Creating a Web-Site Information Architecture in Six Steps

The practice of information architecture is most relevant within the context of user experience design for digitally mediated user interfaces. If we refer to the DSIA Research Initiative’s UX Design Practice Verticals, the top three tiers of tactical activities within the information architecture practice vertical show the work products of information architecture. These tactical activities focus on navigation, content organization, and the facilitation of information relationships. Any thoughtful information architecture solution must consider these three tactical IA concerns.

In this column, I’ll demonstrate a basic approach to creating a Web-site information architecture. This six-step method includes an assessment of three core assumptions and the three tactical activities of IA practice. Figure 1 represents this sequence of steps for producing a Web-site information architecture.

Contrary to popular belief, a Web site’s information architecture is not a mysterious, esoteric force that manifests itself during the UX design lifecycle. Users actually do interact with aspects of a site’s information architecture. For example, when users move from link node to link node, they are engaging with what the DSIA Research Initiative calls the physical construct of a site’s information architecture.

The practice of information architecture is most relevant within the context of user experience design for digitally mediated user interfaces. If we refer to the DSIA Research Initiative’s UX Design Practice Verticals, the top three tiers of tactical activities within the information architecture practice vertical show the work products of information architecture. These tactical activities focus on navigation, content organization, and the facilitation of information relationships. Any thoughtful information architecture solution must consider these three tactical IA concerns.

In this column, I’ll demonstrate a basic approach to creating a Web-site information architecture. This six-step method includes an assessment of three core assumptions and the three tactical activities of IA practice. Figure 1 represents this sequence of steps for producing a Web-site information architecture.

Contrary to popular belief, a Web site’s information architecture is not a mysterious, esoteric force that manifests itself during the UX design lifecycle. Users actually do interact with aspects of a site’s information architecture. For example, when users move from link node to link node, they are engaging with what the DSIA Research Initiative calls the physical construct of a site’s information architecture.

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