WEB200 » Information Architecture for the Web
An Information Architect then, is the individual who creates the structure or map of information which allows the user find the information they want. They are responsible for structuring content and presenting their structures, patterns and relationships to the user:
Download: Barbacoa Information Architecture | Premium Design Works
The How to of Information Architecture
The “How To” of Information Architecture comes down to the ability to organize and present information into a usable format.
There are three main components of Information Architecture that we as website designers must master:
1) Meaningful Groups
Groups should correspond to how the user thinks about the subject matter. These groups should be broken down into standard categories and subcategories—main navigational links and sub-navigational links.
2) Functional Sequence
The goal of organizing a website hierarchy is to devise a sequence that best suits the users’ needs. Pages may be sequenced in order of importance or chronological order.
3) Naming Conventions
Names of your pages should be “generally specific”—meaning the names should be concise, yet broad enough to be meaningful to the user.
- Complete Beginner’s Guide to Information Architecture | UX Booth
- Guide to Creating Website Information Architecture and Content | Princeton University
- Usability Card Sorting for Website | Intellavia
- Card Sorting the Human Centered Design & Engineering Website Information Architecture | Mike Sinkula
- Avoid Category Names That Suck | Nielsen Norman Group
- Flat vs. Deep Website Hierarchies | Jakob Nielsen
So… What does the User Want to Know?
When starting out with an architecture we need to ask… “What do our users want to know?” about this business, organization or artist:
- Who are you guys?
- What do you offer?
- Why should I chose you?
- Where are you located?
- When is this happening?
- How do I get a hold of you?
Let’s take a look at some sample questions that may influence whether someone would visit this restaurant:
Once we figure out what our users want to know, we then need to create an architecture document that will lead them to the answer of their question by grouping these topics into categories and subcategories that will become our navigation scheme:
If the user can find the answer to their question on the website, they will be more likely to buy the business’s products or services.