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Goals are the result of plans

The main goal of UX designer is to fulfill happiness and engagement between user and product or service. But achieving this goal does not only happening by chance this is happening by a well-done plan using experts and skills they have and support to make a good user experience.

Information Architecture

Information Architecture

What is Information Architecture?

Is the science and art of deciding how to organize and structure content of the website, mobile application or social media software.

This science was found by Richard Saul Wurman.

IA depends on two main factors target audience and type of product.

IA has a big role in building visual elements, functionality, interaction, and navigation. Powerful IA  saves time and money building product content, also it reduces problems of navigation and usability.

IA is a blueprint represents design structure which is used to generate wireframes and sitemaps UX designers use them as basics to set navigation planning.

As mentioned in Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville’s book “Information architecture for world wide web” IA consists of 4 components which are:
Organization systems, labeling systems, navigation systems, and searching systems.

Organization system


Distinguishing between components physical difference color, contrast, alignment, and size.


Create a route for user step by step through content to help them accomplish needed task.


Let users choose the navigation method. Contents grouped according to organization schemes.

Labeling system

Labels are used to represent loads of data in one word or two.

Navigation system

IA play an important role in determining how user through content.

Searching system

When there is a possibility that user will get lost through content IA provides a searching system to facilitate a way for the user to find needed data.

8 Principles of Information Architecture

Principles of Information Architecture
Dan Brown, who's a seasoned Information Architect, has laid out these eight principles as a foundation for approaching IA:

1. The Principle of objects

Treat content as a living, breathing thing with a lifecycle, behaviors, and attributes.

2. The Principle of choices

Create pages that offer meaningful choices to users, more is less keeping the range of choices available focused on a particular task.

3. The Principle of disclosure

Show only enough information to help people understand what kinds of information and they’ll find as they dig deeper.

4. The Principle of exemplars

Describe the contents of categories by showing examples of the contents.

5. The principle of front doors

Assume at least half of the web site's visitors will come through some page other than the home page.

6. The principle of multiple classifications

Offer users several different classification schemes to browse the site’s content.

7. The principle of focused navigation

Do not mix things in your navigation scheme.

8. The Principle of growth

Assume the content you have today is a small fraction of the content you will have tomorrow.

User stories

A user story is a simple brief description of the user ’s need.

User story identifies Who the user is and What he needs and Why he needs it.

The story is always about the user, not the product, about the resulted relationship between user and product not about the product technically.

As Steve Jobs said  “design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works.”

Using user analysis and research we will draw and plan user scenarios.

In other words, we will convert the information we’ve got in the first stage of the user experience industry to reality on paper.

Usually writing scenarios is not done by user experience and design team.

This mission can be assigned to product managers, development team, client, user or project owner. But it’s preferred for the UX team to write it.

In the last chapter we segmented the target audience to segments, we have to choose 1 to 5 personas from each group to represent each segment, but be careful to have an accurate choice.

User scenarios

User scenarios are deeper and have more details than user stories.

It describes user interaction with a product or system.

User stories are the headlines, but user scenarios are different situations of user interaction with an environment, so the main objective of user scenarios.

Is to describe different scenarios in details that could be happened interacting with the product to reach a certain goal.

In other words, user scenarios are the context.

You have to get as many scenarios (at least 30 scenarios) as possible in this stage using brainstorming, induction, and prediction. It’s preferred to use cards to get as many scenarios as possible and represent it in visual form by putting them on the wall.

There are three kinds of scenarios to use:

1-Goal- or task-based scenarios

Describes what the user needs, user objectives and tasks want to achieve.

2-Elaborated scenarios

Represent a deeper and more comprehensive look to the nature and traits of users’ personality and their interaction with products and the effect of this interaction to reach a goal.

3-Full scale task scenarios

Represents steps and stages for users to reach a goal.

User Journey

User journey is a step by step representation of a scenario in which the user might interact with the product designed. They can be used for 2 main things:

  • Determining the way users currently interact with the product
  • Determining the way users could interact with the product

Benefits of user journeys:

  • Determining vision for the project
  • Help to understand user behavior
  • Help to identify possible functionality at a high level
  • Defining taxonomy and interface

Empathy map

What is an empathy map?

Is a cooperating tool that design teams use it to understand user better and more efficiently depending on six elements which are:

Think and feel

What matters to the user? What occupies her thinking? What worries and aspirations does she have?


What are friends, family, and other influencers saying to her that impacts her thinking?


What things in her environment influence her? What competitors is she seeing? What is she seeing friends do?

Say and do

What is her attitude toward others? What does she do in public? How has her behavior changed?


What fears, frustrations or obstacles is she facing?


What is she hoping to get? What does success look like?

Empathy map



Sitemaps are a hierarchical representation that shows the structure of a website or application, which are used by UX designers and Information- Architects to group related content. Also, sitemaps are used to be a reference for wireframes, functional specification and content maps. They are playing a leading role in the user-centered process ensuring that content is in expectable place.

A sitemap is a diagram that shows the organization of a Web site’s or application’s content and functions.—Jim Ross.
Conveying the hierarchy of a site is essential, as is understanding the expected user flows and methods available for navigation.—Cory Lebson.

How to create a sitemap?

There are several methods to create sitemaps quickly and easily.

If you already have the idea of the sorts of content are needed to be on the site or the app, we can use the card sorts method.

Open card sort

As we mentioned before in open card sorting, the participants would organize elements and content within the website into groups and name each of those groups. Use it to identify how users are grouping the content and what labels do they give to items.

Closed card sort

In closed card sorting, participants would sort topics within predefined categories. Use it when you want to know how users will sort items into each category.

User cases

It represents steps users to do to achieve doing a thing, certain steps depending on the user story and scenario.

User Flows

User flows are the routes user take through the user interface of the product to achieve a specific task, user -flows are visual documentation revealing how user behave through the product’s user interface.


Red routes

Red routes

Specify the red routes for your product, so you will be able to select and arrange priorities, and reduce any obstacles to usability during the user’s main journey in the system.

In London there are routes called red routes, roads and transportation operators made a great effort to create these roads and make them as easy and quick as possible to travel. Thus, the term "red roads" in the web industry has been used to pave and remove all unimportant things in the user's way of doing something inside the site. In short to ensure the effectiveness and rigidity of the system.


Chapter: 3