Information architecture is one of the most overlooked aspects of the web design process because it is often confused with many other areas. Many people use the term interchangeably with technical architecture, navigation, and more. This is very unfortunate because information architecture is a vital component, the backbone if you will, of web design. If you want to learn more, read on to find out why information architecture is crucial for your website.
What Is Information Architecture?
Information architecture pertains to organizing and labeling website content in a way that makes it easy to use, locate, and navigate. Some gurus refer to it as “the art of organizing a website”. Think of it as the nexus between content, context, and your user base.
Why Develop Good Information Architecture?
Developing effective information architecture means your website will let visitors know where they are as well as simplify the process of finding what they are looking for. Good examples of this are “Related Products” links, which let visitors know that they have options. Additionally, strategic calls to action (CTA) will assuage users to take a specific action.
Information Architecture Guides Your Buyers
The “buyer’s journey” is a marketing term that pertains to converting visitors into leads, and eventually transforming those leads into clients. The “journey” portion emphasizes the interim between being a lead and being a client. For this reason, whoever is in charge of your information architecture should collaborate with your marketing department to figure out the most effective implementation route.
While the specifics of each buyer’s journey will differ from business to business, there are a few factors that will always remain constant. First, be sure to provide useful information about the product or service you are offering. Second, post engaging and educational content about your industry. Additionally, you can offer a free product or trial period, both of which will push prospects a step closer to sealing the deal. Finally, make sure the final portion of the journey focuses on closing the sale.
Information Architecture Promotes Effective Navigation
Nowadays people expect information to be apparent and readily available. Combine this with shortened attention spans and it becomes obvious why people won’t stick around on websites with poor navigation layouts. Fortunately, information architecture supplies a framework that adheres to the most effective design applications. Basic examples of competent navigation include a “Home Page” link and an “About Us” page.
Information Architecture Will Help You Weed Out Unnecessary Content
Having too much content is almost never a good thing. For one, it makes websites appear bloated and cluttered, which reflects poorly on prospective buyers. Once again, information architecture comes to the rescue by helping you identify what content is essential and what can get the axe. Keep the content that is most likely to convert visitors into buyers, which could include information about you or your brand, details about the product or service you are selling, and your contact information. It could also include a landing page, testimonials section, blog, ebooks, and more.