Web Site Information Architecture
You might think of Information Architecture as the skeleton that
holds a Wesite together, but this isnít quite accurate. Information
Architecture is more like the DNA that tells the skeleton, along
with everything else, how to grow and meld together. Good Information
Architecture not only creates a user-friendly site, it creates
a process of web site development that is client and developer
friendly. Information Architecture basically boils down to that
old recipe for success: preparation.
Determining the purpose of your Website is the first step in
building successful Information Architecture. You should begin
your Web project by asking yourself:
- Why do I need a Website?
- Who do I expect to visit my site?
- What is the purpose/mission of the Website I want to develop?
- Who do I want to to visit my site?
These are a few of the same questions that we ask our own clients.
We want to know what everyone in the client's organization expects
from their online presence. Our goal is always to identify all
relevant audiences, the expectations of those audiences, and the
goal of our client in addressing each audience.
The time we spend investigating and researching, provides us
with the building blocks we need to ensure that your site will
flow smoothly and consistently. We understand that your site's
users will browse your site longer and come back for more if their
first experience is favorable.
Bad Information Architecture (IA) is all over the place. You
may not think of it that way, but whenever you go to a site
canít instantly see how to find what you want, youíre looking
at bad IA. If you find your focus being drawn away by flashy
that have nothing to do with the content, you are face to face
with bad IA. When you have clicked away from the home page and
suddenly the navigation options are completely different, you
have clicked into bad IA.
Our process is one of research, strategic thinking, and preparation.
Before we build the site, we determine who will see it, what they
want to see, why we are showing it to them, and where everything
goes. The foundation goes in first, then we construct building.
Doing a good job here makes every other phase, including: graphic
design, layout, functionality, and testing, much easier.