Questions for Mapping Information Environments

Whenever I’m mapping an information environment, I ask myself the following questions:

  • What domain of human activity does this information environment serve? (Healthcare? Financial services? Entertainment? Etc.)
  • Who uses this environment?
  • How much do they understand about this domain before engaging with the environment?
  • What do they expect to find there?
  • What do they call those things?
  • What are the most natural divisions for the parts of the environment?
  • Do those individual components need to be separate environments themselves?
  • How do people expect those components to relate to each other?
  • What unexpected relationships between elements must the environment accommodate?
  • What goals do users expect to accomplish in this environment?
  • What business goals must this environment serve? In what time frame?
  • Are the business and user goals in alignment?
  • Are the business and user time perspectives aligned?
  • Where are the boundaries of the environment?