Information Architecture & Usability

What is Information Architecture and why is it so important that we define it as a stand alone service? Information Architecture, or IA as it is know in the industry, is an integral part of any Web site or software development project. It is the science of planning the blueprint from which all other aspects of the product spring from. With roots in library science and software usability, it has become a career in itself for many specialists. It is the foundation for any good software specification and is necessary to illustrate the product prior to actual development to the stakeholders and the entire development team. Bottom line, it's more efficient, and cheaper, to plan and refine something on paper than it is to change after it's been designed and developed.

A Good IA Ensures

  • The business goals and objectives are at the forefront of the product design.
  • The product navigation and functionality is consistent and adheres to strict standards of usability.
  • The nomenclature (names of sections, buttons etc...) is clear and concise.
  • The product is tailored to specific user groups as required.
  • The project stakeholders know how the product will look and function before it is built.
  • The designers and developers have all the information they need to plan their contribution.
  • Document definition schemes are planned and implemented properly for search engines and enterprise knowledge management systems

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