Information architecture is the backbone of a website. It’s critical to the success of a site that information be organized so that users find it simple and intuitive to use. If the user cannot find the information, it doesn’t matter what your site has to offer. You could have the key information visitors are looking for, or the best products at the best price. None of this matters if they can’t find it. The importance of a site’s organization cannot be underestimated.
Thinking through how information is grouped will allow a site to develop in an intelligent fashion. Whether this is your first site or your 10th, it’s important to go back to the ‘drawing board’ with all your content and lay it out in outline formation. The basis of this outline will become your navigation. Users come back to sites in which they can easily navigate to find their information. It is important to the success of your site that the navigation reflects the information architecture.
Design follows function here and your design will be reflected by your navigation. A cool and hip, fun and funky, or a sophisticated corporate look will come, but your site’s design must be based on a smart and intuitive navigation.