What is information architecture and information technology infrastructure?

It’s a collection of different pieces that form patterns that visitors recognize. For example, in hierarchical navigation, users navigate from top to bottom. Information architects use research, inventories, and analysis to create categories. Information architecture involves research, planning, and communication. And information architects’ work often starts with a complex mass of information. When they finish, they have an informational structure that is clear and easy to navigate.

what is information architecture

The Principle of Exemplars – means that whenever you’re describing any form of content or categories, you should include accompanying examples. The idea is that an information architect should focus solely on the structure. That means everything that is showable through data modeling like maps and flowcharts.

Information Architecture and Organization Principles

A typical company has the goals to reduce the working cost, increase sales and help the target audience. Map the architect in simple sections and remember that the target goals are user-centered, thus it should be easy to scan from a user’s perspective. Content audits on this inventory enable information architects to have insights into how useful, accurate, and effective some data is from a user’s perspective. These are assumptions users may carry in their minds while exploring a digital product or website before interacting with it.

UX architects might also visit users in real-world environments to see how they interact with a product. The IA practitioner will join other team members to ask questions related to product design. Information architecture is the foundation for efficient product design. When users can’t find what they are looking for right from the start, there’s a huge possibility they will abandon your product or website. Information architecture is a method for structuring information with the result of improving performance.

Gestalt principles are laws that explain how humans perceive objects. These principles include how we simplify complex images, recognize patterns, and group information. A good information architect looks at the full picture and learns what their client expects from their website or app. This is also a good time to perform content inventory and audits to get an idea of exactly what content the product offers and how useful or effective it is. Once a user has abandoned a product due to poor content structure or tiresome navigation, it’s much harder to engage them again. So, the value of IA in UX design lies in making it nearly effortless for your users to find the content that they want, thus keeping them engaged and satisfied with your product.

What Is Information Architecture in UX Design?

For example, you can do a content audit to see how much content actually helps users and find valuable opportunities for improvements. To first step to creating IA is to determine your company goals. That means determining why you want to create the information architecture and what you wish to achieve with it.

Cloud architecture focuses on relationship management, outcomes – GCN.com

Cloud architecture focuses on relationship management, outcomes.

Posted: Thu, 27 Oct 2022 15:45:00 GMT [source]

Depending on user research and usability testing, you set up the structure of an application, website, or other projects. User interviews, surveys, and secondary sources of information help collect the data to do so. The principle of visual hierarchy is especially important when designing the copy content of a product.

The Definitive Guide to Ecommerce Website Development

From whitespace to texture, visual elements when creating your design hierarchy to prioritize users’ attention. Explore these visual examples & kickstart your sitemap design project. Reducing cognitive load helps to reduce users’ confusion as they navigate a site or product. The information architecture is not part of the on-screen user interface — rather, IA informs UI. The IA is documented in spreadsheets and diagrams, not in wireframes, comprehensive layouts , or prototypes. This site map describes the different content pieces on the nngroup.com site and the relationship between them.

  • Although it’s just one piece of the puzzle,information architecture plays a big role in creating these intuitive, user-centered products.
  • For websites with online shopping facilities it has a significant impact on revenue.
  • Labeling systems involve how content or lots of data is represented or presented in simple and useful ways.
  • In this book, readers get a seven-step process for tackling even the messiest hierarchies, to help break the work down and make it manageable.
  • Keeping in mind the user’s cognitive load helps prevent information architects from inadvertently overloading a user with too much information all at once.

When you work with user experience, it’s crucial to understand what those areas are so that you know how best to apply the tools available to you. There’s no “one true path” of education for finding work in this specialized field. A Web Programming degree or a Computer Science degree are both solid starting points for anyone interested in this role. The next thing to keep in mind while mapping architecture and arranging interactive content is to analyze what work has already been done. This step is crucial because sometimes inventing the bulb from scratch can be difficult. This methodological aspect is utilized in the designing of information databases.

Define Your Company Goals

The focus of this book is creating IAs for large web sites, which offer more complicated hierarchies. The Information Architecture Community Group is an online community hosted by W3C. Members of the community can pose questions or discussion points and engage in conversation with other IAs around the world using the online forum.

what is information architecture

In this article we’ll discuss what information architecture really is, and why it’s a valuable aspect of the user experience process. Page Laubheimer is a Senior User Experience Specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. He helps organizations focus on delivering outstanding user experience in order to achieve their strategic goals. He combines his expertise in website usability with experience managing a team of designers and developers to successfully implement UX best practices across a range of platforms.

How to Take Your Users into Account When Building Your Information Architecture

Users can download a free version, or buy XMind pro, and they work on Mac, Windows, or Linux. Mental models are the assumptions people carry in their minds before interacting with a website or application. Information is easier to discover when it is in a place that matches the user’s mental model of where it should be.

what is information architecture

Most people only notice information architecture when it is poor and stops them from finding the information they require. Talk to a program advisor to discuss career change and find out what it takes to become a qualified UX designer in just 5-10 months—complete with a job guarantee. Take part in one of our FREE live online UX design events with industry experts. We’ve devoted this article to explaining exactly what information architecture is, how it complements UX, and how you can use it in your design work. A self-paced, online video-learning course for everything you need to know about Content Intelligence. Tips on how to design for good discoverability, the concept of discoverability and why it’s important.

Creating an effective information architecture in 9 steps

Effective information architecture examples to help shape the IA behind a website or product. There are many aspects of IA, but two are important for the cataloguing and organization of information, Taxonomies & Metadata. Ensure that there are different ways a user can browse content on your site.

Information architecture is a critical part of the user experience. You want the user to not only be able to understand the structure of your content, but also to predict it. They should be able to find jewelry under the sub-category of accessories, the author’s name on a blog post, and so on. Information architecture is complex, and building one requires a lot of time and resources. There are templates available that you can use as the foundation for your next project. Some of these templates are stand-alone, and others are available with an IA mapping tool.

According to Peter Morville , the purpose of your IA is to help users understand where they are, what they’ve found, what’s around, and what to expect. Navigation means how the target audience will navigate and move through the information. IA, UX designers, and content strategists come up with scenarios that how a user will interact with a product. They then utilize this to illustrate information architecture diagrams and flowcharts.


This article provides an introduction to information architecture, discusses the evolution of the discipline and provides a 9-step guide for how to create an effective information architecture. Organising functionality and content into a structure that people are able to navigate intuitively doesn’t happen by chance. https://globalcloudteam.com/ Organisations must recognise the importance of information architecture or else they run the risk of creating great content and functionality that no one can ever find. With its front-heavy focus on information and data, information architecture also serves the interests of the business as much as the customer.

Plan an effective content marketing strategy for 2018; start with ’s top 8 resources for building intelligent content systems. Information architecture also gives businesses greater control over how their content is organized, displayed and distributed across new technologies and applications, even ones they don’t own. One important function information architects perform is helping to make the data businesses have about their users work to its maximum potential. Too many businesses rely on instinct or hunches to determine what their users want.

Learn online, not alone Our career-change programs are designed to take you from beginner to pro in your tech career—with personalized support every step of the way. Pages that are created should offer meaningful choices to the user. All choices should be defining information architecture focused on a specific action to avoid overwhelming the user with too many choices. These components include hardware, software, networking components, an operating system , and data storage, all of which are used to deliver IT services and solutions.

This is a problem if those approaches don’t work well for the user. Information architecture and the user experience are closely connected, but they’re not the same thing. Below is the IA for the mobile app of a client that design agency Pixel Fridge worked with.


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