A Beginner’s Guide To Information Architecture in UX 2023

Every negative user experience due to poorly-planned content can lead to lost sales, which can drag down profits and hurt your bottom line. Information architecture is the practice of organizing content effectively. The primary job of an information architect is contributing to a positive UX and maintaining a competitive edge by making sure content is exactly where it needs to be on a website. This article will help you understand why IA is critical for e-commerce sites, how IA and UX fit together, and the elements and principles that make up the framework of information architecture.

what is information architecture in ux

Get started with User Interface and User Experience Design and learn how to wireframe and prototype using Figma. Read the Contribution Guide or share your thoughts in this feedback form. Well-thought-out information architecture can make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking information architecture web for and help them understand how your site works. The content will be organized in an order that is easy to follow. It stimulates the brain’s capacity to differentiate between things based on their physical distinctions, such as differences in size, color, contrast, alignment, and so on.

Information Architecture and User Experience: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Since your product will grow and change over time, it’s important to create a scalable structure for your content. This means choosing categories thoughtfully, and striking a balance between “too general” and “too specific” with your labels and imagery. Although its marketplace only exists online, Etsy relies heavily on product images to help shoppers connect with the various products and categories available. The Target mobile app uses a bold menu to help you quickly switch between shopping for products, viewing your cart, and accomplishing account-related tasks. If you come across a well-organized website or app where you can easily find the content you’re searching for and information you need, you have information architecture to thank for it. Brown says it’s wise for any designers to assume that people will reach your website via another page that isn’t your homepage.

what is information architecture in ux

Many design teams get carried away with adding of navigational menus everywhere on the website – making the menu itself seem lacking in logic. And information architecture is all about logic in user experience. It’s recommended that you make your lists (all of them!) shorter, especially at the higher hierarchical levels. IA needs to be a solid base on which you can build the user experience, but it cannot work as the whole project.

Visual Design

Many content-heavy sites have content that’s technical, detailed, or simply something that needs to be learned. In our definition above, information architecture looks at organisation, labeling, navigation, and search to support usability, functionality, and findability. This organisation system supports both users and internal staff. Mapmakers give careful thought to every aspect of a map, from the mountain ranges to the borders between states. IA designers choose the elements that will be included in the design, much like mapmakers do.

what is information architecture in ux

It provides consumers with the ability to anticipate where they may readily access particular information. Designers implement the method of dividing the design into distinct structures and schemes so that the design components may be categorized efficiently. Title, author/provider, meta elements , copy, images, audio, video, and document files are included. The presentation of visual hierarchy is https://globalcloudteam.com/ a great asset to information architecture , not only because it gives the reader a better context, but also because it generalizes essential sections of the product. IA design, which is a part of the UX process, adheres to very similar patterns to flowcharting. These patterns involve adding shapes to a single document and then connecting those forms to one another using lines in an ordered manner.

Data modeling

Information architecture is not built with vague guesses and baseless plans. It requires several principles and methodologies to be followed. Following these principles leads an architect to obtain a working prototype. Content audits on this inventory enable information architects to have insights into how useful, accurate, and effective some data is from a user’s perspective. It is necessary to find out what the audience demands and how they think when they look for information on a digital platform.

This format works well when you need to communicate the structure to other people. Hierarchical design is the structuring of content, data, and interactions in a physical way, typically by focusing priority to the top. Lower-value portions fall lower on the hierarchy, and can be found either further down a page or on a completely different page. Cartographers take everything about a map into consideration, from mountain ranges to state borders. Just like map makers, designers determine what goes into the IA design. Individual pages, specific user behaviors, context for decision points… and so on.

Information Architecture Design: A Step-By-Step Guide

It’s our responsibility to provide them with the necessary tools for that. UX Booth is trusted by over 100,000 user experience professionals. Now on its fourth edition, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web is one of the foremost books on information architecture. It is so ubiquitous in UX departments and agencies that many people know it only as “the polar bear book,” nicknamed for the polar bear on the cover. The focus of this book is creating IAs for large web sites, which offer more complicated hierarchies.

what is information architecture in ux

CareerFoundry is an online school for people looking to switch to a rewarding career in tech. Select a program, get paired with an expert mentor and tutor, and become a job-ready designer, developer, or analyst from scratch, or your money back. 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.

Information Architecture Principles

When starting from scratch to construct an information architecture, if your website or application does not follow a standard pattern, it is quite difficult to draw out anything that is below the top level. It is the equivalent of asking a technician to construct an automobile from the engine down rather than in sections. It is necessary to create each component in advance, giving adequate time for the study, design, and development of each component. This skeleton is built based on the collected information, research, hierarchy, taxonomy, and labeling. Prototyping helps architects to conclude how users will interact with the final product and what problems they can face.

  • Common tasks include research, navigation creation, wireframing, labeling, and data modeling.
  • Through research, information architects can learn how the target audience thinks when they interact with a product, and this will help them organize the information in a way that meets the user’s needs.
  • Information architecture is the science of structuring content as it is applied to news websites or blogs, online stores, booking apps, downloadable software, etc.
  • Moreover, including examples of content in your wireframes is good to ensure that the design can accommodate the necessary information.
  • As you have already seen, almost every stage has its own deliverables.