Information architecture (IA) is the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability.
At Electric we take Information Architecture very seriously. Information Architecture is at the heart of creating a successful website or web application project.
Even though we’ve categorised Information Architecture under Design, Information Architecture is just as much part of the development process, sometimes even more. In some instances, Information Architecture can be entirely dictated by limitations or prerequisites of a technical nature.
The process of Information Architecture allows us to organise and categorise the features and functions of a website or project. The process of Information Architecture, and the results thereof, is what gives us and our clients insight in the scope and complexities of the tasks at hand.
Sitemap & Wire Frames
At the heart of our Information Architecture phases are Sitemaps and Wire Frames. A Sitemap will give a birds eye overview of the structure of a website whereas Wire Frames indicate what elements and functionality will be available on individual pages.
Creating a Sitemap will often be the first step. By creating a Sitemap we will give structure to a website by dividing it into logical parts. For a website this usually means a definition of the hierarchy of pages that make up a website.
Wire Frames are the first step to visualising our clients projects. Wire Frames can be an extremely en-lighting process for our clients because it often gives them a sense of scope of their project for the first time. Wire Frames will often bring to light hidden functionality that simply was assumed but never thought about before.
In short. For us and our clients, Information Architecture is about gaining insight and determining project scope.