Form follows function.
I use a simple approach in which content structures are mapped to user and project goals & objectives.
My principles when developing a new IA:
- Content is extensible, and needs to be task and goal oriented.
- All content has a branch within the tree.
- Meet the needs of today, and be able to grow tomorrow.
Common Ground Alliance - Complete information architecture, content, and page designs.
Common Ground Alliance required several workshops to refine the core association message and provide a meaningful membership offering.
Call 811 - Complete information architecture, content ideation and strategy, voice, tone, and page designs.
Related to the CGA project, this site is intended to promote and encourage dig safety.
U.S. Dept of Transportation Office of Civil Rights - Core information architecture and page designs.
DOCR wanted to provide clear access to EEOC and Civil rights services and support. All existing content was inventoried, and a Drupal solution implemented.
AFPM.org - Complete redesign & rebranding.
AFPM set out to rebrand themselves and speak to a wider audience. By using audience & goals-based scenarios, the core site structure was optimized to support existing members and the greater public.
Google Search - How do you architect a search experience?
With the Wirefly site, I took the approach that an e-commerce search should always use common information elements. Pictures of phones, who the carrier was, and a distinct call to action (buy a phone from us) were my underlying drivers.
Taking a look at the competetive landscape, I identified what the internal expectation was. eBay, Amazon, Dell, and Newegg were identified as top e-commerce sites who had a great search. We should now emulate that. Okay, perfect.
To get started, I did two things;
First, I identified what types of information we had in our product database. How granular or coarse was the information? Could I chunk things into manageable and recognizable pieces? (the answer was yes to both).
Next, I looked at consumer research to determine what information consumers used when making a cell phone purchase, which resulted in the following information structure.
Information is clearly chunked, labels are concise and in plain language, and the most relevant information is displayed in just the right places. Launched in the spring of 2007 with great success.
The result was one of the most rewarding projects in my portfolio to-date (and still active at: http://www.wirefly.com)
Wirefly search IA
(current version at http://www.wirefly.com)