Why Product Observability Matters? Read Now
Cubyts

How to Create an Information Architecture?

Information architecture is organization of the information in a digital product. It helps users navigate through the product and find what they need in any section of the product.

Duration

3-5 days

Complexity

Intermediate

Contributors

UX designer, UX writer, Product manager

Getting Started

Any digital product is made up of information. Users need to navigate through the product in a way that helps them use it easily. This is possible when the information is structured in an intuitive way. This arrangement of information in an intuitive structure is called Information Architecture (IA). 

 

To create the IA details like target user, user needs, the context of use, features, and business goals are required. So, before getting started with IA, user research is conducted to gather the required information.


Creating IA

The best way to create an IA is to create information groups and rough IA based on research. This could be refined with user inputs. One of the most popular methods to validate the IA is Card sorting. 

 

What to know about Card Sorting? Read Card Sorting: Uncover Users' Mental Models for Better Information Architecture

 

Dan Brown’s eight principles of IA are commonly used for defining IA:


IA Patterns

Different IA patterns are as follows:


Validating the IA

Depending on the type of the project, IA can be tested with different methods:

  • Card sorting method: When an IA is created from scratch, card sorting is the most appropriate method for testing it.

  • Tree testing method: When the IA of an existing product or design has to be tested, Tree testing is the right method.

Curious about Tree Testing? Read… Tree Testing: Fast, Iterative Evaluation of Menu Labels and Categories


How to?


Do’s & Don'ts

 

Do’s

Don’ts

  1. Do understand the goals and objectives.

  2. Does user research to understand user needs and behaviors?

  3. Develop a clear and concise labeling system that is easy to understand.

  4. Use consistent terminology throughout the website or application.

  5. Create a logical structure that is easy to navigate.

  6. Use simple and intuitive navigation and search functionalities.

  7. Test and validate the information architecture with real users.

  8. Do have all the required information in place.

  1. Don’t start before having all the required info.

  2. Don’t overwhelm users with too much info.

  3. Don’t forget to use the principles of IA.

  4. Don't start organizing content without a clear understanding of the goals and user needs.

  5. Don't create a structure that is too complex or difficult to navigate.

  6. Don't use technical or obscure terminology that users may not understand.

  7. Don't make assumptions about user needs or behaviors without conducting user research.

  8. Don't use ambiguous or unclear labels, as this can confuse users.

  9. Don't overlook the importance of testing and validation, as this can lead to a poor user experience.

 


Templates 


Suggested Tools 

  • Pen & Paper/ Whiteboard

  • Mindnode

  • Miro

  • Mural 

  • Figma


References 

Other Related Best Practices

  • Card Sorting

  • User Research

  • Ideation