Information Architecture

The journey to clarity

Information architecture (IA) is the term used to describe the structure of a system – that is, the way data or content is grouped, the navigation and functional elements employed and terminology used.

In essence, IA strives to support optimal usability and findability, thus enabling people to step logically through a 'system' confident they are getting closer to completing their task.

You wouldn’t construct a building without sound architectural foundations. And the same diligence applies to the first stages of any website, application or product.

These foundations equally support users familiar with a site's IA (known-item searchers), those unfamiliar (casual browsers), and users who switch between the two roles.

An effective IA thus reflects the way people think.

Conversely, the result of a poor IA is a frustrated user experience and a potential lost sale, or at the very least, a visitor who's unlikely to return.

Seen any good information architecture lately?

Paradoxically, a really well-designed information architecture is invisible to users. They don't notice it when labels are clear and the structure coherent. Their journey to clarity is complete.

How to construct an invisible IA

Information architecture is easy to get wrong and unfortunately hard to fix. We employ a range of tools and workshops, including card-sorting exercises, to continuously evolve a site's IA. Clients understand this. And the payoff for getting this right, upfront? Much better SEO, a more seamless user experience and a more loyal customer.

RU in the market for an IA?

We thought so. Get in touch and we’ll start identifying and building those foundations together.