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IA_Introduction - Interactive / Web Design 1Interactive / Web Design 1

IA_Introduction

In order for you to have a successful interaction design, you need to be able to design a workable system to organize the content, taking the user’s and clients. This system will give the user a set of possible paths that should always be satisfying and logical.

First of all, let’s define the term Information Architecture or IA:

An IA is the structure of a system. It is the model produced when a website’s content and functionality are organized so users can easily access everything in the final site. Its main purpose is to optimize the user experience, meaning anyone visiting your site will be able to intuitively navigate to the information for which she is looking.

Your website, however small and simple, is actually a system for delivering information and facilitating task completion to an inquisitive public. The more carefully you structure your site’s navigation, the better and more quickly it will deliver content. There’s nothing more frustrating to a web user that a confusing or misleading navigation.

If you take the time to create an IA for your site, you will know what content you need, how the user will be guided, and how the site will be structured. This is hugely helpful information to have before you start designing.

A Word About User Experience

The web development process should be user-centered from start to finish, no matter which step you are on. In the early days of the internet, design tended to be about the designer, and what he could imagine was cool or new. Now we know that unless the user finds the experience useful, compelling, and satisfying, she will simply leave the site probably never to return. This means that even if the interface is beautiful, a site is a failure if its information architecture is garbled, or its coding is subpar.

Also, if you are working for a client, never forget to keep his objectives in mind.

“As user experience designers we have to find the sweet spot between the user’s needs and the business goals, and furthermore ensure that the design is on brand.”
Whitney Hess

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