Information Architecture

"Remember people can only appreciate what they can actually find"

Effective information architectures enable people to quickly, easily and intuitively find content. This avoids frustration and increases the chance that the user will return to the system the next time they require similar information

Information architecture is the construction of a structure or the organization of information or it is the set of ideas about how all information in a given context should be treated philosophically and, in a general way, how it should be organized. It is the process of organizing, labeling, designing navigation and searching systems that helps people find and manage information more successfully. On the Web, information architecture is a combination of organizing a site's content into categories and creating an interface to support those categories. It stems from traditional architecture, which is made up of architectural programming and architectural planning

Information architecture (also known as IA) is the foundation for great Web design. It is the blueprint of the site upon which all other aspects are built - form, function, metaphor, navigation and interface, interaction, and visual design. Initiating the IA process is the first thing you should do when designing a site.

A good IA must:

  • Clarifies the mission and vision for the site, balancing the needs of its sponsoring organization and the needs of its audiences

  • Determines what content and functionality the site will contain

  • Specifies how users will find information in the site by defining its organization, navigation, labeling, and searching systems

  • Maps out how the site will accommodate change and growth over time