What Makes Websites Work? Bringing Information Architecture into the Drupal Development Process

This session will explore the Information Architecture Process and how it relates to Drupal Web Development. Just what is Information Architecture (IA) and how does it benefit a project's development cycle as well as a site's end users? How can it help you deliver a project on time and on budget and improve the effectiveness of the final site?

Developing wireframes during an IA phase can allow the visual designer and the Drupal engineer to work in parallel on design and configuration respectively and theming last. IA ultimately serves to increase a site's usability so that it supports an organization's mission and communicates effectively to its target audience.

What are some common IA tools and concepts? What are the IA deliverables (wireframes, user stories, click patch, site map)? What are pitfalls to look out for?

Another consideration is what are the business and site goals? Increased registration? Sales? Leads? The links should support these goals.


IA Tools

  • Card sorting: Each piece of content is listed on an index card and presented to individual users who are asked to group the cards in any way that makes sense to them. This produces what will eventually become the site navigation.
  • Content Audit: Taking stock of the currently available content and identifying what else is needed, who's responsible for creating it and when it will be created.
  • Wireframes: Basic black and white page layouts that represent the content, images, and links on a page. These can be thought of as the "page inventory." The wireframe can be used to do testing with end users (or team members) in lieu of a prototype.
  • Site map: This can be though of as the site inventory- the collection of pages and their relationship to one another.

We will review 2 to 3 IA plans, explain how they were made and translated into Drupal, and show the resulting websites.


Session Presenters: Zoey Kroll & Gregory Heller of CivicActions

Average: 3 (40 votes)


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