When you hear the word 'architecture' your mind probably starts conjuring up images of buildings and floor plans. While this is the most common sense of the word, it's not the only one. Did you know that architecture can be applied not only to buildings, but websites and technology too? 

Just like a house or skyscraper, school websites also need to be built on a solid foundation. In this post, we'll discuss what Information Architecture is and the crucial role it plays in website design

What is Information Architecture (IA)?

First things first, let's define what information architecture actually is. Many people assume that it refers to the technical features of a website (things like menus and scrolling bars), but really, information architecture is about the organisation of information in a clear and logical way. 

Think about it this way, if your school website is a play, the User Interface (UI) is the leading lady, and Information Architecture (IA) is the director. Information architecture works behind the scenes to inform UI and positively impact website visitors' overall User Experience (UX).

Why does Information Architecture matter?

We could give you the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) version, but here's all you really need to know: your website's Information Architecture gives your audience the ability to quickly understand exactly what you want them to know about your school, easily navigate your website, and complete a conversion (submitting a new enrollment application for example). 

There's a multitude of technical factors that can cause visitors to abandon your school website – webpage load times are a big one for example. But, if we read between the lines here, solid information architecture also saves your website visitors their most precious resource: time. If finding information on your school website is too complicated, or the path to get there isn't intuitive, you run the risk of losing visitors, and it's often difficult to get them back. 

It's great to have an idea about what information architecture is and why it's important for your school website, but don't expect yourself to be an expert. We have a team of in-house subject experts here at Digistorm who are dedicated to this stuff.

Published 11 October 2021