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.