How to Use Information Architecture to Create Strong UX Designs

by | May 22, 2017 | User Experience

Information architecture (IA) is the overall structure that helps UX designers create websites, apps and intranets that are easy to use and understand.  Read our six tips for executing IA skilfully so that your users enjoy the most frictionless experience possible:

1. Define Product Goals And Keep Them Central

First ask what the final product needs to do. Keep this in mind while creating information structure. Every navigation and design choice should be aimed at ease-of-use.

Once product goals are clear, designers will be able to agree on what content is required for what purpose. This clarity of purpose helps avoid design flaws.

2. Perform Thorough User Research And Tests

User research is a vital step of IA and UX design. Ordering information well means ordering it so that it satisfies users’ needs. Thorough research helps designers understand what elements and user flows will make the final product the friendliest user experience.

3. Take A Psychological When Implementing IA

Understand how the average user processes information. A general understanding of cognitive psychology makes it easier to implement information architecture that works for diverse users.

Psychological principles IA and UX designers should use include recognition patterns and Gestalt psychology. Gestalt psychology refers to the way we process visual information in groups rather than individual units. Using recognition patterns helps designers make websites and apps user-friendly by positioning and emphasising related content clearly.

4. Plan Navigation While Creating Information Architecture

Information structure guiding users through your website or app should enable them to have consistent successful interactions. Make sure that navigation follows and supports your overall IA plan to make user interactions clear and consistent.

5. Use Visual Hierarchy To Improve Navigation And Understanding

Good visual hierarchy ensures users understand the relative importance of different components on a page. Make sure that font size, alignment, colour and other design elements clearly indicate the most important information in every part of your user flow.

People tend to scan content first before reading in depth, so also make sure your IA and design keep this movement (from quick overview to depth) in mind.

6. Remember These Takeaway Pointers

Here’s a recap of points to remember when creating and implementing information architecture:

  • Start with strong IA. It ensures better usability and navigation, as top-level structure will be firmly in place
  • Take care of IA and the rest will follow – efficient user flows start with good structure
  • Define product goals early and build IA around them to create purposeful order and organisation
  • Use research and psychological principles to anticipate how users will interact with your final product with greater accuracy
  • Use clear visual hierarchy to help users grasp information and achieve their goals faster

Do you need to improve your information architecture so that it becomes the best it can be? Contact Interact today.