Designing a digital interface for a diverse group of users requires a close understanding of their challenges, goals, mental models, and expectations. We conduct deep-dive sessions with users, business stakeholders, and employ other user-centered research methodologies to gain insight on these important factors. Achieving a detailed understanding of your user base assists us in helping you create the structural foundation of your information and design that will support greater usability, findability, and business goals.
A project that includes Information Architecture services can typically include any of the following activities or deliverables.
User Analysis (sometimes called Audience Analysis)
Understanding the demographic makeup of your various users, paired with the expectations, goals, and challenges they bring to your site or app, is crucial in designing a successful interface. When conducting a user analysis, these are just some of the questions we seek to answer:
• What are the most important tasks your users are trying to complete, what conversions is your business trying to achieve, and where do these intersect?
• Users will browse or search for information in their own unique way. Based on the type of information your system is presenting, what navigation system can we utilize to best accommodate for multiple paths of discovery?
• How do users comprehend the content and terminology around the product or service you offer?
• What features, controls, and navigation systems do your users expect throughout their experience and where do they expect to see them?
Many of these questions are jointly addressed through a full Creative Strategy.
A redesign often takes place when business objectives shift or an existing site simply becomes outdated. In either case, we can conduct a full content inventory of your pre-existing digital asset(s) to obtain an overview of what needs to be accounted for when creating your new backend or frontend experience. This activity enables us to de-clutter the user experience, retain important artifacts, and identify opportunities to support Search Engine Optimization.
We become immersed in the wording used for navigation categories, page names, and general content within your site or app to reduce ambiguity between areas and increase the findability of information. We will make recommendations on employing a deep or flat hierarchy, and suggest different categorization schemas in order to help users best understand where to go to find the information they seek. Validation of taxonomies can come through pre or post-launch user testing, A/B testing, or web analytics.
A common deliverable from an information architecture consultation is a site map, which is an illustration of how your content will be organized within the interface, and how users can navigate vertically or horizontally throughout areas of interest. With a site map in hand, we can effectively plan for the migration or creation of new content, and address any technical considerations that may be necessary as you launch your new digital interface.
Prior to committing to the creation of fully polished design concepts, a series of wireframes may be needed for us to collaboratively consider different design approaches to solving one or more challenges. Through wireframing we can focus on making important decisions about the visual layout, hierarchy, and interaction elements of your interface in order to best serve user goals and business needs, and efficiently achieve stakeholder consensus.
Creating a site or application that enables users to complete complex tasks while also enjoying an elegant experience is not always best achieved by diving right into production with a long list of design and development specifications. In many cases, high or low fidelity prototyping can be an extremely effective approach to capturing how a system should behave and look. A prototype can then be validated prior to development through testing with a wider team of users, stakeholders, and developers. Ultimately, prototyping enables us to experiment with different ideas, reduce risk, and decrease any gap between what’s on paper and the final on-screen product.