Information architecture

Language, concepts, hierarchy, relationships and mental models.

Drupal information architecture overview

Aim

Produce site structure, relationships and hierarchy to support user flows and information discovery.

Approach

Morpht's human-centred approach and the use of Discovery Workshops will uncover user personas, priority tasks and needs. Key artefacts we produce: a content model, a sitemap and user flows. With a deep understanding of Drupal's underlying capabilities, we plan an optimal implementation for your content model. We also consider content classification, categorisation and hierarchy to help support user mental models.

Outcome

A simple and flexible system that is able to meet the current and future needs of your users. A well defined Information Architecture that supports user interactions, whether that is to find information easily or to complete a transaction.

Drupal information architecture

Information architecture refers to:

1. The structural design of shared information environments.
2. The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability.
3. An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape

https://www.iainstitute.org/file/whatisiapdf

In the context of a web development project information architecture involves the intersection of a number of areas of concern.

Firstly, the "structural design" of information can refer to the content model: the types of information objects and their properties and how they relate to each other. In the Drupal world this relates to the content types, fields and taxonomies being used to structure the site. When designing a content model, we consider cross-cutting concerns and the relationships between things.

Secondly the "art and science of organising and labelling web sites" relates to the site map and how information is organised into hierarchies and to support user mental models. In the Drupal world, this relates to how items are arranged in the main menu which drives the hierarchy and the labelling of the different site sections and pages.

Both of these aspects combine to form a system where the user can navigate using concepts and mental models familiar to them. We support users with structures (types, filters, relationships) to help them get to the next place of interest.

The information architecture process

Information architecture is part of our User Experience Design process. It evolves from the Discovery phase where we delve into user research. We form hypotheses and test them with user testing methodologies, where users complete certain tasks to validate the success (or failure) of the proposed architecture and information flow. The findings of this research are an integral part of an iterative process to improve the sitemap and design.

The team at Morpht

Morpht has seasoned UX designers and solution architects who are able to undertake the design of the information architecture. We are able to combine the findings from user research with our knowledge of the Drupal CMS to design systems which will work for the users. This leads to a more sympathetic outcome and delivery of functionality.

 

Insights

Pages and folders
Article

An examination of the humble "list" and how content can be modelled in Drupal to be flexible, simple and editor friendly.
Woman visualising concepts.
Article

Creating a visual representation of a content model can help clients better understand the internal design of their Drupal website and how the pieces fit together.
Wireframe mapping of a portion of a web page on paper
Article

At Morpht we care about the user experience and adopt a proven UX design process. it all starts from a discovery process in which we chat with clients about their vision and expectations.
Information architecture for site builders
Article

Information architecture for site builders video presentation presented at DrupalCon Sydney 2013. Find out about the horizontal aspects of Drupal, modelling multi typed objects, relationships and tips for building faceted classification.

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We would love to hear about your project and what you have in mind.
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