Information architecture for UX Designers by H Locke

Should the categories “men” and “women” take precedence to apparel type? Effective IA allows users to complete tasks with the least effort required. Site maps are a visual representation information architecture web design of IA and give context to how content is tiered. Although IA isn’t visually presented to the users, content should be grouped and structured in such a way that makes logical sense.

information architecture ux example

This includes all the information on your website and helps your audience understand how to complete tasks. Simplest of all 5, except for the pen and paper, Coggle’s collaborative mind maps web app is definitely a good choice if you need to get lots of people involved, and collaborate to create useful diagrams. If you cannot do all 4, make sure you at least do the usability testing in combination with an interview at the end. That will give you valuable insight into what features people are using and what they do on your website and why. This approach gives us the least information, but it’s quicker and simpler.

A typical sitemap for travel website

This works well to avoid giving too many choices to users, and have them become frustrated or overwhelmed by all the possible choices at their disposal. This visual hierarchy works well to convey the importance of different pieces of information, as it displays them in a ladder of relevance. As most good aspects of design, IA has several components that can help you apply this structuring to your product. Information architecture is what makes using your product possible – and this couldn’t be any more evident than in video games, in which there is a whole new world with its own set of rules and history. This means that a vast amount of information about this universe needs to be presented to the users if they hope to advance in the game. In other cases, you can see that the use of architecture in information is extreme and clearly noticeable – as well as very difficult to pull off.

In this article, we will first describe what information architecture is, why it’s important, and approaches to effective implementation. Then we explore ideas around the broader view of the information age, how we use information, and how it impacts our world and our lives. These insights are designed to help you to understand the bigger picture, which enables us to grasp the value that good information architecture delivers to help our information-overloaded lives.

#6. Multiple classification principle

An information architecture diagram is a great way to visualise and understand everything involved in your UI. Similar to a site map, IA diagrams allow designers to map out what will be visible to the user, and what this translates to on the back side. Never stop optimizing your information architecture its not a one shot task. This task is more important than designing wireframes itself.

  • Treejack is a tool that allows you to validate your navigation structure.
  • It will help users understand which page they are willing to open and seek information.
  • By keeping the key elements as the focal point, you have a solid foundation to guide your process.
  • When designers construct applications and websites, for instance, they organize each screen in such a way that it is simple for the user to discover the information that they want.
  • Some of these templates are stand-alone, and others are available with an IA mapping tool.
  • Or consider the example in the image below for Duke University’s library website, where the top navigation isn’t only at the top but also highlighted to be visible across the entire application.
  • It’s fairly logical – putting up content on the internet keeps becoming cheaper.

How much time will it take to leave the app and go to the competition? That’s why we need to organize content in a logical way and make it as easy as possible for users to find what they need. IA designer is a complement to the design team with the main tasks consisting of research, navigation, data modeling, and labeling. Information architects often use tools such as card sorting, usability tests, and user interviews.

For The User

Switching between sections would be slow, but then we don’t expect a lot of sections here. For example, we can’t use as many categories on a mobile app sitemap as on a website. Also, it needs to be highly nimble and agile, to allow for quick, commitment-free changes. Usability testing allows you to make sure the designed structure works for your users.

information architecture ux example

It’s our responsibility to provide them with the necessary tools for that. Information architecture is the practice of structuring information to match user needs. Content strategy is the process that decides what the content consists of and why, and information architecture is the tool given to your users that allow them to access and consume said content. Although they’re very different, it’s another example of not being able to have one without the other. SEO keywords in headings and within heading tags are essential and are noted by search engines, so they should definitely be taken into consideration and kept up to date. Developing a thorough information architecture strategy for your enterprise, big or small, can be the difference between your site sinking or swimming.

The 8 Information Architecture principles

But the most important deliverable that unites the results of an information architect’s hard work is a sitemap. Now, let’s look at some actual website sitemaps to see how they structure their content. Applying these principles, you are likely to effectively structure existing content and leave a space for growth.

Design an exceptional information architecture for your site while building your digital products, apps, and sites using FlowMapp. After setting the labels, organize each category and prioritize content for each group. This way, visitors can find the right products or content faster. After creating all your categories and subcategories, you must label each one of them. And if you want to create labels, make sure it’s done well since how you label every category impacts users while they use the site.

Inventory of Content

Skipping implementation of IA as a whole will be a costly mistake you can easily avoid making. If you have good information architecture, your end-user will never even notice it to begin with. Think of a situation where you’ve visited a website that was just awful. Now think of a site where you were immediately able to conduct your business without a single hitch in the plan and move on with your day. Sadly the negative experience is more memorable because something went wrong, and it was the opposite of our expectations, so it stands out. An “exemplar” is something that serves as an example or model.