IA is a component of usability. Its the way you organize your site to make it easy navigate.

We need to understand what the site is for, who our users are and what they need.

Users + Content + Context = IA1


  • plan

  • test with users

  • design for way-finding (let me know where I am, how to get other places)

  • be consistent



  • define purpose of site

    • define user groups & prioritize them

    • gather business requirements

    • gather user needs

    • prioritize needs & requirements

  • determine what content is needed

  • determine organizational structure

  • implement

  • evaluate

  • fix problems


How to think like an outsider

  • know who your users are

  • ask them what they need

  • test (what they say and what they actually do may be different)


Tools & techniques for organizing information

  • content inventory

    • list content

    • build a hierarchy aka sitemap (err on the side of a shallow hierarchy)

  • card sorting


Good organizational schemes

  • task specific

  • audience specific


Bad organizational schemes

  • organizational structure (unless its an intranet)

  • organized based on your preferences


Navigation principles 2.

Navigation should

  • Be easy to learn

  • Be consistent throughout the website

  • Provide feedback, such as the use of breadcrumbs to indicate how to navigate back to where the user started

  • Use the minimum number of clicks to arrive at the next destination

  • Use clear and intuitive labels, based on the user’s perspective and terminology

  • Support user tasks

  • Have each link be distinct from other links

  • Group navigation into logical units

  • Avoid making the user scroll to get to important navigation or submit buttons

  • Not disable the browser’s back button




  1. Louis Rosenfeld: http://www.louisrosenfeld.com/home/bloug_archive/images/010725b.gif

  2. Usability First – Information Architecture: http://www.usabilityfirst.com/about-usability/information-architecture/