The importance of information architecture IA in UX and UI Design

The faster users are able to land on the right information the more satisfied they will be with your website. But for that, it’s essential to have a better understanding of the user’s needs. To avoid losing users, designers organize content into easier-to-consume systems. The science of structuring information, what is information architecture in web design features, and functionalities in digital products is information architecture . IA is a fundamental concept that UX designers should master before they begin any visual design work. To sum up, we can claim that information architecture is a core part of the powerful user experience design.

On the other hand, a well-planned information architecture of your website will make it easy for the site visitors to access the information as quickly as possible. Still today the word of mouth recommendations plays a crucial role in enhancing your website traffic, conversion and reputation. By creating and offering a website keeping users’ needs in mind will allow you to satisfy more and more users which will result in better sales and reputation. By now you must have a clear idea about what information architecture is.

User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide

This system determines how the pages interact with each other and how accessible the content is. A good navigation helps the user explore the website without getting lost. This structure is used when there are multiple paths that a user can take to get to what they need. Usually, when using a matrix structure, you don’t have a specific point you want users’ to reach. The objective rather is to get them to explore and interact with the design. This blueprint is the visual deciding where to place stairs or doors to connect elements of a building.

If users find your website difficult to follow, hard to navigate and get lost or confused. Information architecture is a term used to describe how content or information is organised and arranged. And you could even consider the way a library is sorted to be IA. Published in 2005, Peter Morville’s book about information overload and finding content in the world of Google is as valid now as it was then. He digs into the question “why does it matter how information is structured, if Google can magically find the answers to your questions?

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Tree testing can help you see how your users respond to navigation and labels. This process will show you how easily users can find information on your site. If you’re working on a solo project, it’s important to remember that you are not your user. Because the process of categorizing is somewhat intuitive, it can be easy to default to your personal preferences.

  • Plus, the not-so-good User Experience makes us question the authority of the website.
  • 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.).
  • Throughout your information architecture design process you can use the people you have profiled during the persona creation process and make your IA more effective.
  • It is considered as the essential aspect of interaction design that is mainly focused on three important parts that are content, context, and user.

Since the field of IA is complex and when dealing with large information systems the task becomes more massive, sometimes experts choose a specialized niche within the discipline. Some examples of IA sub-specialties include focusing on search schemas, metadata, taxonomy, etc. Reader engagement is a must when it comes to engagement time and scroll distance. The easiest way to improve your content to encourage deeper navigation is with clear headings as a road map to your content.

Step 7: Label content

Diagrams are often used for site maps that are based on a previously created IA. Miro is another visual collaboration tool that supports teamwork with zoomable canvas, web whiteboards, and useful integrations. Whiteboard is a visual collaboration plugin for Adobe XD that allows to work within the same environment as design files and other workflows. Even if you’re going to delegate this work to your team or freelancers, we encourage you to become familiar with the basics of the process. For example, when you click each label on the Madewell homepage, secondary navigation pops up with links to other pages in that category.

Instead of scanning every single shoe on a single web page, shoppers can limit the number of shoes that appear on the screen. This makes it quicker for shoppers to find the type of shoe they’re looking for. In information architecture, it’s the way the IA groups, labels, and categorizes a specific piece of information in a specific place. Labels should give users an idea of what they will see after they click on that label. For example, The National Endowment for the Arts website has common labels like “News” and “About,” but it also has unique labels like “Grants” and “Initiatives” that relate to what the NEA does. It can also help you decide whether an outlier deserves its own sub-category.

Increases the chance of conversion and improves ROI

Basically, information is placed in hierarchies to make using the website more effective. Content strategists deal with separating content on a regular basis. When a user is able to find what they’re looking for in the first search, then it means that the information architecture is built well. Categorizing the content instead of clustering will help the user easily land on the exact information.

what is information architecture in web design

When you open applications with good IA, chances are you won’t feel the complexity of the elements. With 1.5 billion websites on the web today, the internet has become a very information-dense place. This, in combination with humans’ decreasing attention span, created a new concern for web design. Websites no longer compete for the information they offer, but rather on how they deliver that information. As a result, web designers needed a new way of structuring and presenting information.

Search vs Navigation

It shows us which navigation elements are used and which are overlooked or avoided. This test is used to determine if the key information can be found in the IA of the website. Participants navigate through the website only by using link names. According to Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld the IA of a website needs to address different user needs. If you’ve heard about UX design, you’ve probably come across information architecture, or as it’s often written for short ‘IA’. If you want easy recruiting from a global pool of skilled candidates, we’re here to help.

what is information architecture in web design