Web Design/Information Architecture Challenges

Creating the information architecture for a site sounds like a science (and some people do study it as a science!) but for our purpose as Web Designers we just want to learn how to structure the information on a website to maximise the target users ability to find what they want.

Web Design Information Architecture Challenges
This page is part of the Web Design project.

A great way to get started practicing IA is to use the more formal process outline by Adobe's Information Design, Site Design and Page Design tutorials.

Using whichever tool you choose, for each challenge you will need to carry out the following tasks:

  1. Identify (or clarify) the business goals of the website.
  2. Identify and clarify the target audience. You may choose to create one or two [personas] for your primary target audiences.
  3. Identify the [user's goals] for the website (what the user needs to be able to do). These will relate to the business goals.
  4. For each of the user goals and/or site goals, brainstorm the content requirements with the client (or your facilitator) and other team members. For the purpose of these challenges you should end up with a list of 15-20 content items.
  5. Using Card-sorting technique or otherwise, group your information requirements into related topics that will help you target audience achieve their goals when using the website.
  6. Create labels for your groups that are clear, consistent and intuitive to your target audience.
  7. Document your site heirarchy using a sitemap.
  8. Create a prototype navigation system (on paper!) based on the information architecture.
  9. Test your website navigation system with others, using your target audience (and any personas or scenarios that you created), and adjust your information architecture as needed.

Each challenge will provide different bits of information, you'll need to work together to brainstorm the rest!

Challenge 1: MobileAir edit

MobileAir is a new startup company that is launching it's mobile services in 6 months time. MobileAir is intending to save money by providing most of their services for clients on their website.

MobileAir is particularly targetting young mobile users (15-30yrs, as that's where the money is).

Example sites for inspiration or ideas:

Challenge 2: Mountains Retirement Village edit

Mountains Retirement Village is situated just outside a major city and is aiming to attract the new wave of digitally-aware retirees and their digital-native kids. Browse and choose your retirement or your parents retirement.

Example sites for inspiration or ideas:

Edited by Arun Ramachandran (talk) 11:04, 4 January 2013 (UTC)