Information Architecture

Whenever you encounter a scenario where something doesn’t make sense or you are figuring out the following steps, it is concerned with information architecture.

The information architecture institute gives a pretty straightforward definition:

Information architecture is the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable.

Or

Information architecture is about helping people understand their surroundings and find what they’re looking for, in the real world as well as online.

The following are some key questions when doing information architecture according to uxbooth.com:

  • What is the flow of users through our site?
  • How does the application help the user catalog their information?
  • How is that information presented back to the user?
  • Is that information helping the customer, and driving decisions?

Brief history:

The 1970s was the beginning of the rise of web and mobile apps, which led to the development of user experience design. It has been influenced by numerous fields including library science, cognitive psychology, and architecture.

Cognitive psychology is a common methodology and some elements include Cognitive load, mental models, and decision making.

Tasks and deliverables:

User research and analysis / need access to the results of usability tests, card sorting exercises, stakeholder interviews, and user interviews, just to name a few.

Navigation and Hierarchy creation / needs to consider what the user expects to see, as well as what content the organization wants to connect. The deliverable that is most commonly associated with this work is a site map.

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