Structure your website/app content in-line with your users goals: considering hierarchy, navigation, labelling and taxonomy. Choosing the appropriate hierarchical structure ensures a relevant and useful IA is created.
What is information architecture?
Essentially, information architecture is organising, structuring, and labelling content and in effective way. The purpose of the ‘IA’ as it’s known for short is for users to:
- Understand their context (where they are on the website)
- Understand what they’ve found
- Understand what to expect
- Understand where to find things next
How do we create one?
Content is at the core of any website. The main purpose of a content audit is to produce a list of the site’s content, usually in a big spreadsheet. If the project involves an existing website with lots of content, it’s important to record what content exists currently so you can talk to the writers about reordering and rewriting the content.
Once you’ve completed the content audit you can begin to plan a new information architecture. Before delving into the world of layout and re-writing anything, it’s best to focus on bigger components rearranging information through card sorting and labelling sections. These tasks are best done in collaboration with stakeholders and SEO specialists and decisions should be guided by pre-existing requirements gathering, research and strategy, and user journey mapping work.
Designing a website can be a complex task and the volume of information that sometimes needs to be organised and incorporated can be vast. A sitemap can be an effective planning tool that clearly illustrated additions/changes in content types and their labelling.
Without the use of a sitemap, you may spend a lot of time creating pages that aren’t needed, or designing sites that are more complicated than they need to be. It’s worth investing time in creating a new vision for the content, illustrated through a detailed and clear site map.
Need help with your UX?
If you’re looking for help with your project or have a few questions, I’m happy to help.