If you are familiar with the word UX designing, the chances are that you’ve already heard of information architecture or shortly written as IA. You’ll find yourself attracted to IA if you like the things that involve solving problems or if you are naturally gifted with organizing complex stuff. However, even if this is not the case with you, we are going to break down the information architect for you in the simplest way possible.
What Information Architect Really Is?
The information architect is a very important aspect of a UX design. IA is the science of organizing and structuring content in a logical and user-friendly way. It has roots in both library science and cognitive psychology. If you are designing a website or an app, the IA has a huge impact on how easy your app or website is to navigate. The UX specialists at Adobe mention “When a user has an easier time finding what they are looking for, you reduce the total amount of effort they need to invest interacting with a product.”
So, if you want to create a great user experience, you’ll need to understand the principles and components of an information architect. For more information check out Website Information Architecture.
There are four basic components of IA that you must know about. In this blog, you are going to learn about the brief introduction of each of these components. So, let’s get started
1. Organization system
The first component of the information architect is the category where you sort out or organize everything into its simpler and easy to understand pieces. For example, if you are working on a website that sells shoes, arranging the shoes by their size, color, and the price will come under the organization system.
2. Labeling System
It is a component of IA in which you represent the information on different levels. For example, if certain terminologies might be difficult for some users to understand, then you change them with simpler words that are easy for the targeted audience to understand.
One simple way to understand this component better is that if you are working on a website that is related to human health, you will choose the word heart disease rather than cardiovascular diseases.
3. Navigation System
This component deals with the movement of your user from one piece of information to another. In order to understand this better, take an example of any online shopping application or website. You’ve selected your item, and now you want to check-out form the shop. It’s the navigation system of the app that takes you to your cart and let you out just by clicking the button “check-out.”
4. Searching System
A searching system, as the name implies, is the system that allows you to search for the information on the website or an application. For example, if you are searching for a particular type of shoes on a shoe website, then you’ll write its type on the search bar of the website, and it’ll show you the results organized against that particular search. Another example would be on this particular page that you are reading. You can type multiple words to narrow the results and get closer to the topics you want to read about.
With knowledge about all of these systems, you can think of yourself as a digital librarian when you are designing an information architect for an app or a website.