The Role of IA in Web Design and Development5:24 with Dan Gorgone
No matter what your title is, if you’re involved with the design, development, or content creation on a website, information architecture is a vital concept to understand and follow. we will discuss how IA impacts design and development tasks, and how continued IA analysis can improve your site over time.
- Sitemaps - visual representations of website pages and sections, showing the links between them to help a design/development team understand how it all works
- Point It Digital Marketing: https://www.pointit.com/blog/point-taken-weekly-industry-updates-18/
- Men’s Wearhouse: https://www.menswearhouse.com/
- ThinkGeek Star Wars R2-D2 Coffee Press: https://www.thinkgeek.com/product/itns/
In our last video we talked about the relationship between IA and 0:00 concepts like UX, UI, and usability. 0:04 Information architecture is a concept that's going to be instrumental in 0:08 how you build and design effective and positive experiences for people. 0:12 So let's talk about how IA impacts your job when it comes to web design and 0:17 development projects. 0:22 One way you could think of it is that IA is the bridge between design and 0:24 development. 0:29 When you're attempting to design a menu system or properly lay out a page full of 0:30 information, you need to know what content you've got. 0:35 What the user needs and how it should appear, or 0:38 how the user will gain access to it. 0:42 So with IA you got to consider how information is store, 0:44 how it get displayed and how it gets access. 0:48 There's a lot of responsibility there, right? 0:52 Well, if you're responsible for the IA on your website or 0:54 app, there are specific tasks that will become a priority. 0:57 First, you'll need to figure out how content will be organized 1:02 behind the scenes and on your website. 1:06 When you're working with writers or 1:10 other content creators, you'll need to understand what they make, and 1:11 how it can be logically categorized or tagged with the users in mind. 1:15 What terms would they look for, and what categories make sense to them? 1:21 Don't just go with the categories your writers come up with because 1:26 it might not match user expectations. 1:29 A writer might call his work weekly blog posts, well, you know your 1:32 users are looking for Weekly Industry Updates, there's a big difference. 1:37 So when you work with developers, you can make sure that whatever content management 1:42 system you use supports the content organization and 1:47 categories you've come up with. 1:50 If you need five or 1:53 ten more sections full of content, you'll need a system that supports it. 1:54 If you know you'll be expanding what you deliver 1:58 like a clothing website planning on adding more types of shirts and pants. 2:01 You'll need a system flexible enough to support that too. 2:06 And if you're content types range from text to images, to video, and beyond. 2:10 You'll need a way to organize that content as well. 2:16 And as you work with designers, you'll rely on your categories so 2:19 menu systems can be created, and 2:22 navigation can be added to specific templates and other pages. 2:25 The separation between certain kinds of content will be important to understand 2:28 as will the relationships and links between other kinds, 2:33 like when you see related links or products on certain pages. 2:36 And so another priority here is to understand your users' needs and 2:42 expectations. 2:46 This goes back to the first point where you'll be working with content creators, 2:48 developers, designers, to make something that makes sense for your users. 2:52 If you know your audience, you'll be able to look at a design idea, a wire frame. 2:57 Or review a beta version of the website and 3:03 know with good certainty if it should work or not for our users. 3:06 If you don't know who your audience really is, what kind of people they are. 3:10 Or what language they use to refer to things, 3:15 you start guessing about what to call things and that is a bad idea. 3:18 If you don't understand their needs or 3:22 intentions, and guess about why they're on your site. 3:24 You may prioritize the wrong thing, and that will cost you as well. 3:28 Now, another priority for 3:33 someone in an IA role will be to create site maps or other documentation. 3:35 So everyone on your team knows what your site looks like, the relationships between 3:41 content and sections, and where important features can be found. 3:45 Site maps are visual representations of website pages and sections, 3:49 showing the links between them to help a team understand how it all works. 3:54 You'll wanna understand the flow of your website and how people landing on 3:59 the homepage will naturally find their way to important conversion points, 4:03 like making a purchase or newsletter registrations. 4:08 And you'll also wanna know how people finding your site through a link or 4:12 search engine will land in the middle of a site. 4:15 But still be able to find their way easily, and 4:18 be successful at finding the content they need or the product they want. 4:21 And if you know your audience, the relationships and 4:25 links between content and how everything is organized. 4:28 You'll have insight that can turn your simple website into a selling or 4:32 a conversion machine. 4:36 Think about it, if you know the things that your audience likes, 4:37 then product pages will become more than just places to describe your product and 4:41 put a buy now button. 4:46 They'll become opportunities to expose users to relevant and helpful information. 4:48 Like guides on how to use the product, 4:52 videos of people creating amazing things with it. 4:55 Or related items and 4:59 accessories that would make the product even more enjoyable. 5:00 Understanding the IA of your site 5:04 is more than just knowing what categories you've got or how many sections you have. 5:07 It's seeing between the lines, 5:11 seeing those spots where you can make the experience more valuable for the user. 5:13 And create a source of content and 5:18 other information that becomes indispensable to them. 5:20
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