5 Simple Principles to Improve Your Information Architecture
Instructor: Dan Brown User Interface Engineering
For those who enjoy less theory and more action, 5 Simple Principles to Improve Your Information Architecture delivers. This 90-minute talk will help you organize any site or project in a logical, user-focused manner. Learn strategies that help you approach all types of content with the mindset of an architect.
About the Instructor
Dan Brown is an expert on information architecture and design. He is also the author of multiple books on the topic. His books include Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design, Practical Design Discovery, and Planning and Designing Together: the collaboration and conflict management handbook for creative professionals.
About this course
Information architecture is still a young field, and much of the work that professionals do depends on their personal experience and intuition. However, there are fundamental rules about website design that form some of the basic principles of information architecture.
5 Simple Principles will help students understand the basic principles of information architecture, which serve as best practices that they can depend on when they're working on designing any site. These principles are all flexible, but keeping them in mind will helpful for creating a simple and usable site.
By the end of this quick, 90-minute video course, students will understand the five basic principles of information architecture, which include thorough understanding of:
The principle of choices. Human beings cannot weigh a multitude of choices. We are easily overwhelmed when given too many options, so architects want to keep things simple for your users. Design menu systems with a limited number of options.
The principle of exemplars. Whenever possible, use examples to explain the contents of a category. For example, if one of the sections is “animals,” the designer might want to accompany the label with a picture of a dog. This makes it easy for people to predict what they'll find behind any given link.
The principle of front doors. Many users won't come in through the home page. They might use a search engine to land on an interior page and never see the home page at all. Take care to design all of the pages so that a user could find all of the other content on your site.
The principle of focused navigation. It's better to have multiple navigation menus that each have a focused purpose, instead of a single menu with a huge range of options. Keep each navigation menu simple and easy to use.
The principle of growth. A site won't stay the same forever. New content, and maybe even entire new subjects, will be added. Design the website so that additions can be made simply. Keep in mind the wide range of ways the site might shift in years to come, and design for growth.
In this talk, students receive many examples to learn from so that they can see how other sites have integrated these five basic principles into their information architecture. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the real challenges that websites face, while also learning how to use gallery or index pages that are clear, not cluttered. When a website is designed with clear information architecture, visitors will be able to easily visualize the site's underlying structure, and this will help them to navigate the site.
For those that are redesigning a website, Dan Brown provides a wealth of information that can be used to create a usable site.
What I Will Learn
- Information Architecture
- Navigation Design
- Website Design
- Naming Conventions
- IA Rules
- Content Strategy
Why We Recommend This IA Course
If you’re looking for a clear and easy way to improve your website’s organization, Dan Brown will spell it out for you. His talk, 5 Simple Principles to Improve Your Information Architecture, available on All You Can Learn, helps designers refocus their content in a way that improves usability.