Information Architecture Overhaul
How should we organize and label all of our content?
Timeframe: 8-10 weeks
As an organization grows, its systems, assets, and resources can get unwieldy and overwhelming for both internal and external users. Many organizations don’t have the staff time/resources to address this, while others attempt to solve this internally, but run into politics between departments.
It takes an outside eye with skills in information architecture (IA) to wrangle all of the content and develop a plan that’s not just opinion – but rather based on a deep understanding of how information is used.
The types of IA that we address in an Information Architecture Overhaul can include: tagging, filters, navigation, content hierarchy, language, terminology, and more.
Examples of information architecture issues that we can help with:
- A museum has an online collection that is rarely used by anyone but researchers and they’re looking to expand the audience to the regular visitors and to use it as a tool to encourage new visitors.
- A team has a bunch of resources, but only Bob, who has been there forever, knows where they are.His organizational systems are based only on his own needs and the knowledge of how to navigate them will vanish when he retires.
- A Fortune 100 financial corporation has a digital or document asset management system that is hardly used and hard to find assets in.
- A furniture company recognizes that its website navigation has become cluttered and confusing. Employees have been throwing things into it for years, items are hard to find, and terminology is being used that doesn’t match their customers’ language.
- A company has a set of resources on their website or intranet, but no one is able to find anything within them. It’s possible that people are re-creating documents that already exist and work is being duplicated.
Benefits and Results of Information Architecture Overhaul
Results of an overhaul:
- Time saved internally – in accessing and/or uploading assets.
- Longer time-on-site statistics.
- Happier users who are likely to come back and explore further.
- Labeling that appeals to, and is understandable by, your target customer/user.
- A more efficient asset-finding process that ensures the right files get into the right hands.
- Clear direction on how to implement a new menu or tagging system and guidelines for adding content moving forward.
- Time saved internally by not duplicating content, arguing about who “owns” content, or creating content no one will use.
This process can help your organization:
- Prioritize content creation internally, talk about these topics in the way your users do, and publish content that’s actually useful to your readers.
- Make it consistent and easy for your employees to access and manage information, documents and content internally.
STEP 1: User research
We conduct research with your actual users (internal or external to your company) to determine what the requirements for the naming/labeling and organization of content should be. This includes interviews or testing of the current content organization to gain insights into user needs.
STEP 2: Information technology meeting
We work with your IT team and internal platforms to ensure our recommendations will work within your existing platform and are easy to use moving forward.
STEP 3: Recommended labels and structure
Based on research and any organizational, technical, or financial constraints, we develop
recommended labels and structure.
STEP 4: Validation testing
We validate our recommendations through further testing with your real users.
STEP 5: requirements & IMplementation plan
After establishing the issues and recommendations, we create an outline of requirements and
actionable implementation plan.
STEP 6: implementation assistance
Depending on the client needs, we can assist with implementation as well.