What is Information Architecture?Information architecture: "The art and science of organizing information to help people effectively fulfill their information needs. Information architecture involves investigation, analysis, design and implementation. Top-down and bottom-up are the two main approaches to developing information architectures; these approaches inform each other and are often developed simultaneously."
-- Kat Hagedorn, 2000. The Information Architecture Glossary. Argus Associates, Inc., p. 5.
The world is in the midst of a "sea change" in technology -- one in which almost all of the old rules and paradigms no longer apply. New technologies are embraced by different groups in differing ways, and what "worked" ten -- or even five -- years ago is virtually unproductive and actually may be unusable. The overarching question remains the same, though: How well does your "information package" (web site, book, cd or dvd) get where you want it to go -- into the hands and minds of your audience -- your users and members -- your readers?
Do people keep coming back to your site for more information, and do they explore the entire site? Is your site -- your database -- your book -- accessible through a mobile app? Is it "downloadable" for the Kindle, Nook, SonyReader, or the iPad? Do your users sign up for RSS feeds, download mobile apps, or follow you on social networking sites such as FaceBook and Twitter? Do they return after clicking an off-site link? Is their journey through your information conducted in a linear or lateral structure -- and how likely are they to be satisfied with their visit? In short, how usable and satisfying is your information package for your target audience?
Information Architecture is all about the User Experience. Happy users keep coming back -- it's the old customer service principle applied to cyberspace. The trick nowadays is that a single method of information delivery won't work for all demographic or market groups, so to keep your users / readers / audience happy, your information package must be delivered to each group in your target audience in the manner they're most likely to accept. That, of course, differs for each of five broad usertype groups: Seniors, Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials (Gen-Y) and the latest separate group to emerge, the Shallows. Each of these groups is diverse, and has different needs and wants in information expectations, interactions and processes.
How We Can HelpAt Syndetic Systems, our goal is to help you maximize your package's effectiveness in reaching your audience. We'll help you investigate and analyse your users / audience, design a package that reaches them, and make the changes which will keep them "Happy Users" -- and happy customers.
For Further Information
Request a Free ConsultationLet's get together and talk about your project. We don't have a "$995.00 Special" or the "one-size fits all" mentality that usually accompanies it -- we design specifically for your current and future needs. You may want a "flat site" using basic html, or a highly-interactive site using a Content Management System. Whichever type you choose, we'll help you examine your various information packages -- whether large or small -- to see where improvements in the information flow will increase usage. We'll discuss how Syndetic Systems will help you complete your mission to both satisfy your current users, and increase usage of your information package.
Just drop us an email -- or give us a call at (904) 347-7406 -- and we'll get started!