Information Architecture: Structuring Online Content for Great User Experience

If you are doing online work and content marketing, you should be aware that having a site structured to meet the needs and demands of users is crucial. You need to ensure that your content should meet what your visitors require of these, and your site should present your content in a way that makes your users feel they have achieved what they needed to when they first clicked on your site. In short, you cannot only focus on the content itself but also in how your site presents it, and in how easily your users find it.

How do you achieve such a goal, and what can you do in order to have a well-structured site? The term that people use to cover such a task is called information architecture. This is when your content meets the needs of your users through understanding how they use your site. In order for you to do this, you have to first understand what your users want and how they want it. To be able to do this, you need to answer four questions that are usually in the minds of your site visitors.

Four User Questions to Answer to Ensure Great UX

  1. Did I visit the correct website?
  2. Do they have what I need?
  3. Do they have other options besides what I am seeing right now?
  4. What should I do next?

These four questions are generally what people think about when they visit a website, with the first two answerable by a clearly defined and concise home page. When people land on your site, they should be able to see what they are looking for with a quick scan of the page they land on. Not being able to present them with what they need after they click through from where they found your link on the web will simply cross your site out in their minds. This is not only for that exact moment but also in the future, when they remember that they did not find what they needed on your site.

The last two questions should be answered by related topics found at the bottom or side of each page, and by options for what they can do. Related topics will help visitors dig deeper into your site for more information on what they need, and the options you present will give them a chance to conclude their visit with a choice of actions that may include opting in, buying something, or leaving you a message. All of these will give your visitors a sense of closure and completing whatever it is they have come to your site for, which is good for UX.

Why Structure and Architecture are Important to Your Site

The structure and architecture of your site is greatly dependent on what your visitors want and what your goal is. Putting together a map to see how one page will link to another during the website design process will help you see what things are missing in your website architecture. Just like the plans that an architect draws up before a building is built, your site map and diagrams will show you what to add and remove in order to satisfy not only your users but to also help you reach your website’s full potential and goals.

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