Good IA allows a user to seamlessly navigate through a digital experience finding exactly what they need. Good IA factors in heuristics and the phycology of the user to create a familiar and frictionless experience. When forming IA I often use primary research such as interviews and surveys or secondary research such as reading support tickets and studying web analytics.
A user flow diagram helps us to see the steps a user takes in accomplishing a task. An accurate diagram considers various sources of traffic. Users coming from social media may appreciate a different path to that of repeat users.
Mapping out these steps can uncover potential bottle necks and find sections that can be optimised. It also helps in estimating technical resources required to create an ideal experience.
Laying out the structural composition of a website or application prior to designing the visuals allows us to concentrate on creating clarity for the user. When we start by prioritising the positioning and location of information we are striving to create something that is truly useful. Wire-framing is less resource intensive than development. It allows us to rapidly prototype and iterate on ideas without the expense of re-writing code.
As a digital product scales it becomes harder to maintain a consistent look and feel. A design language is a tool that helps foster the creation of a consistent and positive set of interactions. By creating, documenting and distributing visual components and their use case we are contributing the the creation of a high-quality digital experience.
The state of design software is in constant change so as a designer, I'm constantly seeking out ways to improve my process of creation. Some of my favourite technologies include Sketch, InVision, REACT and Webflow.
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