Once upon a time three men came into the bar – the UI designer and a UX designer and IA designer. The bartender asks them what they do for a living. Later he just smiled and gave them a drink, still not sure of what they said.
Very often, these roles are confused, when talking about digital solution.
What does the term ‘information architecture’ mean? It is the basis for successful digital product.
Digital experience starts from here. One of the best definitions of information architecture belongs to the Nielsen Norman Group and it sounds like : “the underlying organization, structure and nomenclature that define the relationships between a site’s content/functionality.”
Design of information architecture is the half-art-half-science process. While this process, designer should decide how all the content of website or other web product will be organized and labeled. To create truly great architecture he should totally understand the project itself and know the audience. If you call yourself IA designer, you should be able to organize and label all the content of web portal or website in a way that a customer can locate and access it easily.
You’ve probably had deal with great information architecture thousand of times, but never notice it.
When IA is done well, it’s seamless. Have you ever spent way too long on a website looking for something simple like a direct phone line? Maybe you tried to answer a user question yourself by looking through site pages and tutorials, but you couldn’t find anything that pertained to your issue. Maybe you’ve even seen it before, but now you can’t get back to that page. That’s is the best example of poor information architecture, and it’s frustrating.
IA is very much a behind-the-scene. The visit card of any digital product is user interface design.
User interface (UI) design contains everything from the accessibility and usability of a web solution to its graphics and typography. Accessibility and usability may sound like we’re back in IA territory — and there is a touch of overlap — but they’re different.
In UI design, accessibility is about how readable and understandable the screens are. Usability encompasses things like finding the next button to click.
Good user interface is all about function and beauty. Customers need to be able to accomplish tasks easily and intuitively. They don’t want to read pages of instructions – or any instructions, really. They want to be able to figure it out on their own. Aesthetics are secondary to this, but they’re still of vital importance. A beautifully designed site or software is a joy to use, but only if the customer can figure out how to use it.
The end goal of mixed IA and UI design is the overall user experience, or UX design. We can say, it is all about emotion that people feel while using your website or other digital product and, in addition, how they feel about the company.
“Essentially, UX designers work to make things more profound, targeting their users on an emotional level.”
The emotion that a UX design should evoke depends on the product, service, or goal. For example, a website that seeks donations for orphans in Afghanistan will aim for a starkly different emotion than, say, the next Angry Birds app.
User experience design can have a great impact on an overall product. Great user experience is why people stand in line for hours to buy the newest iPhone or to see the latest “Star Wars” installment. It’s not really about the tiny differences in screen size and weight between models, or that J. J. Abrams made a cross-guard light saber. That light saber was impressive, though.
The reason that both of these products inspired such adulation is that the designers cashed in on previous products’ user experience. People remember how they felt while holding and using their last iPhone, just as they remember all of the great times they had while watching “Star Wars.” In short, it’s the feeling that stuck with them and made them loyal to the franchise. That’s what awesome UX is.
there you have it. Information architecture, user interface and user experience are three separate parts of an overall web product design, even though there is some overlap. Great designers understand how all three parts work together and how to use them to create digital products that reap high downloads and impact the world.