Information architecture

Information architecture is about making your website or application a place where your users can navigate easily, find what they are looking for.

How does it help

In short, creating a well-crafted structure for your website or application helps your users interact with your product or service in a way that promotes great user experiences. It is about crafting understandable online surroundings that supports findability.

What will you get

The deliverables related to designing the Information Architecture - among others - include: the Content Inventory, the Sitemap and User Flows. Other possible outcomes are determining how metadata should be used, how to build the tagging system and so on.

The key idea here is that your users will come to your website or use your application to fulfill a certain need. If they can't find what they are looking for, they will leave. In the offline world, people navigate by signs that give them clues to understand their surroundings. When we open a website or an application, we experience them as places. And we start looking for signs, clues, navigation patterns we got used to. That is why you need to care about your website's or application's Information Architecture. There are many elements of the navigation: a logo at the upper-left corner (if you click on it, it takes you back to the homepage - it is a conventional pattern), the main navigation (the main menu), a tag cloud, a search field, list of links e.g. in the footer and so on. To sum up Information Architecture is about how you categorize and organize the information.

What is the process

Creating the Information Architecture is one of the most important part of the UX design process. It is not a separate activity, more like an ongoing task, which consists of these steps:

  • Taking into account what are your goals
  • Analyzing what are the users' needs
  • Assessing the Content Inventory or your content strategy