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What is Information Architecture?

Information architecture is the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable. It is in the websites we use, the apps and software we download, the printed materials we encounter, and even the physical places we spend time in.

A good Information Architecture helps people to understand their surroundings and find what they’re looking for – in the real world as well as online. Practicing information architecture involves facilitating the people and organizations we work with to consider their structures and language thoughtfully.

Information Architecture is a key component of your website

Information architecture (IA) focuses on organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way. The goal of IA is to help users find information and complete tasks. To do this, we users need to understand how the pieces fit together to create the larger picture, how items relate to each other within the system.

As many students (and teachers) begin a new term this month, we thought it would be helpful to review some of these fundamental tenants. It is always a good idea to focus on the basics and make certain we have a solid foundation.

The article Information Architecture Basics has more information on the following main components of IA:

  • Organization Schemes and Structures: How you categorize and structure information
  • Labeling Systems: How you represent information
  • Navigation Systems: How users browse or move through information
  • Search Systems: How users look for information

Why is information architecture important?

Site navigation is a very important part of any website interface, as it influences the usability of your site. Information architecture is the structural design of your information, and includes the art of organizing and labeling items to insure usability and findability.

Here is the article explains what is website navigation and information architecture and how do they work together.

What is the difference between UX and Information Architecture?

IA (Information Architecture) professionals focus on how things are organized. It’s a specialized job, usually for websites. Very often this is for an agency or a large corporation where people are highly specialized. UX (User Experience) is all-encompassing for the experience of someone interacting with your company.

This article focuses on the difference between information architecture and UX Design.

Additional Resources

This is another week in Back to school Basics. This week’s focus is information architecture basics, why IA is important and what is difference between IA and UX users?

We hope you find these resources and overviews useful. We always look forward to your comments and feedback (whether you are a member or not).

We encourage members (and non-members) check out our social media channels. If you aspire to be a web professional and don’t know where to start, we offer a number of beginning classes to our members via our School Of Web learning management system. As a member, your first class is free.