Information architecture (also known as AI) is an essential concept for building a website, but it is often overlooked. Generally, many developers or designers let themselves be guided by the CMS (the Content Management System) or competitive studies. However, it is essential to understand how the information architecture works to provide a pleasant user experience for Internet users. This article highlights the practices to be taken into consideration to properly structure the content of your website (whether e-commerce, institutional, lead) or its software.
Best practices for designing the information architecture of your website
To successfully create your website’s information architecture, it is essential to apply specific techniques and, above all, to put the user’s needs first.
Ignore your preferences
To have an effective result, it is essential to put aside your preferences and be content only to identify the real needs and choices of the user. Your main aim should be to facilitate the usability of your website and delight the visitor.
Don’t skip the UX research phase.
UX research aims to shed light on user needs to be successful in the interface design phase. This responds to basic ergonomic principles (consistency, readability, etc.) while respecting the user’s logic. This approach optimizes the information architecture. UX research opts for various techniques, namely: the interview, the benchmark, the user journey, and user tests.
Have a clear goal
Whether it’s selling a product, offering a service, or offering informational content, every site should have a specific purpose. Without it, it is practically impossible to create an optimal AI. The purpose varies depending on the type of your site. The structuring of information must rely on it.
The data collected during the UX research phase is used to create personae. They are fictitious and composite characters resulting from a field investigation. It is about placing the user at the heart of the design process to address their needs, humanize the target and rationalize the choices. This is a basis for testing the site’s AI.
Use jobs to be done.
It describes a user story to adopt the user’s perspective successfully. This is a method that aims to focus on its real problems. It can be combined with the persona to have a more concrete view of the user and therefore better achieve the information architecture of his site.
Coherence is at the heart of information architecture. Keeping the same logic in your menu structure and page layout makes it easy for the user to understand the context of their experience journey. The consistency is manifested through different elements, namely the colors used, the typography, the structure of the content, the choice of photos, etc. The inconsistencies tend to confuse users and, therefore, miss their website’s AI. It is often recommended to carry out a card sorting workshop to carry out navigation.
Information architecture is an integral part of the life cycle of any service or product. In today’s digital world, a good Information Architecture must be loaded with content, where users can continuously consume and interact with information from different platforms. IA serves extreme importance in UI/UX design and helps designers make the design valuable, helpful, and fully functional. As a result, all aspiring designers should pay close attention to the concept of information architecture (IA) and aim to incorporate best practices into their upcoming projects.
Seahawk’s collaborative team can create a fantastic information architecture for your website. Reach out to us!