Week 11: Information Architecture and Navigation

Types of Architecture

  • Hierarchical: RMU.edu – most informational sites use this structure to allow users to explore information based on level of importance and to dig deeper with each click.
  • Matrix: Zappos.com – most shopping sites use this, as it lets users browse based on categories, for example users may choose to look for information based on color, size, speed, age, etc. Apple.com mixes both Hierarchical and Matrix.
  • Organic: Superbad.com – sites that use Organic tend to be experimental, artistic or looking to create unexpected user experiences. Youtube.com is a mix of matrix and organic
  • Sequence: Penny-arcade.com/comic – these tend to be sites with low exploration and linear narratives as they drive the user in one direction. Often sequences may shoot out from Hierarchical or Organic architectures.

Types of Navigation

  • Global, Primary –  Links that should be on every page
  • Supplementary, Secondary – Links to related content
  • Contextual – Links embedded within the content of the page
  • Courtesy – Links to items users don’t need on a regular basis but when they do want to find quickly –  like contact info, policies, faqs, log-in/log-out.