fact how are the content objects structured for presentation and navigation. It focuses on overall hypermedia structure of the web application. It focuses on
- identifying links and relationships among content and documents.
- defining the structure of content.
- specifying consistent document requirements and attributes.

The design can choose from four different content structures:
- Linear Structures : a predictable sequence of interactions is common. The sequence of content presentation is predefined and linear in nature.
- Grid Structures : applied when the web application content can be organized categorically in two dimensions. This web application architecture is useful when highly regular content is encountered.
- Hierarchical Structures : it is the most common web application architecture. It is designed in a manner that enables flow of control horizontally, across vertical branches of the structure.
- Networked Structures : architectural components are designed so that they may pass control to virtually every other component in the system. It provides navigational flexibility but at the same time it can be a bit confusing to a user.
- Composite Structures : the overall architecture of the web application may be hierarchical, but part of the a structure may exhibit linear characteristics, while another part of the architecture may be networked.

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