How to Create The Best Website UX and Optimise Usability through Information Architecture



It’s better to think of Information Architecture (IA) as the lifeblood of User Experience (UX). Even with this, an overwhelming majority of developers still structure their sites based on opinions and common sense. That explains why simplicity rules. But there has to be a more organised way to go about it.

In comes Information Architecture, if you’re planning to set up a site with tons of pages, then common sense dictates you start by doing a thorough architectural analysis. Your website is a living thing that breathes, tasked with one thing — to guide your visitors through a vast expanse of information.

Meaning, the designing bit isn’t something you just hop into — which is why the web design service industry exists. You have to give it some careful thought and do some little bit of due diligence. The end goal should be to come up with an intuitive navigation system — and to say the least, this doesn’t happen by chance. 

IA is a critical ingredient in this, and that’s because it strives to ensure there’s a balance between users’ desires and business needs.

When a user lands on your page, you can bet there’ll be four questions running through their minds:

  1. Have I landed in the right place?
  2. Does this site have what I’m looking for
  3. Is there a chance they have something even better from what I’m looking for?
  4. What am I to do now?

As a web designer, it’s your job to respond to all these questions through the design you come up with. You do this by:

  1. Assuring your visitors that they’re indeed in the right place. Let them know upon landing that you’re the person they’re interested in.
  2. Making it easy for the visitor to navigate the site and find what they were looking for. That may require you to include a search bar and clear navigation.
  3.  Making sure the visitor understands the options they have. You should have a series of links and menu options to show them where to head next. If they’re interested in reading more of your posts, there should be a link for ‘related posts.’ If they’re checking your products out, there should be another link for ‘see more’ and so forth.
  4. Give them an option to take action.

How to Optimise Your Website UX through IA

To achieve your goals, you have to focus on helping your users achieve their goals as well. Your role in all this is to serve your users through the website you create. The more they’re satisfied with the services you offer, the more you succeed as a web owner or business person.

ALSO READ  12 Creative Ways Businesses Are Using ChatGPT

But first, you have to fully understand the aspirations, goals, and problems your users have. And here’s how you go about it:

Gather enough info about your site’s users

You have to begin by getting into your targeted site users’ head. Find the answer to the following list of questions before working on your website design:

  1. What problem will I be solving?
  2. Who needs this?
  3. What’s this site meant for?

The earlier you define your business goals and objectives (preferably by writing them down), the more you’ll have an easy time identifying the problems to solve and how to go about it.

This also allows you to stay focused, and work on even better results. Find a way to talk to your users. Interview them through phone calls and live messages. You may also consider running a series of surveys.

You have one goal in this — and that is to understand your users and what they want and the reason they want it.

Your users may have different use cases and intents, and that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Write User Stories to Come up with a Design for Real People

You’re not designing your website for everybody, but for that one particular person. And that’s the role customer persona play in all this.

You have to begin by understanding that customers’ personas are based on facts. They’re a fictional representation of your customers but based on the factual data you’ve collected about them.

Personas represent the goals characteristics, motivations, and behaviours of the people that will be frequenting your site.

Once you’ve established this, the next thing you do is connect the use cases with the persona you’ve created. Use cases let you describe or decide on the actual purpose of the project you have.

Use cases comprise of two critical components: goals and actors.

Actors are the people that will be using your website. At this point, your focus should be on the personas you created. Goals, on the other hand, are the list of all the things that you wish to achieve. 

You’re not just creating one user case, but a string of them. In which case, you have to ensure each use case has:

  • A more specific goal
  • Actors that will be performing the tasks that inch you closer to that particular goal

The goal you assign to each use case can be anything in the lines of reading a blog post, downloading software, taking a test, booking an appointment, and so on. So basically, use cases define your goals and purpose. They also describe the problem you’re trying to solve.

ALSO READ  Hreflang Tags: The SEO Attribute for Content in Multiple Languages

Understanding them is the first step to improving the lifetime value of your customers.

