So, the value of IA in UX design lies in making it nearly effortless for your users to find the content that they want, thus keeping them engaged and satisfied with your product. Although it’s just one piece of the puzzle,information architecture plays a big role in creating these intuitive, user-centered products. By creating a good hierarchy and navigation system, as well as labeling each page appropriately, a user can find the information he is looking for much easier. Information architects are the ones who normally cover a wide range of tasks. The most common tasks involved in their activity are researching, creating the navigation system, wireframing, labeling, and modeling data. As you may notice, there are plenty of principles to respect when building a website.

what is information architecture in web design

It can be easy to overwhelm users with too much information or too many options as our short-term memories can’t retain very much. Considering cognitive load in your designs helps prevent overloading users with too much content. Searching systems help users search and find specific content within a product that has a lot of info (i.e. search engines, filters).

Every user landing on your website will look to perform the tasks as quickly as possible, whether it’s finding information about products/services or about your business. With good information architecture, you can make things easy for your site visitors as they can quickly access the information on your website. In the analogy of constructing a building, the early phases of development involve understanding the needs of the building, its potential tenants, and local building codes.

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You might be able to produce effective and helpful content for your audience but without a well-planned information architecture, they might face a lot of difficulties in engaging your site visitors. By developing a user persona you will be able to figure out different types of people visiting your website. Depending on the multiple personalities you create you can segment your audience that fits into each of those categories. 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’s usually the result of extensive user research and testing. Information Architecture is the process of organising and deciding which content to include or omit from your website or app. This includes all the information on your website and helps your audience understand how to complete tasks. From whitespace to texture, visual elements when creating your design hierarchy to prioritize users’ attention. Explore these visual examples & kickstart your sitemap design project.

Once you successfully create the content list of your existing website then the next thing they recommend you to do is conduct a “Content Audit”. During this process, you will get a better understanding of the content and other information that you are missing from your website. Not only that but will also be able to scrap the least important content and information that is covering space in your website. With the help of information architecture, you will be able to identify the areas having duplication, without content, intuitive control, and many more.

Test and improve

At this stage, we can use programs for mind mapping or diagrams. Good Information Architecture allows you to engage your users better and for a longer time, for example, with the use of well-designed navigation and a well-presented value proposition. Plus, if users easily find what they need on your website, they most likely won’t search for more on competitors’ sites.

  • The more you are able to lead your users the better results you will be able to produce.
  • You can compare IA with the skeleton of the product that supports and holds all parts in the right place.
  • Users can find information much more rapidly if the website navigation is well-built from the start.
  • Regardless of the title, a person who works on information architecture must start with the rules that help to achieve the goal of IA.
  • Some of the websites need to break the boundaries of the CMS to create an engaging website design.
  • In this visual mapping for an industrial analytics product, Yegor includes application views, popups and alerts, as well as explaining what data or information will be required to populate the views.

Structuring and organizing content blindly can lead to miscommunication, wasted resources or unnecessary work, and increases the possibility that your product won’t be satisfactory to the user. Sequential systems refer to creating a focused path for the user to follow. The users are guided through the content step by step so that they go through each sequence and assimilate the information properly. Retail websites are the ones that use the sequential system for their Information Architecture.

Conduct user research

Many information architects find themselves taking on a project manager role as they guide a project in the right direction and ensure that usability is considered at every stage. This includes “communications with stakeholders or clients on progress, timelines and/or modifications to scope,” Morris says. The daily tasks of an information architect are many and varied, as they work to accomplish their main goal of a well-structured digital product.

what is information architecture in web design

In the next part of the article we will look closer at the activities of IA design and its deliverables. To create a strong information architecture, you must start with thorough research, so it all begins with learning your users’ needs and behaviors. UX or user experience is what users feel when they interact with the product. So, the aim of UX design is to make a product practical, useful, attractive, and so on — in other words, to create a positive experience from using it. However, an information architect’s job isn’t always about the details.

Information Architecture

Learn everything you need to know about information architecture with Adobe XD Ideas and check out our other great content surrounding the latest in UX design knowledge. Assume that at least half of users will not enter through the ‘front door’ or your home page. This means every page should include enough information so the user can understand where they are. Design audits are necessary to ensure brand consistency and usability. These items are used to deliver advertising that is more relevant to you and your interests.

