What is information architecture ?

The term, coined by Richard Saul Wurman in 1976, is defined by the Information Architecture Institute as: “The structural design of shared information environments.” “The art and science of organizing and labelling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability.” “An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.”

The Information Architecture Institute: What is IA? — 24/02/2012

How is IA used in UX?

Information architecture for UX is the structural design of information or content — including text, photos and videos — within a digital product. When we include the users, content and context

IA focuses on organizing and labeling websites so that users can best find what they’re looking for.

In other words, information architecture is the creation of a structure for a website, application, or other project, that allows us to understand where we are as users, and where the information we want is in relation to our position. Information architecture results in the creation of site maps, hierarchies, categorizations, navigation, and metadata. When a content strategist begins separating content and dividing it into categories, she is practicing information architecture. When a designer sketches a top level menu to help users understand where they are on a site, he is also practicing information architecture.

When we sort out our research with IA (like in the sketch above) it helps us see how to connects the people with the content they are looking for. The better the research is on the users the more accurate our information architecture will be to get the users the content they are looking for and hopefully more.

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