What is information architecture?

Timo Gierse

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The word information architecture stands for the structure of a Website or a Intranets, which Provideusers with the ability to answer questions and find information quickly and easily.Unlike information design, information architecture is not visible on the web pages and remains in the background, as it is the Thestructure and the structural part of a website. Information design, on the other hand, is all about the layout, just the design of the website. This can be seen at a glance.

The architecture guides user interaction. Before the user does anything, the information must already be organized in a meaningful way. Menus and click paths are helpful for this. Even though information design serves to make these structural points visible, the concept of architecture lies behind it. In the process of designing, information architecture and design are linked.

Information structure in practice:

Information architecture not only represents the concept of a website, but also the process of designing the website. The information architect (IA) has to consider user wishes and requirement profiles in order to create a concept for the website, with which the user can be the focus.

The IA has various means at his disposal to work. At the end of his work, these are put together to form a whole. Organigrams and wireframes are used here. This helps IA transform the rough organization into an intuitive navigation for the user.

The organization chart (or blueprint) is used to organize the home page of the website to be programmed into subcategories. For this purpose, everything is connected with arrows by graphical representation. The rough structure is now supplemented with Wireframe by individual web pages. Nevertheless, the main structure should not be lost. In addition, the navigation will be simpler and more refined. This is especially important when dealing with larger projects with a lot of content.

If access is presented easily and intuitively for the user, this can also be described as art in information architecture.

User experience and information structure

The
Corporate Identity
is an important term for the design of an information space. In the context of an Internet site, there is always a company or organization. Already at the beginning of a website, the menu structure and the visual appearance can make it easier for the user to find his way around and clarify the reference to the topic. This can make identification and interaction easier in the first step.

It is best if the user recognizes a uniform structure and appearance of the website and the identification with the company works through presentation and content.

Nevertheless, it is important to stand out through the information architecture and to differentiate yourself from competitors. The information architecture is a unique selling point. In addition, data from marketing and market research can be included.

Relevance for SEO

The information architecture consists of the large architecture level and the small architecture level. The large architecture of a website manages the communication with the user and the small one deals with the markup of the data that is relevant for search engines.

The designation “large” and “small” architecture does not play a role in the importance for a website. Both architectural units are relevant to search engine optimization. First of all, it is about building a high quality website and optimizingit onpage.

Search engine optimization according to Google is user orientation. This means that a website should serve the user. This level also includes talking URLs, simple navigation with meaningful structures, and easy-to-find information. This is also called labeling.

Here is an example of bulk optimization for forming semantic clusters:

www.beispiel.de

www.beispiel.de/kategorie

www.beispiel.de/unterkategorie

Extraction of information structure by search engines

The small architecture complements the large architecture. This also includes the labeling of the content with metadata. It also gives the content a structure that makes sense to search engines.

A user agent, e.g. the Googlebot, can thus be told which data to use and how. This includes both the metadata of an HTML document and the main content. This is where information architecture and design overlap, as important aspects such as formatting and markup play an important role.

Conclusion

So the information architecture that is hidden in the background of a website has many aspects that need to be considered.

The ultimate goal is to make it as easy as possible for users to use the website. Both the small and the large architecture play an important role. They complement each other and are conveyed to the outside world through the information design.

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