Your site’s information architecture can make the difference between a satisfying experience and a frustrated click on the back button.
Information architecture (IA) defines the structure of your site, from the global navigation elements to the placement of related content on a page.
Dovecot Studio crafts user-centric IA that supports your business needs and content. We are able to bring together technical knowledge, laser-sharp attention to detail, and information management best practices to create elegant structure. We’ll even stick around and help you through the implementation process.
Whether you have the luxury of starting a new project from scratch or are dealing with a legacy of tangled systems, subsites, and neglected content, we will help design the framework for a usable, manageable site.
HOW DO WE DO IT?
There isn’t a set list of deliverables or activities for an IA project – we need to understand your context first so we can select the processes and deliverables that make sense and deliver the most value to you. But here are a few of the usual suspects.
- Content Review / Research & Analytics
We review your existing website and content samples. Stakeholder interviews and a strategy/goals workshop help us identify perceived user needs (internal & external) around information architecture, assess your information management processes and requirements, and note all your future goals for information delivery.
A common pitfall of designing a website is leaving out the users. Personas capture the essential information about your users needs, goals, and motivations as well as relevant demographic information. Throughout the IA process, we refer to the personas to validate our design decisions.
- Content Mapping
Content maps Identify and make connections between content areas on the site, allowing us to identify gaps in your IA and opportunities for supporting new business goal or user audiences.
- Site Mapping
We provide a detailed spreadsheet of the structure of your new site. Need the big picture at a glance? We’ll also provide a visual version. Need advice on mapping existing content to the new structure? We can do that too.
- Navigation Design
Navigation not only gets your users where they need to go, it provides overall context for your website, increases credibility and brand awareness, and can even educate users about your domain. We create navigation experiences that are simple and user-friendly, from simple drop-downs to mega-menus.
- Annotated wireframes
Once we have the green light on the wireframes and sitemap, we provide in-depth annotation to communicate the details of every element for graphic designers, developers, and any one else involved.
SOMETIMES YOU NEED…
We know that your situation is unique. In many cases our clients benefit from having us take things a step further. We’re available to lead you through high-level strategy workshops or, on the other end of the process, aid in development, migration, and implementation.
- Business Goals Workshop
- Target Audience Research & Documentation
- Content Audit
- Website Strategy Documentation
- Clickable wireframes suitable for user testing
- Migration Planning
- Implementation Support
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