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Reference library

Information architecture

Learn about information architecture from different perspectives from these resources.

In sections below you will find:

  • Processes to learn about
  • Templates and examples
  • Tools to help

What is information architecture?

Information architecture describes the structure of a website, application, project, or system. This allows the users to understand where the information is, how to navigate, and the words used within.

As a result of this, you create categories, site maps, hierarchies, and metadata. To be effective, the information architecture should take the users through a journey that enables them to get the information they require.

How to build information architecture

Processes to learn about

Templates and examples

Tools to help

  • 10 information architecture resources This blog post lists tools that you can use to build your information architecture.

  • Journal of Information Architecture An independent, peer-reviewed scientific journal.

  • Information Architecture Conference The IA conference delivers workshops, main sessions, and social activities from several keynote speakers including David Dylan Thomas, Margot Bloomstein, Sarah Rice.

  • Diagrams.net This free tool is excellent for creating flowcharts, creating user flows, and information architecture.

  • Lucidchart A similar tool to Diagrams.net, Lucidchart has additional benefits like pre-built templates, many more integrations, and a mobile app.

  • Visio This app works excellently for building and maintaining an IA design, though it is online only (the older offline version is Windows-only).

  • Balsamiq This software claims to be the industry standard for low-fidelity wireframing software.

  • MindMeister This online mind mapping tool that lets you capture, develop and share ideas visually.

  • MindManager Users can utilise this paid software that provides powerful visualization tools and mind mapping.

  • XMind With a complete toolset for thinking and creativity, this is a full-featured mind mapping and brainstorming app.

How to create content models

A content model is a representation of all your structured content. It contains the definitions of each content type, describes them in detail, and maps out their interrelationships.

It is an important step for refining the details of how your content will be put together, reconfigured, and reused.

Processes to learn about

Templates and examples

  • Content Model Template A free downloadable template from GatherContent that you can use to work out the practicalities of how you write and manage your content.

  • Content Model Template The Content Strategy Alliance provides this Excel template that you can use as a guide for your work.

  • Content Model Example An example of a content model from the Content Strategy Alliance.

  • Contentful Content Modeling Template You can download this Miro template to assist you in building out content models with the key stakeholders in your project.

  • Content modeling design system In this video, Crystallize showcase how they collaborated on building content models using Figma.

Tools to help

  • Figma A collaborative web application, this tool connects everyone in the design process so teams can deliver better products, faster.

  • Sketch This platform gives you all the tools you need for a truly collaborative design process.

  • Adobe XD This tool allows you to wireframe, animate, prototype, collaborate, and more.

  • How to use Webflow CMS as a content modeling tool A content management system that can help build better, more usable content models – and shape the entire design process around content.

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