Information Architecture: what it is, how to implement it, and its importance for the quality UX design

Nowadays, when people’s lives are closely connected with the use of the Internet, almost every small or large organization is thinking about making its own website. There are many resources in the network, and as a result, there is a lot of competition between them. In order to be popular among users and generate income, the site must be well-designed and have a top-notch UX architecture.

Website design is not limited to creating a design and layout. Like buildings, websites have an architecture that defines how we interact with them.

UX is user experience, and it is what kind of experience and impression a user gets from working with your interface. How to achieve the goal, and how easy or difficult is it to do?

User Experience design comprises various features and directions that should be thought through and polished. So, to improve user experience design tips include the following aspects:

  • interactive design
  • information architecture
  • visual design
  • usability
  • interaction between a person and a product

In other words, UX design is the process of creating functional, simple, and pleasant-to-use products (digital or physical). The main goal of UX design is to improve the experience of interacting with a product in such a way that users find added value in it.

When it comes to following the primary design tips, a dedicated software partner should make sure that a product is interactive and usable, visually appealing, facilitates easy navigation and interaction, and has a well-designed UX architecture. In other words, IA (information architecture) defines the success of your future project.

Information architecture is a combination of systems of organization, objectification, navigation, and search, which are implemented in an information system. Simply put, information architecture is what makes your product usable. It aims to plan and make a logical, structured project that is easy to use and meets the needs and goals of the user and the business.

The construction of information architecture begins with the definition of the concept of the product. The concept of this idea consists of: the goals and objectives of the project, analysis of the target audience and the market of competitors; definition of content; navigation concept; decision points. In order to structure the content, it is necessary to divide it into groups (categories) that will be understandable to the user. At this stage, it is essential to use the associations that arise in the users and not your logic.

The next stage is to create interrelations. Every point of the product should be connected with others and be part of a whole. The user must understand where they are now and why, and how to get back. There are several formats of schemes for structuring content and building a connection between elements:

  • hierarchical structure – divides the categories of elements into broad (higher) and narrower (lower), helps show the importance of different pieces of content;
  • sequential structure – creates a certain scenario, that is, the user will move through the project in certain steps and receive only the information that will be presented at each specific moment, prevents giving the user too much choice;
  • matrix structure – provides the user with a choice of preferred navigation methods; the user will have access to all information through the navigation system; this structure allows the user to make their own decisions and create their own way of using the product.

A balance must be observed when building the structure of the product so that there are no situations where one branch has two levels of nesting, and another has five without some reason for this. It is best if the content is distributed evenly so that the user does not perform ten actions but two or three in order to achieve their goal. There are two more elements that are used in the development of information architecture and are an integral part of it.

Marking systems are a way to convey a large amount of information in one word. For example, grouping information about the project in the “About Us” section or grouping the phone number, address, and links to social networks in the “Contacts” section. They are used at the stage of dividing content into groups.

The navigation system determines how the user will move through different points of the content. It includes buttons, links to other pages, scrolls, swiping the screen (for the mobile version), and other elements. The navigation system should be as simple and understandable as possible for the user.

The importance of UX has been profoundly reshaped in connection with a deeper understanding of information architecture, which made it clear that a beautiful interface is nothing if it does not work. So, information architecture includes the concept of a product, content grouping, structure of elements and their interaction, and navigation. It aims to plan and make a logical, structured project that is easy to use and meets the needs and goals of the user and the business. Without building an information architecture, it becomes impossible to use the product.

Last but not least

Information architecture is very personal, and it should be. Ideas, information, interactions, and results are all connected and present in all parts of your design. They “keep you afloat” and push your product in the direction of solving the problem in order to achieve what you wanted at the beginning. It is similar to the structure of the brain. Related points, with different goals, interact and create working solutions, products, and ideas.

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