Build Your IA with Scenarios, Metadata, and Pages

There’s no way around this — you have to understand your users. You have to understand their intention, their reason for checking you out, and the goals they wish to achieve.

It’s through that that you can figure out the most suitable way to present your content in a manner that makes sense to them.

There methods that you could use to achieve this:

Work out the metadata

get google ranking ad

Metadata is the information you provide about another piece of information. It’s what users use to find what they’re looking for whenever they query anything into the search engine bar.

For instance, you’re online shopping for a coffee grinder. Your first stop is Google searches. But you end up not finding one after browsing through the search results that show up. That goes to show that none of these sites invested in their metadata.

So yes, creating the right metadata is the first step to designing a useful website. 

Creating useful metadata shouldn’t be that hard. First, you have to start by figuring out what people want. In the case of a coffee grinder, people tend to be more concerned about blade size, colour, and brand. You have to make sure you’ve included all these parameters and variables.

The metadata for a book must feature the book titles, author, description, ISBN, cover image, and release date. In other words, you have to plan for it.

Create User Scenarios

You end goal should be to create a pleasing user experience. This requires you to think of all the scenarios that feature user personas.

Scenarios are nothing more than short stories about someone (personas in this case) using your site to accomplish a particular task like shopping around for something or booking a ticket to an event.

Find a way to work scenarios into the personas you created. In simple terms, try to attach a story as to the reason a particular persona would want to check you out. You can do this by answering the following questions:

  • What does this specific persona wish to accomplish on my site?
  • What can I do to help them see the task at hand through?
  • What do I suspect will cause friction?

The point is to focus on the user and the tasks they’ll be accomplishing, rather than the internal structure and organisation of the site. By doing this, you should be able to develop some insights as to what types of content to include and how they should be organised.

ALSO READ  Top Google Alternatives You Should Consider

Map Tasks to Individual Web Pages

Before you even think about the designing bit, you should have some content on the ready. Content precedes design. And as Jeffrey Zeldman puts it, any design that lacks content is nothing more than a decoration.

You have to start by figuring out what happens on your site’s pages and how many pages do you wish to create in total? Also, note that there are two things that each page is expected to do:

  • Help users accomplish one particular task.
  • Make the step that proceeds it more comfortable to accomplish.

So every time you’re designing a website, your aim should be to make sure that users can easy accomplish the intended task on that website. However, in most case, achieving this objective would involve performing a series of other smaller tasks.

It’s the relationship that exists between tasks that defines the experience. Speaking of which, each page you design has to have a hand in building the chain of tasks. 

Generally, your site will have three types of pages:

i. The Navigation Page

This is what helps users find what it is that they came to find. It’s what leads them to it. Which is to say, its primary goal is to direct user somewhere else.

It’s the most important page that could easily throw the bulk of your visitors off. Typically, people use the home page or the search result page as the navigation page

ii. The Consumption Page

This is the page where users are directed to. It’s what brings them to your site, and it includes articles, pricing information, product listing, videos, and so on.

iii. Interaction Page

This page allows users to enter data and manipulate it. It includes contact forms, sign up forms, and the search forms to name a few.

The Final Thought

Information Architecture has one crucial role to play in web designing — and that is, to ensure users can find what they came to look for. It’s meant to perfect your navigation system, and make sure users can find the products they’re interested in.

Let’s just say that creating the perfect user experience to optimise your site isn’t exactly a finger exercise. There’s always more to consider and factor into the designing process.

This is to remind you that MediaOne Marketing is always open to serve you. Drop us a message and let’s talk about web designing, user flows, Information Architecture, and your project in general.


