Class#5: User Flows + Information Architecture

Every day, we interact with many websites with a goal in mind. Either we are looking for a product or information; the effective organization of the content and the navigation system will allow us to find successfully what we are looking for.

I remember occasions where I found myself lost in endless categories of a site trying to find the one I was looking for. I think the information architecture of a site will define the bones of the interaction. If I’m able to find quickly what I’m looking for with a navigation that isn’t ambiguous, the organization chosen was effective.

This shows me that the information architecture has a close tie with the navigation system used. For example, when I go to a Home Depot and I’m looking for a specific type of screws, I not only expect that they will be in a section with related products (nails, nuts…) , but I also expect that the navigation system will help me to find easily the item between the aisles. Signs, even the employees will help me find quickly the product I’m looking for. There is nothing as frustrating as walking around the store for some time realizing that the item you are looking is on the other side of where you are.

Maybe, a site or an app could have a “virtual space” and the navigation used will lead the user in that space in the right direction. This is why the navigation in the iOS environment has a “zooming” effect for the transitions when you enter or leave an app.

In the class we also covered the user flows, a useful way to communicate the possible interactions in your app in a more abstract level. I think developing the user flow for my app helped me to understand better different paths to achieve a goal and how to solve “dead-end” paths. This could also help to communicate a set of interactions with other people such as developers or stakeholders without the time consuming task of creating a more detailed prototype.

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