Information architecture shouldn’t be a big scary thing: it’s simply about creating the same elegance you see in the Golden Gate Bridge or the Eiffel Tower, only instead of being built with steel, it is built with information.
What is Information Architecture?
Information architecture is the process of creating a structure and tools for information such that it can be stored, retrieved, and managed efficiently and effectively. In other words, information architecture is about making information work for you.
Information architecture is different than physical architecture as there aren’t physical materials to arrange. However, the struggle towards effective and simple elegance, which is at the heart of all architecture, has its place in information architecture as well.
When speaking of architecture, we should mention the architect, the person who is responsible. In Greek, the word architect means the chief builder. However, a building architect doesn’t actually build the building. Carpenters and skilled tradesmen do that. An architect, then, is the person who creates the plans, strategies, and direction for the building.
Going back to our case of information, the primary tool the architect uses is “creating meaningful breakdowns”. That is, the architect creates the ability to find information by categorizing it. The following five steps are a straightforward approach to generating your information architecture.