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Developing an effective IA

In the spirit of Xmas, we're releasing an Advent Calendar of blog posts throughout December:
1 Introduction
2 Content
3 Stakeholders
4 User Research
5 Card Sort
6 Personas
7 IA
9 Erasmus+
10 Erasmus+
11 Eramus+
12 Erasmus+
13 KM
14 Learning
15 Lykio

Developing an effective IA

Information Architecture or IA, as it’s known in our trendy digital world, is how things are grouped or labelled on your website, app or software.

But it doesn’t just apply in a digital environment…we see IA everywhere! When you visit the supermarket, you know exactly where to find cereal, because the aisle’s clearly labelled and all products which fall under this category are grouped together!

This is the purpose of an IA; to organise content in a way that your users can easily find what they need.

What should be included in my IA?

An IA typically consists of the following;

  • A site map which identifies the main pages, menus and links, and how they relate to each other
  • Taxonomies (content categories)
  • Navigation depth
  • Required content types
  • Page templates and key functionality within those templates.

Developing an effective IA is a 7 stage process:

  1. Producing a content audit (if your website exists already)
  2. Conducting a workshop with key stakeholders of the project
  3. Conducting user research, if budget and time allows for it
  4. Conducting card sorting
  5. Developing personas and user journeys     
  6. Developing your IA, including taxonomies and wireframing
  7. Creating a content delivery plan 

We hope that you find this useful. If you have any queries we would love to hear from you.