Information Architecture for Web Design: the Big Picture

Pinterest demonstrates a useful way to present visual user-generated content based on search terms. This works well based on the sheer amount of content available on the site, which would make it difficult to provide a simple navigation system based on categories. The Politico website below uses both navigation and a search function. It demonstrates an example of a content-heavy site that groups the information into categories making it easier to find topics.

  • It’s a common misconception that IA must be built “from the top down.” That’s almost always more difficult to do unless it’s an existing product, such as in the video above.
  • Then you should only list products under the Products link and services under the Services link.
  • Information Architecture is the process of organising and deciding which content to include or omit from your website or app.
  • For example, The National Endowment for the Arts website has common labels like “News” and “About,” but it also has unique labels like “Grants” and “Initiatives” that relate to what the NEA does.
  • The use of a “wizard” style application form and illustrates many of the points above.
  • Sync your store data and connect other tools to unlock more automation features.

Will they be looking to buy something from you, are they looking for information on where to vacation, are they hoping to find powerpoint templates? Are the people who are using your website or app internal or external, customers or colleagues? No organization is the same; each has unique content and unique user goals. In order to create a system that works, you will need to understand these goals, which can be achieved through surveys, one-on-one interviews, group discussions, and focus groups. Information architecture is, like a blueprint, a visual representation of the product’s infrastructure, features, and hierarchy.

How Do Information Architecture and SEO Work Together?

The goal is to provide users with only a certain amount of content at a time so it’s easy to digest. The eight principles of IA were first proposed by information architect and UX designer Dan Brown in a 2010 issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. His aim was to define a set of “guidelines based in universal truths that provide a sketch of what makes any information architecture good.” By using them, we define a visual hierarchy of information on the page as well as connections between subsequent views of the application. The next step is to define the navigation, the hierarchy of the individual pages, and to design how and when to display them. At this stage, we can use programs for mind mapping or diagrams.

Card sorting works by writing each content set or page on an index card, and then letting users sort them into groups based on how they think the content should be categorized. Bill has over 25 years of experience in the Internet marketing industry specializing in SEO, UX, information architecture, marketing automation what is information architecture in web design and more. William’s background in scientific computing and education from Shippensburg and MIT provided the foundation for MarketingCloudFX and other key research and development projects at WebFX. In conjunction with heatmaps, you can pinpoint where users tend to get hung up and turn decision points into exit points.

Tools that will make your job easier

Creating a good information architecture is key to a good user experience — you can’t have one without the other. Even the most stunning websites won’t delight users if the underlying organization is poor. Once you find the content types you’ll have and how they relate to each other, then you can begin mapping how to best provide this information to visitors. For digital product information architecture, a search system typically includes a search engine, filters, and other tools.

These are used in the UI design to keep focused on what the information architecture deliverables are trying to accomplish. Most information architecture projects follow a very similar pattern of research and discovery, strategy, and design. Information architecture can also heavily contribute to content migration efforts.

UI/UX Kits on Envato Elements

Even if you’re familiar with the discipline already, you can probably pick up something you’ve missed. In July 2017, shortly after I left employment at Equifax (no connection whatsoever!), a data breach impacting over 147 million people occurred in the US. The data exposed included Social Security numbers, birth dates, and some credit card details. After spending $1.4 billion on security upgrades, it is still resolving ongoing class actions from consumers that were impacted. Treejack is a tool that allows you to validate your navigation structure.

What is the basic information architecture for website

Instead of scanning every single shoe on a single web page, shoppers can limit the number of shoes that appear on the screen. This makes it quicker for shoppers to find the type of shoe they’re looking for. In information architecture, it’s the way the IA groups, labels, and categorizes a specific piece of information in a specific place. Labels should give users an idea of what they will see after they click on that label.

Curated for all your Testing Needs

With good information architecture, we can help provide a good experience for our clients and make sure they leave getting what they expected from their budget. This guide covers the fundamentals of information architecture for organizing website content. We will look into popular IA design patterns, best practices, design techniques, and case examples. Reader engagement is a must when it comes to engagement time and scroll distance. The easiest way to improve your content to encourage deeper navigation is with clear headings as a road map to your content. The first thing many visitors will do is preview your headings and images for relevance to their search terms.

What is the basic information architecture for website

It is essential to understand that Information Architecture and User Experience are different. Categorizing the content instead of clustering will help the user easily land on the exact information. Finding a solid information architecture definition is like asking someone how to catch a cloud and pin it down.

Content 101: UX Writing

A methodical and comprehensive approach to structuring information is needed to make it findable and understandable irrespective of the context, channel, or medium employed by the user. Information Architecture is an important step while managing the content of a site so that users can find relevant information faster. Explained above are some of the principles and methodologies that you can consider and use some of the best IA tools to create stunning designs. Design an exceptional information architecture for your site while building your digital products, apps, and sites using FlowMapp. In addition, you can use data visualizations and become confident that your design matches the mental models of your users. Optimal Workshop will also help accelerate design development by including your stakeholders at every step of the way.