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Distinctive Design: A Practical Guide to a Useful, Beautiful Web by Alexander Dawson

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Bonus Chapter 1: Understanding Information Architecture

How planning and decision-making affect distinction

When designers consider designing a website, they immediately delve into maximizing what the end user will see on-screen. Although thinking about the final product is an important part of producing an interface, designers must first focus on the underlying organization and structure of the site’s pages. Distinctive layouts depend on page accountability and visibility.

This chapter covers the role and importance of information architecture. It also covers organizing, modeling, and presenting your ideas for a layout before you start building. You also learn how URLs make or break the visibility of your content. Later in the chapter, I discuss how your layouts and menu systems promote easy-to-navigate experiences.

Crafting Conceptual Workflows

Several aspects of design play a part in the success and distinction of a site. The concept of information architecture is one that many people forget.

Information architecture encompasses

> Creating a file and information structure

> Using a multiple-page structure and determining how users link to those pages

> Determining the appearance of the URL structure

> Creating concepts for a site and determining what functionality your site needs

> Setting a structure for your project’s progression

Choosing tools, such as wireframes, prototypes, and even website sitemaps all filter into the decisions that comprise your final site and help ...

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