A beginner guide to Information Architecture in UX Design

Loay Hassan
Sep 9, 2019 · 4 min read

Case study:” Marketplace Notification Center ”.

I am currently designing a notification center for a marketplace app, and here is my IA design process.

And to explain a bit of a context here: I am basically designing a marketplace notification center where users can messages/chat with their service providers + notifications to be sent from the marketplace admin to the users.

Preview of the final prototype.

1- Before starting…consider:

1- What are the possible entry points or user traffic sources to access the messages tab on your app? it could be one of the following:

  • emails
  • Push notifications
  • SMSs (will skip the diagram for this one)
  • in-app notifications
  • Simple tab navigation

2- What are the actions that could be performed by the users?

  • Change notification settings in the app.
  • Click on a CTA in an email.
  • Unsubscribe to emails.
  • Click on a push notification/SMS alert.
  • Click on an in-app notification card.
  • Navigate to messages/notification items

2-Notes:

1- 71% of users uninstall apps because of annoying notifications (Source: localytics); so make sure that you don’t bombard users with many messages.

2- Avoid sending many messages in a short period of time. You might also consider grouping multiple messages in one notification alert.

3- Set a clear goal for each notification message.

4- Decide the notification type and delivery method based on high/low urgency and the complexity of the message content.

5- Make your messages copy personalized, clear and short.

6- Always link to an action.

7- Choose a perfect timing to send your messages. for that I would recommend doing the following:

  • Get back to the user personas and journey maps you designed, and try to figure out a perfect timing for your users to be checking and responding to messages.
  • Pull some data from your backend regarding usage peak times and most active hours during the day/week.

8- Make sure that you are tracking all events.

9- Plan for an A/B test if you have multiple ways to achieve a certain goal conversion and measure which one is performing better.

10- Send personalized messages based on location.

11- Consider cross-platform read/unread updates.

3- Information Architecture Design:

Now I will breakdown each entry point in a separate diagram, just to make it as simple as possible. Also please note that the following IA is to be considered as the foundation of a more complex design:

1- Entry point: users clicking on email CTA (e.g. you have received a message from *** click here to read the message):

  • This is a good opportunity for you to push an install app call to action if you detected that the user doesn’t have the app installed on his device.
  • Link to the ‘message details screen’ instead of ‘all messages screen’

2- Entry point: push notifications:

  • Combine multiple push notifications into 1 push notification and link it to “All messages” screen

3- Entry point: in-app notifications:

  • Display a notification card at the top of the messages feed to highlight your most important message.
  • For important messages like “App critical updates”…I would make the users unable to dismiss the message; but for all other messages, it’s better to provide a dismiss or a close button on the message card.

4- Entry point: Tab navigation:

4- Final output:

Combine everything you have in one big diagram. I would recommend doing that on a whiteboard at the beginning and add some sticky notes to it just to make sure that you have covered all possible scenarios and user stories.

Here are some screenshots for the final prototype I did, give it a CLAP if you enjoyed it!

Chat tab active
Notifications tab active
Message details screen
Chat screen

Loay Hassan

Written by

UX Designer, Berlin-Germany http://loayyoussef.com https://instagram.com/lo_uxd

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