We were at the beginning of a full scale website redesign for WYPR 88.1 FM. Part of the launch included a new logo. KTD Creative helped to redesign the logo, as well as work with a local web development firm here in Baltimore to give our site a new design that exceeded our expectations. The web design is just what we wanted. We could not be happier with the results. KTD is a professional team that was able to deliver the final product ahead of schedule.
KTD Creative (KTD) can provide Information Architecture.
Information architecture is the science and art of gathering, organizing, and presenting information. For large complex sites with vast amounts of content, it is crucial that prior to any design or development, the organization of the content is determined. Before any content can be organized you need to establish the business goals of your website.
Information architects can identify goals which ultimately help focus the design process and ensure that all work is consistent with these goals. Once goals become clear, we specifically tailor the content to achieve these goals. Pretty logical, right?
Websites structured around a logical and useful hierarchy can make it easier to decide on a navigation system and to design page layouts. Consider the hierarchy that will be most appropriate for the information and services to be provided on the site and that meets the needs of users.
You can employ the following with organizing content: broad hierarchies and narrow hierarchies. The differences are below:
Broad hierarchies. In these there are a large number of main menu choices but fewer lower levels of the hierarchy. The disadvantage is that, if there are many main menu choices, the page may be cluttered and choices too specific. The advantage is that the information required by users may be only a few 'clicks' away.
Narrow hierarchies. In these there are few main menu choices and many lower levels of the hierarchy. The disadvantage is that the choices may be not be specific enough, so users may need to click through a number of levels to find the information they require. The advantage is that front pages may be simpler and users less confused about the most appropriate menu choice.
Describing the IA and the rationale behind it in a written document can provide a useful tool for the ongoing management of the website. It can help ensure that the website does not lose its structure over time and become less effective, or alternatively it can be a basis for decisions to change the structure.
Determine what services, functionality or information will be provided via the website. The list of business goals and user requirements for the website may be lengthy. Consider what services, functionality or information can be provided on the site to meet identified needs and goals. In the first instance it may be useful to determine the business goals or user needs that cannot be provided by the site or that may be addressed at a later date.
Describe how users will interact with the website to meet their needs. For each of the user needs identified, consider an example of how a user may meet these needs on the site and what activities they may undertake on the site. Where the need is to find information, the example may include a list of information the user requires. Where the need is to conduct an activity on the site (for example, paying a bill or completing a form), the example may include the steps in the process that the user would undertake.
For a large site, describing user interaction with the website may take some time, and the list may be long. However, clearly identifying the information tasks of users before developing the IA may help to ensure that all functional requirements are included.
Contact us today to learn more.