Information Architecture

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Information architecture (IA) is a science of organizing and structuring content of the websites, web and mobile applications, and social media software. Information architecture is the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable.
Information architecture aims at organizing content so that users would easily adjust to the functionality of the product and could find everything they need without big effort. The content structure depends on various factors.
First of all, IA experts consider the specifics of the target audience needs because IA puts user satisfaction as a priority. Also, the structure depends on the type of the product and the offers companies have.

The distinguished four main components of an IA are:
Organization systems: These are the groups in which the information is divided. Such system helps users to predict where they can find certain information easily.
•Labeling systems:This system involves the ways of data representation. Design of the product requires simplicity, so a great amount of information can confuse users. That’s why designers create the labels which represent loads of data in few words.
•Navigation systems: It is the set of actions and techniques guiding users throughout the app or website, enabling them to fulfill their goals and successfully interact with the product. The navigation system, involves the ways how users move through content.
•Searching systems: This system is used in information architecture to help users search for the data within the digital product like a website or an app. The searching system is effective for the products with loads of information when the users risk getting lost there.

For optimising information architecture there are 8 principles to take care of:
•The principle of objects: Content should be treated as a living, breathing thing. It has lifecycles, behaviors, and attributes.
•The principle of choices: More is less. Keep the number of choices to a minimum.
•The principle of disclosure: Show a preview of information that will help users understand what kind of information is hidden if they dig deeper.
•The principle of exemplars: Show examples of content when describing the content of the categories.
•The principle of front doors: Assume that at least 50% of users will use a different entry point than the home page.
•The principle of multiple classifications: Offer users several different classification schemes to browse the site’s content.
•The principle of focused navigation: Keep navigation simple and never mix different things.
•The principle of growth: Assume that the content on the website will grow. Make sure the website is scalable.
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