What is Information Architecture and how is it relevant to Business Analysts?

Business Analysts are most successful when they understand and practice many different disciplines that impact the software and application development process.  Having a working knowledge of disciplines such as UI design, user experience, interaction design, and information architecture, to name a few, results in more successful applications and better experiences.

Information Architecture is one of those lesser known disciplines which crosses multiple roles. 

The Information Architecture Institute summarizes information architecture as:

"...the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable...Information architectures (IAs) are in the websites we use, the apps and software we download, the printed materials we encounter, and even the physical places we spend time in. A good IA helps people to understand their surroundings and find what they’re looking for – in the real world as well as online..."

A more prescriptive definition might be:

Information architecture is the thoughtful discipline of structuring an application, a website, a presentation, or a physical space in a way that allows the viewer to easily understand and explore (1) the scope and boundaries of the information being presented, (2) where the viewer exists within the space of that information, and (3) the paths available to traverse from one set of information to another.

Information Architecture draws from traditional areas of library science, cognitive psychology, and architecture. Key outputs of information architecture might be:

Information Architecture spans and touches several different roles including Content Strategy (when organizing content into categories), and UI Design (when sketching and laying out horizontal and vertical menus and submenus).

It is the role of the Information Architect to ask questions such as: 

Chris Adams
LinkedIn Profile

posted @ Friday, September 7, 2018 3:03 PM by Chris Adams