In the last post User-Centred Design and Its Processes, we discussed what user-centred design is and how to learn even more. This post, the third in a series of posts, will give you an introduction to information architecture. My approach is to educate those who don’t know a lot about the practice.
Information architecture is the categorization of information into a coherent structure, preferably one that the most people can understand quickly, if not inherently. It's usually hierarchical, but can have other structures, such as concentric or even chaotic.
Organising functionality and content into a structure that people are able to navigate intuitively doesn't happen by chance. Organisations must recognise the importance of information architecture or else they run the risk of creating great content and functionality that no one can ever find.
For more about IA, you can also see my review of Andrew Hinton's article.
How Does IA Fit in with Content Strategy?
About the Author
Theresa Putkey is an information architect consultant living in Vancouver, BC. With a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis, she focuses on integrating user needs into website and software design projects. She's currently doing her online Masters of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. You can find out more about Theresa at www.keypointe.ca, or follow her on twitter @tputkey.
Read all posts by Theresa.