Language, concepts, hierarchy, relationships and mental models.
Drupal information architecture overview
Produce a site structure, relationships and hierarchy to support user flows and information discovery.
A user centered approach and discovery will uncover user needs which will lead to a content model and information architecture to support the needs of the user. Content and data can be designed with an understanding of the underlying capabilities of the system which leads to optimal design and implementation.
A system which is simple and flexible so that it is able to meet the current and future needs of the user. Information architecture needs to take into account classification, categorisation and hieracrhy to help support user mental models.
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
In the context of a web development project information architecture involves in the intersection of a number of areas of concern.
Firstly, the "structural design" of information can refer to the content model: the relationships between information and the properties which comprise the object in the system. In the Drupal world this relates to the content types, taxonomies and fields which are being used to structure the site. When designing a content model it is important to consider cross cuttng concerns and the relationships between things.
Secondly the "art and science of orgnizing and labelling web sites" relates to the site map and how informstion is organised into hieracrhies and mental models. In teh Drupal world this relates to how items are arranged in the main menu which drives the hieracrhy and the labelling of the different site sections and pages.
Both of these aspects combine to form a system where the user is able to navigate using concepts and mental models which are familiar to them. Along teh way they can be supported with structures (types, filters, relationships) which help them to get ot the next place of interest.
The information architecture process
The process of getting to an information architecture evoles from the discovery phase which involves user research. Hypotheses are formed which can then be tested with user testing. Users will be asked to complete certain tasks to validate the success (or failure) of the proposed architecture. The findings of this reasearch can then be fed back into an iterative process to improve the design.
The team at Morpht
Morpht has seasoned UX designers and solution architects who are able to undertake the design and texting 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 and will fit naturally with the capabilities of Drupal. This leads to a more sympathetic outcome and delivery of functionality.