How to Create an Information Architecture

Figure 2 shows a simple organizational schema for the content on, capturing the top entities of the site’s root content model and documenting the number of child items in each group. This is the first tactical artifact of the site’s information architecture. The organization of the content maps to a strong user mental model that the team synthesized from user research with prospective customers.

information architecture example

You may end up with half the product being useless because the path to go and discover new features may be almost impossible. Microsoft Visio is a premium tool that offers dozens of premade templates, diagrams, and stencils to help you start diagramming your IA. The latest version comes with even more features to help you create professional sitemaps.

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This will help us decide which components to focus on, and where to place them in the hierarchy. If you already have a website, one way to do this is to do a content audit. Here you’ll list out all the pages on a spreadsheet, with the number of visits, the URLs, and the type of content on the page. This can help you see which pages visitors are drawn to most , and which pages you might want to move or delete if they’re not being visited often. Before we dive in let me quickly tell you about Envato Elements; a library of creative assets all ready to use with simple commercial licensing.

After each lesson, we will introduce you to the courses you can take if a specific topic has caught your attention. That way, you’ll find it easy to continue your learning journey. It’s a common conception that any design work is never truly done, and that’s certainly the case with information architecture. Unlike a blueprint for a building, IA will always evolve based on anything from user needs to new features or a product overhaul. Much of the structure may stay the same and provide consistency between versions so users don’t get confused.

The value for the user

This is important because people prefer different methods for finding information. Besides a navigation header with drop-down menus and a search box, there’s a big footer at the bottom of each page. This footer contains important navigation links as well as a short description of the company. Users can easily understand what the company does, find the information they’re looking for, or browse wherever they are on the site. According to the principle of exemplars, you should provide examples of content for things that aren’t necessarily clear or intuitive upon reading.

For instance, some prospective users of consider the positions athletes played and even the years they played. If you do not know the business objectives and measures of success before you begin tactical IA tasks, it compromises both your process and your final IA solution. Although this project could have started similarly to most engagements with enthusiastic clients who just want to know when they can see a design, it didn’t. Instead, it started off with a seemingly more sophisticated client who asked, “When can we see wireframes? ” For many seasoned IA practitioners, hearing an anxious client utter this phrase is like hearing fingernails run across a chalkboard.

Information Architecture: Best Practices

Renee Lin, a UX designer, found a way to improve it by simplifying it and removing some sections. This is an example of how an existing website can be redesigned to make it easier for users to get around and interact with it. The original Spotify design was an example of poor information architecture. Spotify’s website featured a co-existing hierarchy pattern with reiteration and partial reiteration of some sections. This made the information architecture messy with users struggling to find what they need and getting lost in redundant menu items.

information architecture example

The cards can be digital or physical, i.e. written on pieces of paper. They should have numbers and some should have blank spaces, so the participants can create their own names for categories. As a result, you’ll see the approximate structure of a product and proceed with the first prototypes.

Why You Need a UX Designer at Every Step of the Process

Create beautiful graphics with this easy-to-use program packed with the power needed to develop robust sitemaps. This information architecture UX tool works only with Macs, and the team behind it fully supports everything that it has to offer. Sitemaps are a very important way for a website to communicate with a search engine.

By using them, we define a visual hierarchy of information on the page as well as connections between subsequent views of the application. In the second lesson, you’ll learn how to think like a UX designer. This lesson also introduces you to the very first exercise for you to dip your toes into the cool waters of user experience. Once you understand how a user behaves and seeks information, you can design a successful sitemap , website navigation, user flows and so on. Sitemaps come in handy for understanding hierarchy since they organize pages numerically (such as 1.0 Home, 2.0 Payment, 2.1 Add Pay Method, etc.).

#6. Multiple classification principle

It’s the skeleton that teams start working on as early as the first prototypes of the product. When people don’t find information they look information architecture web design for on websites or apps quickly and effortlessly, they leave. Let’s explore this concept in detail and investigate its business values.

  • I hope you now have a better understanding of the steps needed to determine the IA on your own websites.
  • The goal of creating a prototype is to define a visual hierarchy of content on individual pages and see how different pages work together.
  • Two key trends are likely to drive the future of information architecture.
  • Of course, cross-links that are shown in different sections may complicate it a bit but usually, you don’t focus on them designing navigation.
  • Information architects work with data from user research, usability tests, and user-centered design methods.
  • All these methodologies point towards enhanced user experience through categorization and arrangement of data.