Information Architecture of a Mobile App by Pedro Aires on Dribbble

When designing for mobile the information architecture uses a different set of rules. The key consideration needs to be around ease of use on a smaller screen for a user that is possibly on the move and very likely distracted. They have limited time, limited attention and need a quick result. Information architecture is the labeling and organizing of information. There are several information architecture principles for websites and mobile UIs. For instance, the principle of growth encourages designers to build UIs that allow for the exponential increase of digital content.

app information architecture

Touch device users, explore by touch or with swipe gestures. It helps UX engineers plan how to organize data within the app. And although usability is the most apparent benefit of IA, it’s not the only one. Using four shapes, no color, and smartly-placed text snippets, every major interaction is understandable without prototypes, and more importantly, it can be understood by anyone working on it.

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So, now that we know exactly what UX and IA are, and what their main differences are, you might finally want to find out why information architecture is so crucial to the user experience. Then, you have almost certainly come across the term “information architecture” at least once during your professional career. We also learned that including a standard breadcrumb menu helped users orient themselves.

app information architecture

Before we start, take into account that you are not supposed to choose only one mobile what is information architecture in web design pattern and use it throughout the whole app. You can choose several patterns and combine them any way you want to. However, keep in mind that you need to choose the parent pattern, and then you can use other patterns for subsections. To understand what information architecture is, it can be helpful to focus first on the term “architecture”. In construction and engineering, architecture describes all the processes involved in the planning, designing, and sketching of a building.


Our graduates are highly skilled, motivated, and prepared for impactful careers in tech. We’ve already mentioned some of the popular tools that are used for creating IA. Here, we’ll briefly list what can be of help at different stages. These elements are listed in a content template with their characteristics included. IA, UX, and UI are closely related and sit under the umbrella of product design concepts, but they are not the same. When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review and enter to select.

  • Here, you have one index page (the so-called hub) with spokes to navigate to.
  • The storage may be used for marketing, analytics, and personalization of the site, such as storing your preferences.
  • Maybe you’re attracted to IA because you enjoy solving problems, or you have a natural talent for organizing complex information in a clear and logical way.
  • Brown says that instead of looking at your content as something stiff and inanimate, like an object, you try and see it as a living thing – with its own lifecycle, behaviours and characteristics.
  • In Information architecture, you may end up with something that reminds you of mind maps and this is normal, but let’s check what you may end up with, based on different projects.
  • It’s like asking a mechanic to build a car from the top down instead of in parts.

Filtered view allows users to switch between alternative views by filtering the content they are seeing. This pattern is great for giving users the freedom to choose how to explore the content themselves. Content that loads too slowly, doesn’t load fully, or is difficult to find or understand requires the prompt intervention of a capable user architect who can sift through the chaos and restore order and meaning. We have planned for a staged rollout launching the updated interface with the new IA for a limited set of users on the Free tier.

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To create a sitemap, you need to have content, which is grouped and labeled, and then presented in a diagram. Before you can create sitemap and navigation, your IA needs to be defined. The navigation is most of the times just the tip of the iceberg.

Mobile apps typically have two areas of navigation and finding the balance there will be crucial. The above information outlines the differences between website and mobile application architecture. The focus should always be on the user and their experience with content organization and structure guiding the conversation.

How to Create Information Architecture for UX

We used a tool called Optimal workshop that gave us quantitative insights on the path taken by users when exposed to the various IA models. The larger point may be that users are idiosyncratic in their preferences, and site design needs to be responsive to these differences. While duplication of information is generally considered a hallmark of poor design, dual navigation is often an asset.

app information architecture

It is important to remember that there are different routes thorough which users can enter your website or app. They also have different motives for using it, and different ways of interpreting the same information. To learn more about content inventory and content audits, check out this article.

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With so much market competition, your application needs to be practically flawless or someone else will replace it with a better solution. One of the keys to ensure you edge out the millions of competitors is to have a bulletproof structure/Information Architecture. Often, organizations and their designers jump straight into designing interfaces and try to fit architecture into the process later on.

app information architecture

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