What is Information Architecture?

What is Information Architecture?

What is Information Architecture and why does it matter? In short it is called as IA. It is the practice of presenting the part of something. It may be a website, mobile app, blog post, book etc. By structuring it the users feel easy to understand.

It is like building an information in a perfect way for the user’s understanding. In order for the user to make it easy, it should make sense of the context. The presentation should be done by considering two major things: user’s context and user’s needs.

Where will the user find the context?

It is the environment where the user engages with the content they need. So, the area of context should be answerable to where, why and how the user is seeking and engaging with your content. If you ask, only the content is enough, no the content should be structured and presented by considering the users needs. Their goals, behavior and expectations should be met with. To identify all this, you should know who will be consuming your content and what will be their expectations.

All this will sound familiar with user experience (UX) design process. What is Information Architecture? And how it differs from UX design process? To practice IA, you should be particular with the UX field. Though they are closely connected they are distinct from each other. Only by creating a good IA, you will gain a goof UX. One cannot survive without the other.

UX process is more elaborate than IA

In Information Architecture, we have only one step from the UX design process. Other steps are different from UX which includes user research, journey mapping, testing, wireframing and prototyping.

The IA structure is a combination of four systems. But all of these four systems should be meet with the user’s needs. They are Organization system, Labeling system, Search system and Navigation system. First system refers how the information’s are categorized. The second system refers to the representation of the information. It should represent some indirect texts that couldn’t be read by the users but could be guessed. The third system represents how the information’s are looked up by the users. It is composed of a search engine for the searching process and filters to filter the non-target audience and other tools. At last, the navigation system refers to how the users move through a site and access the information they are looking for. This is nothing but the process of navigation.

With a good IA, users can quickly find the information’s they need. Without a good IA, users won’t have any interest towards your product even though it is damn good.