Term Paper: Website Migration Project
Lawrence A. Mayo, JR.
Dr. Johnnie E. Drake, JR.
Term Paper: Website Migration Project
What Is Information Architecture (IA)?
Information Architecture (IA) is the structure, organization, or basically the design of your website. It is used to determine how different pages on your website will respond interact with each other and makes sure that information is organized so that the information can flow in a consistent and predictable process for each webpage. Some steps involved in Information Architecture (IA) are:
* Developing navigational structure,
* Providing clues to help use the site efficiently,
* Organizing the pages, and
* Assessing existing and needed content.
While working through the process of developing your IA, you will need to draw up a site map for the content you will use and a wireframe sketch will be created for use by your designers and developers as a guide for the site construction. You can consider the wireframe a blueprint for building the website in similar fashion to a blueprint for building construction. Why Do I Need Information Architecture?
A website needs to be well-organized so that users can easily find important information quickly that are key to what they are looking for. It will also give the user a great experience when navigating the site with a coherent, intuitive and satisfying web design. When a website has intuitively organized information architecture, it helps to make sure that the website runs as smoothly as possible with slowdown, non-functioning links/features, and little downtime as possible. Using IA can also cut down on time consuming and costly tasks that may need to be done to configure your visual design; additionally it will identify important features that are required, as well as the number and location of your navigational links and where content should be placed early on during the process. Sites can face problems when growing quickly when using content management that allows for editors to add their own pages, causing confusion. To avoid this issue you must plan your organizational structure thoroughly to perform well under stress. Identifying the best or intuitive location to store this additional information will become simplified. Who Should Work On The Information Architecture?
Besides the person or the group that have been assigned to the development of the IA process, the key stakeholders, site users, and content owners should also be involved. Stakeholders are a person, group, or organization that interest or concern in the project and can affect, or are affected by the actions, objectives and policies of the project design. Site users are those who you choose to give access of using the website to, you can view information about the users who have accessed the website. Content owners are those who own content that may be displayed on or linked to your website. The content owners have the copyright to certain material that is uploaded onto websites. How Do I Create Great Information Architecture?
Step 1, Defining Key Stakeholders’ Goals:
First you must clarify the key stakeholders’ goals, which will drive the project. Key stakeholders are the people who determine the tone and choose decide the overall objectives that the website will need to deliver. They are also responsible for giving the approval needed to make changes during the various stages of development of the website. To define the goals set by the stakeholders’, you must identify the target audiences, determine the purpose of the site, and establish the functional requirements. To do this the following question should be answered: Who are the principal audiences with whom your key stakeholders want to communicate? Be specific. Examples: students, consumers, news media, external venders, age category, male or female, local or foreign, specific culture...