I can’t think of a single project where I have not done some form of information architecture. Since I am also a designer and content strategist, there is a ton of crossover in all my work. However, I’d have to say that next to writing, information architecture is truly my favorite part of any project.
Here are the six items That fall under information ARCHITECTURE:
1. User Research and Analysis: Includes analyzing information provided from UX team or if there is no UX team then I will do the research on users. The research will most likely result in card sorts and user personas.
2. Navigation and Hierarchy: creation for websites or applications or any interface really where users need to access information. If this is a website, then a Sitemap is the expected deliverable.
3. Wireframing: Usually these are great for clients to get a general idea of how a user will flow through an interface. How they will interact. Wireframes are essential for applications.
4. Labeling: This encompasses the naming of sections, sub-sections. If there is a Content Strategist on board, then final decisions will defer to them however since I am also a content strategist on many of my projects labeling is usually up to me. Either way, we want users to be able to find the information, so good labeling is imperative.
5. Taxonomies and Metadata: This is where I decide other groupings or ways that a user might search based on their mental model. In a digital asset management system, I make sure to address alternative terms so that items can easily be found.
6. Content Modeling: This is the part where I start working with the developers to ensure a smooth migration from the old to the new. Spreadsheets come in handy here, but there are great online tools as well now to ensure all content is accounted for. I would also create content templates here (again often the role of a content strategist but can also fall under the IA camp. The six main headings are courtesy of UX Booth.
Links to Information Architecture Projects:
- RV Nuccio & Associates: For the rebrand of the insurance broker’s website. 2016
- Wedsure: For the specialty insurance web application for brokers and customers to quote and buy insurance online. 2014
- Genection: For the genetic testing management web application for hospitals, labs, physicians, and patients. 2013
- Invivoscribe: For the rebrand of the molecular diagnostic company’s website. 2011
- La Jolla Institute: For the rebrand of the immunology research institute’s website. 2008