What is Information Architecture? UX Tips and Examples

People look for information in different ways, and different people look for different kinds of information. You need to understand what users are trying to achieve using your product. Using visual https://globalcloudteam.com/ signals to direct users, planning for scalability and adaptability, and taking accessibility and diversity into account when making design decisions are some other excellent practices.

Plus, if people leave your website or application before completing the desired action, it will be hard to win them back with remarketing because of the bad impression. If it’s easy to find needed information on your website or application, users won’t contact support unnecessarily — they will be able to find answers to their questions by themselves. When your users can find what they’re looking for easily and intuitively, with minimum steps possible, the chance of conversion rises.

Single Page Structure

To accurately determine the logic of your site’s flow and the intended customer journey, this is a necessary step in your IA project timeline. Your site’s intended functions can best be evaluated through wireframing. Unlike the architecture of bridges and buildings, though, information architecture has more moving parts, a more abstract form of ‘building materials,’ and has only been around for a few decades. Additionally, information systems like websites are more malleable and can be adjusted and improved over time. Since your product will grow and change over time, it’s important to create a scalable structure for your content. This means choosing categories thoughtfully, and striking a balance between “too general” and “too specific” with your labels and imagery.

website information architecture

I always recommend starting with something simple and obvious to understand how you should structure your diagram. You can do it manually by going through web information architecture the pages and the quickest way to do it is by going straight to the footer. Usually, there is a sitemap with the most important websites listed there.

Overwhelming Navigation

These steps should be full-time members on your information architecture checklist. The rest will fit in as you go along in the prototyping phase and the remainder of your design process. As you complete the steps above, you might want to make notes about navigation. Competitive research, your sitemap, and user research are all important.

  • Once you understand how a user behaves and seeks information, you can design a successful sitemap , website navigation, user flows and so on.
  • Before starting this step, you need to make sure that all questions regarding your goals, existing content, and the users’ needs have been answered.
  • If your website is content-heavy, you may also consider the use of site search.
  • She is also the cofounder of the collaborative blogging tool PublicSquare, and the design publication Boxes and Arrows.
  • Use your personas as a guide to help you, your design team, and your content strategist collaborate on your ideal user perception.

Because whether you choose to create global navigation menus, sidebars, or breadcrumbs, navigation is key to a great user experience. Labeling is fun, and once you start you might just want to keep going. But doing your structure and labeling all at once can make things confusing fast. This is because the more data you run through, the easier it is to make common mistakes like adding too many categories or creating confusing labels.

Learn about information architecture

From navigational tools to visual hierarchy, these methods must be carefully constructed to support the needs of individual pages as well as the site as a whole. Simply withholding content isn’t enough to create a user-friendly experience. The principle of disclosure requires you to give enough visual and textual clues so that users essentially learn as they go through the product. The better the entire product development team knows the IA, the faster everyone will know what is and isn’t possible, and how serious any supposed “easy work” really is. If you are new to the Interaction Design Foundation, this course is a great place to start because it brings together materials from many of our other courses. This provides you with both an excellent introduction to user experience and a preview of the courses we have to offer to help you develop your future career.

From user behavior, to future-proofing, there are lots of things to take into account, beyond organizing the information in a logical way. In fact, one of the first mentions of IA happened in the early 1970s, when XEROX Labs addressed the need for information structuring practices, and developed technology that would support it. If you’ve heard about UX design, you’ve probably come across information architecture, or as it’s often written for short ‘IA’. If you want easy recruiting from a global pool of skilled candidates, we’re here to help. Our graduates are highly skilled, motivated, and prepared for impactful careers in tech. Use our easy drag-and-drop interface to ensure people can get where they want to go.

User Testing

This is a problem if those approaches don’t work well for the user. For example, online shopping carts often use the word “item” or “product.” If you’re in the United States, you probably use the word product more often. Below is the IA for a mobile app from UX designer Bogomolova Anfisa.

website information architecture

There’s also a primary navigation bar for different areas of the site (e.g. forums, job board, freelancing guides, etc.). Navigation and structure are kept simple, which enhances the usability of the site. What works best will vary based on things like how often content is updated, how much content there is, and how visitors use the site. Here are some case examples to show you how content is structured on different kinds of websites. Site maps are quick and easy ways to visually denote how different pages and content relate to one another.

Information Architecture Principles

Created by designer Alex Gilev, this file contains an easy-to-use IA template and a Google Doc outlining the content structure of a real project he created. The template contains simple blocks for showcasing the flow of your app or website. You don’t need third-party software to edit this template — you can use the presentation software app Keynote. Other steps include content inventory, user research and testing, wireframing, and prototyping. Let’s talk about how to create information architecture for your website.

website information architecture