If you have heard of the term “information architecture”, you might have wondered what it is for and what it meant. In a nutshell, this term generally means the structural design of either a website, intranets, and of shared information environments. This is often done to improve findability and usability of whatever it is used for.
In the creation of websites, information architecture is seen to be important to user experience. This is because of the fact that a good website structure makes it easy and enjoyable for a person to use the site. While site visitors don’t really take note of how well a website is put together, sites that are poorly constructed can be certainly seen as having very little to very bad information architecture, which in turn makes a visitor leave.
When you equate information architecture with good user experience, you will find that one is essential for the other to be possible. This is because people who find a site difficult to use and to find information from often leave with the idea that the site is not well made and not useful to them. This basically means that their user experience is not good when it comes to that particular site because of the difficulties it presented them with finding what they need on it.
Relationship Between UX and IA
So what exactly is the relationship between information architecture and user experience? The architecture of a site should be made in such a way that users will find the site useful and easy to navigate through. Good UX and IA however, goes beyond ease of navigation. It also means the design of the site is made in such a way that it makes a person using it feel that they have accomplished what they needed to accomplish by visiting such a website.
This may seem somewhat complicated, the melding of functionality with how a site visitor feels about such usefulness, but this is exactly what most informed website owners are aiming to achieve. This is because it helps create a loyal following for their website, and makes site visitors feel that the website has helped them with what they needed. This, in turn, gives the website loyal followers, who can help them increase their number of site visitors and traffic, which can then translate to an increase in revenues.
In order for you to make the connection between UX and IA, you need to start from the very beginning, and that is when the site is being designed. Always keep in mind that while you are building a website for your company, in reality, it is being built to serve the clientele of your business. This means that you need to know what they need, what they are likely to look for on your site, and how they will go through your website in order to give them the kind of navigation that equates to good IA and UX. You can still inject ideas as to how you want your site to look for your taste, but you need to keep in mind that ultimately, the site’s look and usability should be made to please your clientele and not just yourself.