Chapter 10. Research

What we’ll cover:
Integrating IA into the web development process
How and why to study users, context, and content
Research methods including stakeholder interviews, heuristic evaluations, user testing, and card sorting

So far, we’ve focused on concepts and components. Now we’re going to shift gears and explore the process and methods for creating information architectures.

If it were just a matter of whipping up a few standard blueprints, our jobs would be easy. But as we’ve explained, information architecture doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The design of complex web sites requires an interdisciplinary team that involves graphic designers, software developers, content managers, usability engineers, and other experts.

Effective collaboration requires agreement on a structured development process. Even for smaller projects, when teams are tiny and individuals fill multiple roles, tackling the right challenges at the right time is critical to success.

The following chapters provide an overview of the process and the challenges you’ll encounter along the way. Our focus on the early stages of research, strategy, and design, rather than the later stages of implementation and administration, belies our consulting background. While the vast majority of our experiences have involved strategy and design for fast-paced information architecture projects, we are true believers in the importance of nailing the details in implementation and building sustainable information architecture ...

Get Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 3rd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.