Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ruminating on Information Architecture

Information Architecture is both an art and science of organizing and structuring your content in such a way that it is very intuitive for the end-user to navigate. As such, Information Architecture is a subset of the User Experience Design field.

The output of Information Architecture is typically a set of wire-frames that depicts that design. It may also define a taxonomy to classify information (e.g. content, products), using a tree-structure hierarchy.
Other outputs for IA include site maps, annotated page layouts, page templates, personas, storyboards.

To put it in other words, IA answers the following questions:
  • How do you categorize and structure information?
  • How do you label information? e.g.  'Contact Us' label would hold all details on contact info.
  • How users navigate through information?
  • How users search for information?
And content cannot be structured in isolation, but depends on the 'users' and 'context', as depicted in this Venn diagram in the famous book by Rosenfeld and Morville.


Jotting down a few links on IA that are worth a perusal.

http://www.theguardian.com/help/insideguardian/2010/feb/02/what-is-information-architecture
http://boxesandarrows.com/category/design-principles/
http://docstore.mik.ua/orelly/web2/infoarch/index.htm
http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_whatisinfoarch