Information architecture is all about organising the content in a way that it can be understood in an easiest manner.
In terms of digital design, information architecture is about organising the content of your websites, apps or software in a manner so that the users can understand and find the content they need and also help them to know where they are currently while using the service.
Principles Of Information Architecture
The architect should have good clarity of the functionality and a complete guide of the contents meant to be displayed. Dan Brown, an information architect for UX has stated 8 principles required to design a great website.
- Principle of Objects: Contents are like a living organism. They have their unique behavior, lifecycle, and attributes.
- Principle of Choices: Number of choices should be kept as minimum as possible. More causes confusion. However, this concept is hypothetical and depends on the complexity of the site. If the content of the site is too large, you will definitely require multiple choices.
- Principle of Disclosure: Users should be given a preview of the information they are about to explore once they dig deeper into the website. The information can be given in the form of metadata for text content or some snapshots or meta description for images and video content.
- Principle of Exemplars: While describing the contents mentioned in the category, examples are also needed. You can use an efficiently designed navigation system to arrange the examples of specific contents or labels.
- Principle of Front doors: It should be assumed that 50% of users are going to use a different entry point other than the home page. The site should be structured in a way that no matter what page the user opens, they can smoothly navigate across the entire site.
- Principle of Multiple Classifications: The content of the site should be classified to increase the sense of clarity of the user regarding the site’s content. For example, if the site you are going to design is a blog and you have different types of contents, you will need to create multiple child pages of different categories instead of clustering all the blog posts in a single page.
- Principle of Focused Navigation: Navigation of the site should be kept simple and it is a bad idea to mix different things. Navigation should be kept in a way that the user gets clarity about the menu item just by reading the name.
- Principle of Growth: It is crucial to design a scalable website for ensuring that layout doesn’t get hassled with respect to content expansion. This will ensure that the layout will not get impacted when the content grows.
Pointers To An Effective Information Architecture For UX
Information architecture for website is considered to be the foundation step. Creating a document results in the best foundation. Keep in mind the below-mentioned pointers while planning the information architecture of a website.
- Define Goals of the Company: Before starting the plan, decide what you want to do with your website and how do you want to achieve your goals. Set up a meeting with the stakeholders and find out the answers.
- Figure Out User’s Goals: First of all, you will need to figure out the target audience who will visit your website. Create scenarios, discuss with probable users and find out how the users are going to use your website and for what purpose.
- Study Your Competitors: Study websites that are similar to yours and find out how they planned the information architecture from UX point of view. Find out whether the website of your competitor is easier to navigate, how do they display key information and the things that make it attractive. It is important to keep in mind the trending web designs. Here are 19 Trends Of Web Design For 2019.
- Draw a Site Map: Once the plan and content are ready, it’s time to figure out how users are going to access these contents. Properly plan out navigation that is not too complex and will help the users to browse through your site easily. Divide your content into groups and draw them accordingly while planning the sitemap.
- Cross Browser Testing: Your Information Architecture behaviour may vary from one browser to another with respect to cross browser compatibility testing. It would be very disappointing to work so hard for managing information architecture of a website, only to watch it go south due to browser differences.