What It Is
Information architecture (IA) is the organizational foundation of your website. It's the practice of organizing, labeling, and classifying information, and creating effective navigational structures.
Why It’s Important
Providing appropriate navigation and organizing the information and services in ways that are efficient and effective helps your customers complete their tasks successfully. This saves your customers and your web team time and money.
OMB Policies for Federal Public Websites require agencies to (#1A) "to disseminate information to the public in a timely, equitable, efficient and appropriate manner" and (#2A) "maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information and services provided to the public." By following good information architecture practices, you'll build websites that ensure your customers can find what they're looking for.
How to Implement
- Quick–and–Easy Information Architecture (PDF, 2 MB, 33 pages, May 2009) Describes the 10 steps to creating an effective information architecture. Presentation by Lisa Battle, Design for Context
- Quick–and–Easy Information Architecture - Webinar (Windows Media Video file, 44 MB, 59 minutes, May 2009)
- "Top 10 Information Architecture Mistakes" Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, May 11, 2009
- Information Architecture - Usability.gov: What to include on your home page, clarifying categories through card sorting, designing a site map, and building wireframe designs