In my last post we discussed the definition of Information Architecture (IA) and seven essential elements of IA but if you are like many of the clients I work with you are thinking “why should I care about IA?” It all comes down to delivering what your users want.
Users visit a site for relevant content. Information Architecture combines the categorization of content and an interface to maintain those categories. Therefore, the interface needs to ensure that the content is usable and findable. A well-thought-out interface design enhances the user experience (UX).
A well-designed IA leads to:
Engagement: The interface is user-focused, aesthetically pleasing, and provides ease of navigation.
Relevant Content: The content is targeted by employee job function, location, business unit, and personal interests.
Collaboration: The solution supports user communication, knowledge sharing, and centralized content management.
Enablement: The users are able to leverage a workbox of reusable templates and apps to manage their own content.
Security: The ability to enforce governance and security guidelines for users/groups to follow.
From a SharePoint perspective, ensure your IA meets the requirements listed here. From a general solution perspective, make sure you can answer yes to the following questions:
- Is the solution manageable?
- Does the solution ensure the business goals and requirements are met?
- Does the solution increase business effectiveness?
A properly designed IA will ensure consistent growth – making your solution scalable and flexible enough to respond to organizational changes without spiraling out of control.
Learn more about improving user adoption through IA by contacting Intellinet and stay tuned for my next post where we’ll discuss implementing Information Architecture within SharePoint.