A “bricks and mortar” architect must balance the (often competing) demands of things such as aesthetics, structural integrity, heating, lighting, water supply, and drainage when creating building blueprints. When considering the way people interact with the digital world around them, building a product or a site is no different. I look at information architecture in the same way, asking myself how will someone move from “room to room” to get where they want to be. Thinking in this way, balances the critical needs of creating clear navigation paths that are at once concise, descriptive, mutually-exclusive, and possessive of information breadcrumbs. Both types of architecture seek to create spaces for humans that feel comfortable, easy to navigate, enjoyable, and inspiring.
Informational architecture is all about organizing the content and flow of a project based on research and planning. The end goal of any project is to plan a structure / design that balances the users’ desires with the business’s needs.
My years of experience have shown that users generally have four fundamental questions when they arrive at a website or use an application: Am I in the right place? Do they have what I am looking for? Do they have anything better (if this isn’t what I want)? What do I do now? One of the key goals is to predict and answer these questions – and then look ahead at solving any other hiccups that user testing shows and planning for future growth/expansion.
Clients invest a significant amount of capital in designing and developing a new website or application, both in time and dollars. As a design focused information architect, it is my goal to make that investment worthwhile and not wasteful, providing a client with blueprints for solutions to complicated systems, so the best possible result is achieved.