Information architecture (IA) refers to the structure of information used for a project. In interaction design IA provides the structure for getting the user from a starting point to their goal. In web design, many people start by thinking from the homepage down. This is only useful when people start at your homepage. If you consider your own home, you might not always enter through the front door. Perhaps you walk in through the garage or through the front door. Just as an architect has to consider the people who live in a house, designers must consider information architecture. Once again, the who, what, where, and why are important. What drives people from one end of a site to another.

We can answer some of these questions though interview and one-on-one user task analysis. We can answer other questions through diagnosing existing web logs. We reviewed these types of information last week. Now, you must consider how you can use that information to structure your web site. Some of the most common mistakes that come from designing with a top-down homepage centered information architecture include:

Such problems can be prevented by careful planning. In class we will cover the basics of designing information.

Information architecture resources:

A few examples of web site wire frames:

  1. PRI wire frames (pdf): Web site wire frames first 3 pages, the rest are web page wire frames
  2. ORC Macro example (pdf) : Web site wire frames (page 3), mostly web page wire frames (page 4-73)
  3. Multiple Information Architecture examples (pdf): Web site and web page wire frames
  4. Wire frames example

" How to Design like an Architect":


A modern version of information architecture and its value: