Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shortcut Information Architecture

The first step in developing a website is to determine the site’s goals and objectives. Usually, this is where personas and uses cases come in, but for a super-quick method this arena is sometimes truncated as the designers take on informal roles as the personas (thereby defining the audience) and also define a few use cases off the bat just to get started. You can then jump into sitemaps and wireframes. This also fleshes out the project scope and description. A key element to this segment of information architecture is Competitive (Heuristic) Analysis. What are the other guys doing? What are they doing wrong? What are they doing right? This is also a form of technical analysis. Some will hand off their sitemaps and wireframes to a designer for the completion of the project. In the case where all this goes on in-house, the iterative development process can continue, designing a more robust and innovative product. The end?