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One of the best parts about information architecture is that it allows you to check how deep the UX is and the different decision layers and levels present in the product. This way you will be able to eliminate the layer that might distract your site visitors from engaging with your website or performing the desired action. The more you know about how many clicks it takes to complete the final task the easier it will become for you to optimize the conversion funnel. So if you wonder why you need to create information architecture then remember it offers you a clear scope of the project. The next in the list we have a flat structure pattern that is basically used by the website containing equally important pages. Using this type of information structure in your website will put all the pages on an equal level.

A good information architect looks at the full picture and learns what their client expects from their website or app. This is also a good time to perform content inventory and audits to get an idea of exactly what content the product offers and how useful or effective it is. Once a user has abandoned a product due to poor content structure or tiresome navigation, it’s much harder to engage them again.


As a result, we receive content that is organized and easy to follow. Keep in mind the following when creating your information architecture diagrams, content inventory or site mapping. In this visual mapping for an industrial analytics product, Yegor includes application views, popups and alerts, as well as explaining what data or information will be required to populate the views. An important part of developing effective information architecture is sitemap design. In this example from the Nielsen Norman Group, their website content is mapped out in a hierarchical fashion to demonstrate the parent / child relationship of content.

If the role of IA design is still not clear, you should learn more about the user-centered approach that designers choose when they work on a project. A website is not focused on design only because there is a multitude of other details that ultimately affect the user experience. By separating content, they create categories that need to be considered when structuring a website.

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This might take a long time and perhaps even a team of people, but it’s the most useful. When you decide for this option include all pages, all downloadable content, and also any media or interactive content. When the information architecture makes it easy for users to find what they are searching for, the cost of live help will decrease significantly and so will the need of the written documentation. Organizing website’s data and content affects usability, conversions, and ranking. Ranking places the website higher in the search results, usability makes the website easy to use, and a seamless flow leads to a higher conversion rate. If you have repetitive content, or index huge amounts of poorly defined content, it could adversely affect your SEO.

We don’t know about you, but we’re confused about where to go and overwhelmed by the number of offers here. Plus, the not-so-good User Experience makes us question the authority of the website. Good IA helps us to navigate through tons of information that flush us on every step. When the Information architect works along with the UX designer, he concentrates on Information Architecture design, while the UX designer concentrates on research and wireframing. Let’s dive into this concept and uncover the benefits which good IA brings for users and for a business.

If done correctly, your information architecture and user journey maps will share commonalities. They both inform each other in different ways, with the intended user journey helping to shape how you structure and organize the information in your website. In this information architecture example, Bogomolova built on top of the basic site mapping and added in both child pages and actions.

Helps in getting a complete view of product ins and outs

Well, card shorting works by creating the content sets or pages in an index card and allows users to sort them into groups depending on how they want to categorize the content. If you are redesigning your website then it’s recommended to update and review your website content. If you have already performed the above two steps then you must be aware of what your users want and your website’s purpose. Once you are aware of your user needs then depending on the data you have collected you can make changes in the content of your previous website.

Information architecture templates

As you conduct the testing, remember to collect qualitative data in addition to quantitative information on clicks. Users’ explanations on why they did what they did will help you understand your customers better and improve your product. By observing their actions and collecting feedback, you can find out which parts work right, which don’t, and what has to be fixed. The main goal here is to check if users can easily get what they need from your app or website. Although a sitemap is the first prototype in information architecture development, you still have to create advanced prototypes by wireframing and data modeling. The participants categorize topics however they like and in the order that makes sense to them.

This document creates a dialogue between design, engineering, product management, and copy writers – to name a few. SItemap and outline are another way that can be taken into account while creating the information architecture of the website design. It will help you to get a better understanding of how the pages and content in our website relate to each other. Using this defining information architecture particular step you can get a better understanding of how content can be arranged on your website. When creating information architecture architects make use of multiple techniques one among them is card shortening. It is considered a cost-effective and simple method that helps you to identify how well you can organize your website content depending on the user input.