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Information architecture

Information architecture is the structure of your pages. It aims at organizing and structuring content of any websites, web and mobile applications.

It is a pre-requisite before wireframing and mockup design.

Information architecture helps you organize content and functionalities so that users can find everything they need without any effort.

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Example of an Information Architecture for a website
Example of an Information Architecture for a website

UX designer, Jared Spool, once said:

“Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.”

Well, Information Architecture is the angular stone of that promise.

A few principles to keep in mind to create good information architectures:

  • The principle of choices: Less is more. Keep the number of choices to a minimum.
  • The principle of disclosure: Show a preview of information that will help users understand what kind of information is hidden if they dig deeper.
  • The principle of focused navigation: Keep navigation simple and never mix different things.
  • The principle of growth: Assume that the content on the website will grow. Make sure the website is scalable.

Information Architecture is an on-going effort in your product development. As soon as a new feature is released, the foundation may need to be adjusted.

Mailchimp adjusted information architecture
Mailchimp adjusted information architecture

In order for you to validate the right information architecture of your product, you can try multiple approaches with your users.

The most commun one is Card sorting when your number of pages exceeded 20+.

This UX research method is super easy to try out. Create a post-it for each page you need on your website, then ask 3-8 participants to group them into categories that make sense to them.

Your ultimate goal with Information Architecture:

“When your users’ predictions about an experience are confirmed, they are satisfied and happy with their experience.”

Peter Morville

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