About this course
No one pays attention to the architecture of a website unless it is done poorly. If a website is easy to navigate and users can quickly find the information they’re looking for, they will not even notice how smooth their experience is. However, people have little patience for bad Information Architecture. A poorly organized website can prevent people from ever returning to your site or doing business with you.
Information Architecture by the Nielsen Norman Group teaches the essentials of Information Architecture. This all-day interactive lecture gives professionals the opportunity to learn about IA in one sitting, apply their learning, and ask Information Architecture experts questions. Students will also analyze and evaluate the architecture of a website, using the findings from usability studies and user testing to provide solid data to back up organizational decisions.
This lecture covers a variety of topics. The first is the foundational concept of the importance of Information Architecture. Students learn how IA can save a company time and money at all stages of web development. They will also learn how to justify the return on investment of a well-organized site so that web developers can ensure the proper resources are devoted to information architecture.
The one-day course then continues further into the components of information architecture. The instructors discuss different structure types, such as linear, hierarchy, and web, and how to choose which one is best for your site. The course also covers organization schemes, and how to balance being specific with being concise in your label names. Students learn how to design content so that search can be functional, and how to utilize taxonomy and metadata effectively.
With a firm understanding of the building blocks of information architecture, the next step is learning to document it with content inventories and sitemaps. This helps with the creation of websites, as well as additions in the future. A well-documented architecture makes it much easier for that new content to fit in seamlessly with the rest of the site.
Building a site architecture is only one skill, learning to evaluate the architecture of a new or existing site is another. This course shows students how to measure performance and then identify issues and potential solutions. Once those solutions have been identified, they also learn how to test them to see what will be most effective.
The course also explains how to design models and scenarios. Students learn about the card sorting method and task flow sketching, enabling them to take everything learned and put it into practical application. By the end of the day, students will be well-versed in creating an effective architecture, and confident on how to design websites that are easy to navigate.