Information architecture (IA) deals with the presentation of information in websites and interactive devices: how information is structured, retrieved, used, and shared.
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What does the Information Architect do?
The job of the information architect is to help ensure the user is at the center of designing a system. In other words, to focus the development process on what the user needs to accomplish – not on what the technology can deliver or what is aesthetically innovative.
In developing any system, the information architect’s role is to ask:
- What are users trying to accomplish?
- How do they prefer to search for information?
- What are the most important things which they are looking for?
- What will make it easier for them to achieve things?
Our services in information architecture in UX
egluu provides a full range of information architecture services. Projects may range from small applications or usability reviews to major web developments. We may be involved in many stages of a project, from the initial scoping phase to testing the usability of a website or application post-launch.
Our services are grouped into the following phases:
1. Understanding users
It is easy to make assumptions about users which are actually completely invalid or miss some important (perhaps critical) aspects of their behavior and preferences.
The information architect’s job is to use every available source of information and user research to understand how users really perform tasks and navigate around a website.
2. Concept Development
There is a wide range of ways of structuring an Internet or software interface. Exploring alternative concepts is important to identify the advantages of different navigation routes and interface elements.
Once concepts have been refined, the information architect is involved in specifying the structure and layout of a user interface, and how the user will be able to accomplish tasks and find information.
An effective specification can save significant time and resources by ensuring that all the key issues relating to the usability of the interface are thought through and resolved before development goes forward.
Many (maybe most) websites and interactive applications are launched before they have been properly tested with potential end users. This is a sure way to waste money and fail to achieve user satisfaction.
An effective process of verification – getting users to test out the website/application and identifying any flaws in its design – can have a significant impact on a project’s success and avoid a lot of costly post-launch revisions.