In fact, one of the first mentions of IA happened in the early 1970s, when XEROX Labs addressed the need for information structuring practices, and developed technology that would support it. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of an information architect is $126,000 per year, with most jobs ranging from $100,000 to $162,000 per year. This demand is reflected in information architecture salaries, which are high. Before you start rearranging your website and changing URLs, you should map out final destinations with a wireframe.

Ultimately, the meaning of architecture is shaped by the experiences and perceptions of those who interact with it. Different people may have different interpretations and meanings of a particular structure or space, depending on their own experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. Architecture can also be a means of making a political or social statement, through the use of design elements and principles that convey a particular message or ideology.

Keep cognitive psychology principles in mind

An information architecture is a plan for how information is organized on a website. It includes a labeling system for content, a navigation system, and a search system. A good IA makes it easy for users to find the information they need.

  • This is also a good time to perform content inventory and audits to get an idea of exactly what content the product offers and how useful or effective it is.
  • We asked the tech pros to give us insight into the hidden-in-plain-sight world of information architecture.
  • Let’s talk about some of the most common cognitive principles for design.
  • Though AEA offers some sessions too heady for anyone not steeped in HTML and CSS, they offer just as many talks that cross fields and job titles.
  • You’ll also learn the roles and responsibilities of a UX designer, how to confidently talk about UX and practical methods that you can apply to your work immediately.

This close collaboration allows information architects to gather feedback and insights from other team members, ensuring that the information architecture is aligned with the goals and needs of the project. In smaller companies, the responsibility of IA will fall to UX designers, who’ll work collaboratively with UI designers and product managers to create an IA strategy that meets user needs and hits business goals. Information architecture, or ‘IA,’ is the structure and organisation of information on a website.

What’s the value of information architecture?

Information architects can most often be found directing the details of a project to ensure that all the necessary features and usability concerns are given top priority, according to Morris. What is information architecture, and what role does this discipline play in the technology world? These professionals bring functionality and usability to otherwise complex technology, and they use timeless design principles to make it happen. Since information architects sit at the intersection of several disciplines, career paths can vary greatly. The workplace of an information architect can vary depending on the company and industry.

what does information architecture mean

Then they see a welcome page and can log in with Facebook credentials or email, or register an account if they haven’t already. You might have a category for women’s apparel that only contains shirts and pants right now. But, over time you can add more sub-categories like dresses or shoes.

Information Architecture 101: Techniques and Best Practices

Common tasks include research, navigation creation, wireframing, labeling, and data modeling. Most of these tasks are valuable because of the process they follow, and some also result in deliverables, which we’ve referenced where relevant. Information architecture is a more difficult field to define than many others. Unlike content strategy, which is accomplished by content strategists, or interaction design, which is accomplished by designers, information architect is very infrequently a job title. It is, however, a valuable and necessary field which crosses multiple roles.

what does information architecture mean

Start by putting all this information into a spreadsheet so it’s easier to manage. The information you include in your spreadsheet will depend on the project you’re working on. On the left are the categories and subcategories that they put in the navigation header. On the right are the categories and subcategories placed in the website footer.

What are 5 examples of information architecture

Steel is a strong and flexible material that is often used in the construction of high-rise buildings and other structures that require a high level of structural support. Wood is a versatile material that is often used in the construction of residential buildings and other structures where a natural appearance is desired. Architects use a variety of principles and elements to create visually pleasing and functional spaces. These principles and elements include things like balance, proportion, scale, and unity, which help to create a cohesive and harmonious design.

what does information architecture mean

You’ll notice in the image below that there is an additional level in this site’s hierarchy. The pages connected to the three subcategories under the “destination” category form the fourth level. Some, for example, may prefer to browse your site by category using sub-navigation menus. Others still may scroll down to your footer to find the navigation options, and so on.

Conduct user research

Besides its drag-and-drop sitemap builder, it has tools for creating user flows, personas, and customer journey maps. FlowMapp offers four pricing plans, including a free option for a single project. Whether an architectural designer is consciously aware of it or not, every design has an impact on the experience of people. The way in which people interpret and experience architecture can vary based on their individual perspectives and beliefs. Some may view architecture as art, and the use of color, materials, composition, and design elements and principles can create an emotional response in them. Site mapping is the process of creating a diagram that shows the structure of a website.

Your job is to understand what users expect and design the flow accordingly. In 2010, Dan outlined eight guiding principles of information architecture, which have since become universal reference points for the structure of digital information. For example, they might say there are too many links in the website menu, or that some labels don’t make sense. This invaluable information will ensure that you design the most user-friendly website navigation.

Types of architecture

Information architecture (IA) refers to the structure, organization, and labeling of information within a product or website. In UX design, designers conduct extensive research and testing to plan how to best organize information so users can easily complete their goals. Information architecture, What is an Embedded System as we know it today, began around the 1970s, far before the rise of web and mobile apps or the popularization of user experience design. It has roots in numerous fields and methodologies that UX practitioners still draw on today, including library science, cognitive psychology, and architecture.

What Is Information Architecture & Why Does It Matter?

A centralized system architecture is one in which all contributing entities use one common system to store data, but keep their individual databases. In a federated system architecture, each contributing entity has its own database, but all data is stored in a central location that can be accessed by all entities. There are many different ways to organize website content, and the best approach will vary depending on the type of website and the content that is available. However, there are some general principles that can be applied to most websites. If you cannot do all 4, make sure you at least do the usability testing in combination with an interview at the end. That will give you valuable insight into what features people are using and what they do on your website and why.

The exercises included in this section will help you decide the best website structure as well as how best to categorize or group your content. While visitors might learn a lot about your brand from the homepage, it’s an important navigational tool that will guide them towards their next step. A blog post or services page, on the other hand, would be considered educational pages. Persona research baked into the design process has helped the team discern that its audience is fairly tech savvy. In a typical scenario, as sections of a design model take shape and evolve, multiple stakeholders — including engineers, content writers, customer support teams and executives — are invited into the process. A website with a clear mission and value is more likely to have several minutes of user engagement.