I always get asked this question after someone asks me about my job. It’s not easy question to answer because most of my friends don’t have a strong relationship with Web Development.
Information Architecture is the practice of classifying and organizing information from a source and delivering it to a team charged with converting this information into services and content for end users.
This practice includes methods oriented to design information systems in a way that everyone involved in the project can understand. This includes everything from where the information comes and where it should go to how it must be shown. Information Architecture covers several common tasks in project development including:
- Site structure design
- Interaction design
- Document labeling and archiving
- Research and implementation of new methods to improve the user interaction with the site
Most importantly, IA must guarantee that all the usability solutions satisfy the requirements given by the client, offer a practical and useful experience to the user and improve the project development. Just like designing the architecture of a building, if there are no blueprints or guides about what to build, it will be really difficult to ensure that the end product is what the client initially had in mind. Good IA ensures that the final deliverable effectively translates the client’s vision into a finished product.