Information Architecture is crucial to the success of any website. It is the bedrock of the websites navigation and overall user experience.
What is information architecture
Very much like the layout of a supermarket, a websites layout is crucial when it comes to the visitor finding what it is they are looking for. Supermarkets spend huge amounts of time researching, planning and laying out their products in very specific ways. This does two main things:
- Allows the visitor to find what they are looking for as easily as possible
- Allows the supermarket to place their items in places and ways that will appeal and encourage sales
Items aimed at children, will be placed on lower shelves than similar items aimed at adults. Items that they want to sell quickly will be highlighted with sale branding and placed directly in your field of vision often at the end of an aisle, or in a separate bin, that you have to navigate past between aisles.
There is a natural direction of traffic around many supermarkets, so you will also find that the sale item jumps out in front of you, before you have navigated to the aisle that contains any alternatives. By the time an alternative becomes apparent, the sale item is probably already in your shopping cart.
All clever stuff, but even if clever placement wasn’t something they needed, having the supermarket divided into logical sections makes life easier for everyone. Fruit and vegetables, meats, dairy, chips and candy, frozen foods etc. Understanding your visitors needs & expectations and structuring your supermarket accordingly just makes sense, and improves the user experience.
The information architecture within your website should be treated in exactly the same way. The more information you have, the more important it becomes to incorporate a sensible and logical structure for your visitors. That’s what information architecture is.
I can work with you, your staff & your clients to research and develop a good information architecture for your website and it’s content.
I can plan a structure for the future growth of your website, advise how best to manage it in house when adding new content.
I can revisit and help maintain the structure over time, keeping your website useful, accessible and user friendly.