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Principles of Information Architecture- Part I

Continuation of Information Architecture

The Principle of Objects

Treat your content as a living thing that has a life-cycle, behaviors and attributes.  You have to keep in mind that content grows old over the period of time and has to be replaced. It has different parts to it. For example, think of a cooking site. It has hundreds of recipes. Each recipe has different parts to it, ingredients, preparation method, cooking time, etc. Now you can also have different versions of the same recipe. You always have to create you IA keeping in mind that it will grow over time and you must be able to accommodate the changes.

The Principle of Choices

Users must be given choices while they browse through the site but it also has to be kept in mind that too many options/choices means too much pressure on the cognitive mind. People may think they want a lot of options but in reality they do not. The choices must be clearly available to the users. When browsing through a fashion website, a particular category might have a long list of items in it. In such cases, try to arrange your content in short lists by dividing them into meaningful categories.

The Principle of Disclosure

Users do not have a lot of patience and all users may not be interested in what they are seeing. Display only what is necessary for the user to get an idea of what lays ahead. If necessary the user may click on it for further details.

The Principle of Front Doors

You have to assume that a large percentage of your users will come to your site from some other page rather than your home page. And when he does, he must be able to navigate through the site just as easily as he would have been able to from the home page.

 

Continue to Principles of Information Architecture- Part II

 

References:

Eight Principles of Information Architecture by Dan Brown