Information Architecture Design: A Product Discovery Step

Upsilon
2 min readMay 2, 2024

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What is information architecture all about? When should you take care of it, and who is responsible for its creation? Keep reading to learn all the IA basics.

Information Architecture (IA) is like a map for digital products. It guides users smoothly through websites and apps. You need it for organizing content, features, and navigation to make the user experience meaningful and easy to understand. Creating IA always involves understanding user needs, arranging content logically, and getting feedback along the way.

Information Architecture Has Four Main Parts

These four things focus on making user journeys logical and stress-free:

🟡 Structure and organization: arrange content in a logical order, consider what users need, use categories and diagrams to help understand how users think

🟡 Labeling: use clear language to name things, add extra info where needed, and keep the words consistent.

🟡 Navigation: make it easy for users to move around the product with menus, links, and buttons.

🟡 Search: help users find what they need quickly with search bars or filters.

There are tools like Lucidchart and Adobe XD to help with IA design, so you won’t always need to start from scratch. Such software lets teams build information architecture schematically based on templates and collaborate right in the project environment.

However, you’ll need to start with a rough idea that surely follows the main principles of IA.

8 Principles of Good Information Architecture

Dan Brown, a prominent UX designer, outlined eight fundamental principles of information architecture in 2006:

Principle of Objects: understand the unique traits and behaviors of content before organizing it.
Principle of Choices: keep options simple to avoid overwhelming users.
Principle of Disclosure: provide information gradually to prevent overload.
Principle of Exemplars: use visual aids like icons to aid navigation.
Principle of Front Doors: ensure users can access what they need from any page.
Principle of Multiple Classification: offer various methods for users to find information.
Principle of Navigation: provide clear and consistent navigation tools.
Principle of Growth: design with future content expansion in mind.

Where to Start with Information Architecture? 🗺️

These principles guide the creation of user-friendly digital spaces with an emphasis on simplicity, clarity, and adaptability. Apply them and you’ll build an effective information architecture for digital products.

Keep reading to learn how to design information architecture to help you build a successful product that keeps users happy and engaged:

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Upsilon

Digital product studio. We help early-stage startups (<$100K) and scaleups ($1M+) grow faster by creating products that drive results.