About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Baidu SEO: Optimising Your Website for Chinese Audiences

In today’s interconnected world, expanding your online presence to capture international markets has become essential. When targeting the Chinese market, …

Enterprise SEO: Everything You Need to Know

Are you looking to enhance your online presence and boost organic traffic to your website? If you’re operating on a …

10 Tested SEO-optimised Content Development Techniques

Content development refers to creating or improving material that conveys information to a particular audience. In addition to textual material …

7 Emerging Skills Every SEO Must Master in 2023

7 Emerging Skills Every SEO Must Master in 2023 One thing almost all SEOs can agree on is that SEO …

How to Use Keyword Intent to Maximize Conversion Rate

After keyword research, you’re armed with a list of potential keywords to target.  Let’s say one of the keywords is …

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Leveraging Social Media for Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

You’ve probably heard of social media, and how important it is to businesses and marketers. Chances are, you use one …

PSG Grants: The Complete Guide

How do you kickstart your technology journey with limited resources? The Productivity Solution Grant (PSG) is a great place to …

Is SEO Better Or SEM Better?

I think we can all agree that Google SEO is pretty cool! A lot of people get to enjoy high …

How To Remove A Web Page Without Affecting Overall SEO

Before removing an old page from your website, do you ever stop to think about the potential effect it might …

Toxic Links Threats and Disavows: Complete SEO guide

Your website is only as strong as the backlinks you have. We’re not talking numbers here but quality.  If you …

Social Media

25 of the Top Social Media Agencies in Singapore (in 2023)

Singapore is a hub of creativity and ingenuity, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also home to …

How to Find Influencers to Promote Your Small Business in Singapore (Low Cost)

In today’s digital age, social media influencers have become powerful tools for businesses looking to increase their brand awareness and …

Instagramming Your Way to Success: Tips for Effective Social Media Marketing in the Travel Industry

Social Media has revolutionised how businesses connect with their audience. In the travel industry, where experiences and visuals play a …

The Rise of Influencer Marketing: Leveraging Social Media to Promote Your Travel Planning Agency

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. People from all walks of life use social media …

App Marketing on a Budget: Cost-Effective Strategies for Maximum Impact

In today’s digital landscape, app marketing plays a crucial role in driving the success of your mobile application. However, many …


The Rise of Influencer Marketing: Leveraging Social Media to Promote Your Travel Planning Agency

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. People from all walks of life use social media …

8 Strategies for Bug Hunting: Debugging, Testing, and Code Review

Bugs are among the most unpleasant aspects of the software development process, whether you’ve worked on a little side project …

How Does A Virtual Private Network Work

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a small business owner who’s looking to expand your reach, or an …

Digital Identity Theft: How to Protect Yourself from Scams and Fraud

We are always online in this day and age of technology, which makes personal data more exposed than ever. Digital …

The Legal Consequences of Cybersecurity Breaches in Singapore

Technology has advanced greatly in the digital age. It paves the way for a higher risk of cybersecurity breaches. There …


What Are Virtual Fitting Rooms and How Do They Work? (2023)

Shopping for clothes online can be tricky. It’s difficult to know how something will look and fit without trying it …

Planograms: What They Are and How They’re Used in Visual Merchandising

As a retailer, you know the importance of creating an appealing and organised display of your merchandise. The way you …

PSG Grants: The Complete Guide

How do you kickstart your technology journey with limited resources? The Productivity Solution Grant (PSG) is a great place to …

The Importance of Authenticity in Your Brand Voice Strategy

Most companies are aware of the value of branding. The reputation of a firm may make or break it, after …

Featured Snippet Optimization: Complete Guide In 2022

You’ve probably seen the boxes that pop up at the top of the SERP featuring a summary of an answer …


15 Ways to Remain Empathic While Still Making Deals

Empathy is an essential quality in any negotiation. It allows you to understand the other party’s perspective, build trust and …

10 Prospect Qualification Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Sales

10 Prospect Qualification Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Sales Prospecting is one of the most important aspects of sales. It’s …

How Pros Write Business Proposals To Win New Clients

As a business owner or entrepreneur, one of the most critical skills you need to have is the ability to …

Baidu SEO: Optimising Your Website for Chinese Audiences

In today’s interconnected world, expanding your online presence to capture international markets has become essential. When targeting the Chinese market, …

Time Management Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs (Free Tools)

Are you one of the entrepreneurs juggling multiple tasks, constantly racing against the clock? Do you often find yourself overwhelmed …

Most viewed Articles

Other Similar Articles