Finding information on the Internet can be difficult. It is important to the success of your website that you make it easy for your users to find what they need. How important? Some estimates say surfers give up looking for what they want 50% of the time or more.
Some web builders answer this need by adding a search function to the home page. This is often used as a crutch for not taking the time to create an effective Information Architecture.
The information architecture, or the organization of information for the site, is independent of the site’s graphic design, and should be designed with the goal of making it easy for your intended users to find the information or services that they are looking for. Once a organizational structure is created, an information design can be created that will help users navigate the information easier. It is important to keep the information architecture separate from the information design. One reason is that while the methods of organizing information are relatively static, design is a constantly evolving area where different looks appeal to different demographics. (more…)