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Organizing Content for Designing Information Architecture

Peter F, 05 June, 2006 5 Comments

One of the most important elements of every website/ blog site is its content.
Content is the key factor that your viewers are looking for. Through
great design your user gets a sense of who you are and what you do and
your content needs to back that up. The information architecture of your
content is also equally important how long does it take the user to
find the information they are looking for? Below I have outlined an easy
to follow, simple process that will help you organize your ideas and
content from the get go so that your website process runs smoothly.

For the purpose of this exercise I have put together a pretend company called The Blog Studio Perk a neighborhood coffee shop.

Here are the 6 Simple Steps with an example using a coffee shop website that has a blog component integrated into it.

1) Define the purpose of your site? What are the objectives?

Objectives:

MAIN – to sell product & coffee off the site – to entice people to
go into the coffee shop- to entice people to hold events at the shop

SECONDARY – to create a sense of lifestyle & educate on coffee
shop culture – to show we are at the top of the coffee shop world we
are small and independent and care about our customers – To show our
customers that they will enjoy the experience if they stay for a while
or just run in to grab a cup of joe – Build credibility in our community
that we are knowledgeable about our products and services

 

2) Brainstorm on all possible topics, content, subjects etc that you
may write about on the site. Don’t do this in any order; just let your
mind run with it and write down everything that comes to your head. (I
like to do this and walk away from it for 24 hrs and then revisit it
again).

Brainstorming:

 

    • mixed drinks (smoothies)

 

    • different blends

 

    • seasonal drink features

 

    • poetry reading

 

    • meet ups/ get togethers
    • music

 

    • poetry

 

    • product coffee, tea, home accessories, coffee accessories etc

 

    • food treats to sample, buy, recipes

 

    • décor

 

    • art

 

    • culture

 

    • atmosphere

 

    • neighborhood events
    • mommy meetings

 

    • what’s happening in the city

 

    • sponsorship/ events we sponsor

 

    • contact us

 

    • about us

 

    • passions

 

    • staff profiles/ bios

 

    • books we read or recommend

 

    • lifestyle tips
    • teas

 

    • different processes of making tea and coffee (percolator, bodum, espresso etc..)

 

    • customers’ feature on our customers

 

    • couch talk – things we overhear

 

    • business transactions that occur, fights, break ups, match making, friendship

 

    • cozy up by the fireplace Tell a story

 

3) Slot all the topics you will be discussing into categories
by revisiting the last step and seeing which should go into which
category. Some things may apply to more then one category.

Categories

 

    • Drink & Food Products – coffee, tea, chocolate, pastries, sandwiches, juices, smoothies, pop, water

 

    • Related Products – mugs, coffee makers, bodums, steepers, t-shirts, art work, cd-s, books

 

    • Lifestyle – music, art, books

 

    • About Us – staff bios, staff favorite books, staff favorite music, staff favorite recipes

 

    • Recipes – things to make with our coffee or tea, staff favorite recipes, customers recipes

 

    • Events – poetry readings, music events, open mike nights, book club,
      upcoming events, what-s happening in the city, mommy meet ups,
      neighborhood events

 

    • Features – month or seasonal features (drinks, food and events)
    • Blog – stories we overhear, customer shout outs/bios, couch
      talk, different processes or making tea and coffee, lifestyle tips,
      upcoming events, what-s happening in the city, neighborhood events

 

  • Contact Us – all contact info

4) Cross reference what subjects overlap into more then one
category and note how they will be accessed from more then one section
(this produces stickiness to your site).

5) List which categories or sections are the most and least
important. If creating a blog list what will be categories and what
subjects will have their separate pages. Also, what needs to be the most
to least visible information on the main page?

 

Separate Pages:

Home – description of company and the purpose of the site

About Us

Products – have food and related products linked from this page

Blog

Events

 

Blog Categories:

Events

Products

Coffee/Tea

Lifestyle

 

Hierarchy of Main Page:

About Us / Credibility

Blog

Products

Events

6) Now your ready to hand the information over knowing that you
have covered all your basis and the process will run smoother. (Yes,
there are always things that come up later that you never thought of –
but this process will ensure that stays to a minimum).

——-

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