I still remember sitting with my partner in a corner office (we used to run a reputation management company), we used to literally sit down for hours and look at various sites and decide what we should say on our website. What should be the menu name, in what order? What about the content on home page, how to link it to other pages? What exactly should be in each of those pages?
Figuring out how to do all the above stuff is relatively easy for websites, but when it comes to web applications and web apps, this becomes a little more complex and even more important (since you want users to interact with your apps, login and use the app). Having this wrong can simply turn off your users and make them go to your competitor who has kept the information flow simple and actionable.
What should you keep in mind while designing your information architecture?
- Keep the most important stuff first. Deliver the most important benefit right away and let them see the demo of benefits.
- Keep a flow, think of your website as a process that leads your user to the solution, slowly, step by step.
- Don’t give too much information at once, yet show authority of knowledge base
- Needless to say, you have to design menus, design how users access your web apps various components. There are the general components in most web apps (such as my account, about us, support etc) and then there are specific components. Keep the general components general. Make specific components look a little general also.
More tips coming up in this category soon! Keep rocking your web apps, there are enough customers out there for your app to succeed, question is, can you carve out the path and can you last the journey!