Information Architecture

Various size cubes randomly stacked on top of each other.
Information Architecture is about signposting your website in a way that makes the most sense for your visitors.

IA poses a tremendous challenge in designing any navigational system on a website. Taking it seriously means making systematic efforts to maintain consistent navigation systems using a deliberately designed structure, rather than one that evolved haphazardly.

In this section, I give my thoughts on various aspects of IA that you should consider when looking at content for your website.

Reflecting how users view your content

Carry-out a card sort exercise as a quick and cost effective way to understand how users view your IA. Take the results in context of other techniques (such as icon intuitiveness, situation analysis and task completing studies), as users are not web experts, and their mental model of the web may not be optimal.

Implementing a taxonomy process to a CMS

Taxonomy, in a web context, can be considered as a conceptual framework for organising information that your CMS will use to improve searching. It's tightly related to a defined scope and context of the business. Together with keywords and other elements, it's a key a component of information architecture on a website.

This page was last updated on Friday, 9th September 2011.