To build a site or an application without a thorough information architecture is the same as building a house without an architect's plan. It's just like a movie without a stage-manager: even if you have top actors and fantastic props the public will leave the cinema shortly after the movie starts. Insufficient information analysis or a poor interactive design affect any beautiful design, valuable content and functionality. Good information architecture surely provides the user with a possibility to find what he's been looking for and to do whatever he intended to do while visiting your site. And that's exactly what scores.
That's why we keep our designers waiting till the information architects are done with:
- stock-taking and classification of the content
- navigational structure & information unlocking
- interactive design based upon defined personal and user journeys
- wire-frames with full schematic presentation of screens
It is also the stage wherein we'd like to build the wire-frames as clickable prototypes. Test-users that represent different persons get concrete orders aligned to the defined user journeys. That's how we test the information architecture and interactive design with much efficiency long before we start with the actual implementation. And a dry run of your website or application demonstrates whether the information architecture makes the business nodes come nicely together with those of the end-user.