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Intranet Information Architecture (IA)

De alertbox van Jacob Nielsen is weer eens relevant:

In analyzing 56 intranets, we found many common top-level categories, labels, and navigation designs, but ultimately, the diversity was too great to recommend a single IA.

Information architecture (IA) poses a tremendous challenge in designing any navigational system. Historically, intranets have had little in terms of systematic IA efforts; designers typically “structured” intranets according to the organic growth of pages and features provided by different departments. Employees suffered the consequences, repeatedly getting lost in confusing structures with inconsistent navigation options.

Luckily, many companies have begun taking intranet IA seriously, launching systematic efforts to maintain consistent navigation systems using a deliberately designed structure, rather than one that evolved haphazardly.

We initiated an effort to document intranet IA processes and the resulting designs, both in terms of the visible user interfaces and the underlying structures.

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