Define information architecture
In most cases, the easiest place to begin the information architecture phase of a website project is to define and implement a new sitemap.
While you’re constructing the new site map, be sure to redirect old URLs to new permalinks.
Also, be sure to carefully assess whether the content management system (CMS) is capable of maintaining the new sitemap.
Don’t forget to create a helpful and usable 404 error page. Ensure HTTP server response codes are correct. If you delete a page via the CMS, is the correct HTTP server response returned? (404 File Not Found) Can you redirect a page within the CMS? If so, is the correct HTTP server response returned from the old page? (301 Page Redirect).
Consider using the University of Minnesota modified 960.gs template.
Consider using Chalkmark for quick-testing of prototypes: US$109 per month; US$559 per year. Qualitative/Quantitative; image-based; tests selected users.
Information architecture deliverables
- Global elements
- Card sort results
- Navigation patterns
- Layout patterns/page types
- Key states
- Structure diagram with page types
- Information hierarchy
- High-level nomenclature
- Page templates (paper)
- Page tables
Again, don’t let this scare you. These are huge deliverables and I’ll provide explanations and examples of each of them later.