All Posts in information architecture

September 14, 2017 - Comments Off on Primary Navigation

Primary Navigation

Word: Primary Navigation

Definition: Directing links on a website or application that (most typically) appear above the fold, are displayed near the top of the page, and represent the content that is most relevant to the user.

Thoughts: Primary navigation can usually be found at the very top of a page and is always displayed prominently. Navigation is key to way-finding and acts as a constant and comforting presence to orient the user.

Question: Is primary navigation a left-over relic of internet-past? What will be the role of primary navigation on our infinite and parallax scrolling future?

September 14, 2017 - Comments Off on Breadcrumbs


Word: Breadcrumbs

Definition: A type of secondary navigation used for wayfinding, orientation, and location within an application or website. Breadcrumbs prove to be especially helpful when landing on a page out of context or not arriving initially through a homepage.

Thought: Breadcrumbs are seen and used most often on large-scale website full of copious amounts of information, like e-commerce sites. This navigational is growing increasingly important because fewer people enter a website through the front door (i.e. the home page or landing page). In the age of powerful search engines, your user will likely come in through the back. It's very important that when your user arrives, she can orient herself immediately.

August 27, 2017 - Comments Off on Lacksonomy


Word: Lacksonomy

Definition: (Full disclosure, this is a made up word -- but so worth defining) -- The organic structure that emerges from an unwillingness to think about how to structure something.

Origin: This word was made up by foremost information architecture expert, Abby Covert. It emerged from her frustration with designers lack of emphasis on how products are organized.

Thoughts: I felt that this word was important to define because any UXer worth her salt should understand the importance of information architecture and how organization impacts all aspects of design and ultimately a product's success.

Covert recently wrote an article on this very topic for the blog, A List Apartand states,

We need to teach people that information architecture (IA) decisions are just as important as the look and feel of technology stack choices.

PSA: Don't ever fall into a lacksonomy and forget that there is always a better and more succinct way to organize information. Your users will thank you for this; I promise.