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What is Information Architecture? – Important, and More

What is Information Architecture?

Information architecture is a pillar of technology and the organization of large companies, forming part of a significant context of digital transformation.

If you go to a supermarket for the first time and want to know where the chocolates are, you will probably look for a plate indicating the sweets and desserts section. Similarly, if you’re going to check the ingredients of a product, hopefully, you can easily find that information on the packaging.

The same goes for the digital world, which will focus on this post —adapt the concept for software, applications, sites, blogs, etc.

They must contain the information in an easily understandable structure that follows simple logic and considers the possibilities of interaction.

In other words, when we think of hierarchies, categories and other elements that facilitate navigation and simplify the search for what we are looking for, we are referring to information architecture.

Why is Information Architecture So Important?

Some entrepreneurs, managers, and other decision-makers may not support investing in information architecture because they are unaware of its importance to organizations and customers. Maybe they don’t see any practical use in such work.

To make relevance clearer, take your company’s website as an example and do the following:

According to Steve Krug, author of “Don’t Make Me Think”, one of the most excellent references in digital marketing. There are four questions that the user must quickly answer as soon as he enters a page:

What is that?

Do you have here?

What can I do here?

How to summarize the concept of information architecture?

Since the subject of this article is AI, there is nothing better than structuring all the information we have seen so far into 3 large categories.

For that, we will count on the help of Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville and Jorge Arango.

In the book that is one of the definitive guides on information architecture – ” Information Architecture for the World Wide Web “. The authors present this field as the relationship between the following pillars:

  • Content;
  • Users;

This idea that the intersection of these three concepts gives AI is called information ecology and represents an environment of interdependence, which will be different from business to business.

Content

  • Texts, images, graphics, audio content, etc.;
  • Mapping of the pages or screens;
  • Structure;
  • Taxonomy;
  • Information volume.

Users

  • Personality;
  • Needs;
  • Information seeking behaviour;
  • User experience;
  • Tasks they want to run in your application.

Context

  • business model;
  • Project objectives;
  • Technologies and development methodologies;
  • Resources (capital, people, equipment, among others);

What is the Relationship of AI With our Daily Lives?

We have already detailed the function of information architecture as an essential part of the development of digital product/service projects, but could it be that AI is present in our daily lives?

The answer is yes, and you have probably already done a task related to that science/art.

When we think about the organization of company sectors, the activities carried out, and the structuring of a team, for example, AI is present.

The same is true when we are going to coordinate a trip, name the folders on the computer and organize the files within them, group vacation photos on the smartphone to later send to friends and much more.

What are the Methodologies Used By AI?

In this section, we will see some of the practices that professionals involved with AI use to structure the information of the content and materials with which they work.

But before following any of these stages, it is worth remembering that it is essential to know the particularities of the users for whom a device is intend. Therefore, always keep in mind who your ideal client is, using the concept of buyer person .

Hierarchical Structure

Hierarchy is essential for users to understand what level they are at within your app. And how the content on screens or pages relate to each other.

In a hypothetical message exchange application, we can have the main screen, in which the user chooses between “Contacts”, “Conversations”, and “Settings”. Within these options, there are other sub-options and so on.

Wireframes

The wireframes consist of demonstrations, interactive or not, of how the user will visualize the information available in a digital asset. Its hierarchies and the connections between the screens of the application.

They are handy because they represent the layout of the elements that will make up the final product.

Taxonomy

In the context of information architecture, taxonomy refers to the names we give to groups and describe the content and the language we use for that purpose.

Imagine that during the development of the institutional site, a company decides that it wants to show who its clients and partners are.

Content Inventory

To have a general vision of the contents that a project is going to have, it is interesting to prepare an inventory that lists all the pages or screens and the information they must show.

It is a worksheet with the title, link (in the case of web pages), description and other pertinent comments about these components.

This document is mainly relevant for huge applications, where it is easy for employees. To get lost in so much information.

What is the Relationship Between Information Architecture and UX?

Whether you’re building a site, app, or software today, investing in user-centric design is crucial to your success. It implies the commitment of professionals from various areas, which can lead to confusion regarding the domain of each field.

One of the most prominent examples is the confusion between IA and UX. Although both are pretty interconnected, they are not the same.

Conclusion

Information architecture is the structural design of shared information environments; the art and also,  science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support.

Also Read: What is Advertising? – Types, Characteristics, and More

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