Innovating with Social Media: Facebook, Flash, Blogs and Wikipedia

information architecture

Information Architecture for Website Development

Broadly speaking, Information Architecture, is a term for modeling how the organization of data in a system. This is an important aspect in the development of any automated computer system, ranging from a complex enterprise resource planning system to a simple website.

Here are some key points from Chapter 3 of Web Style Guide by Lynch and Horton on Information Architecture for website development. (Thank you to Prof. Jacobson for these notes!)

What Is a Website Information Architecture?

  • Incorporates the overall concept and general designs used to produce a Web site
  • Requires understanding the content to be published online, as well as linkages between the content
  • Goal: To create a cohesive, coherent and consistent design for the audience

Steps Toward Creating Information Architecture

  • Create a content inventory – What already exists, what needs to be produced for the site?
  • Create a hierarchical map of your site content – categories and sub-categories
  • Chunk your content – divide the content into smaller parts
  • Draw diagrams of the potential site structure.
  • Create wireframes showing generally how information will be laid out on pages.
  • Test your site structure with potential users.

Continue reading