Blast Radius partnered with Bell Canada and ATG to provide a solution that would encompass the entirety of Missisauga's online services and serve as the foundation for future eCity projects. I acted as the sole Information Architect/UX Designer on the project. As such I was involved from the very beginning of discovery until a technical and design hand-off in 2004. This very large project was the first time I split the content from the architecture comepletly, which resulted in two unique and very large documents. Components of the website were done as short sprints, working out the interaction design of each component iterativley with the client and then moving on to the next.
This project lasted for 1.5 years from initial discovery to (my) final deliverables. The site was live as the official site for the City of Mississauga from 2004-2011.
Final total IA documentation: 300 pages split across 3 documents - Sitemap, Templates and Widgets.
By todays standards the visualization of the sitemap was quite simple. In 2002 however, there were a lot of complexities introduced such as labelling dynamic content, external pages, and mapping to Business Requirements.
The idea of seperating content from layout was relatively new at this point. Within the idea of the templates was that each content area would dictate the view of the module being shown. Templating also allowed for rapid development of the overall framework as each of the hundreds of pages within the site had only a few base templates to work from. Wireframes for key example pages were developed in order to facilitate design guidelines and technical complexity.
PORTLETS / WIDGETS / GEARS / MODULES
So many terms for the same thing. As mentioned above, each portlet/module was designed in several dimensions and views. Today we would easily call this Adaptive Design, but no such term existed then. I was simply trying to document that each portlet required different levels of detail and action depending on where in the site it would be located. The solution was to create a document that had specifications for each portlet organized by template location (width).
Below is an example of the final product based on the architecture we designed in 2002-4 as available on archive.org for 2011.