When people want to find out about something, they go online. They Google it. If they cannot find the answer or relevant information easily, they go elsewhere. So it matters how you display information online.
Well-designed user experiences are the foundation of brand equity, the vehicle to deliver conversions and engage target customers. Whereas confusing user journeys and frustrating web experiences are dynamite, and not in a good way.
Our UX team uses insight gained from the Research & Planning phases, together with the Persona Development research undertaken, to understand the context of content and structure it in a way that balances customer needs with client business goals.
Structuring information is a complex task, one that typically begins with a few defined site goals that the architecture will deliver against. We’ll explore content objectives, channel and device requirements, document and data types, taxonomy, volume, governance, structure and ownership. It might seem overkill, but taking such an in depth view of the content strategy helps us to craft information architecture that will work for clients, from the outset and into the future.
We think about the users, as much if not more than our clients, during the process of devising effective information architecture. By specifically focusing on user groups, our team seeks to identify: their needs; the tasks they might have to carry out to find the information they might be looking for; their current search behaviours, and the experiences they have in interacting with our clients. By aligning this user insight with client objectives, we can draw a structure of information that works for everyone.
We cover walls with Post-its, use pen and paper, and debate among ourselves and with clients. Then we turn to digital tools: Our IA output tends to be delivered in two forms, our own Dog site maps that define the broad content structures and relationships and a series of conventional site maps produced in XMind. It’s a colourful, highly stimulating process that results in a structure of information that satisfies business goals, serves relevant calls to action at the most appropriate times, and crafts intuitive user experiences.