Step 2) Create the information architecture – PART 1

It is the human tendency to slot things we like & dislike. We often say someone telling “he is not in my good books anymore!” Sometimes this categorization happens unconsciously; sometimes it happens because we want them to be.

How many people organize their desk, their room and their house? Aren’t there any incentives for cleanliness :)?

Some people marvel at the ‘grey area’, while some always look at the extreme whites and blacks.

Great digital designs always have great information architectures. Information architecture (IA) is the soul of the design. On the surface one cannot actually ‘see’ the IA, one can only experience it by the tangible things the product presents – through the clicks, by moving from one section of the application to other.

Before we get into the specifics on what is IA and all, lets look at the some of the examples:

  1. A photo blog curated by Curated by Austin Radcliffe – brilliant compilations on http://thingsorganizedneatly.tumblr.com – This blog gives great visual pleasure in seeing things neatly organized various visual forms – to achieve a symmetry & categorization effect. Importantly, it presents the granular view / exploded view of things that make up an ecosystem.
  2. Check out India’s answer to Amazon.com: www.flipkart.com – Look at the way products are displayed, the product search option and the filters to narrow down the product catalogue.
  3. How can one forget the gigantic Wikipedia content :)? Check out this URL too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pune
  4. Locate your home using Google Maps, https://maps.google.com/ – dive from country level to the state level to the granularity of the streets next to your home.
  5. Go through the flight ticket-booking journey on Southwest (www.southwest.com). Look at the way information is presented to you, the flexible controls that make ticket booking a cakewalk.

When you are done with these websites, take a piece of paper and write down things that make these websites appear great.

There are many other examples, which we can refer to. But let’s focus now on these examples.

Through these examples we will understand the “behind the camera” / the making of these websites. This will lead us to understanding the IA – the structure or the blueprint of these websites.

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