Information Architecture (IA)
Information architecture (IA) encompasses the design of a website or application's content organization and hierarchy. How a website or application's content is labelled, organized, and structured affects how findable the content is and affects the overall usability of a website or application.
The tools of IA are broad ranging. They include content audit, strategy and copywriting. They include card sorting to determine the optimal content organization and labels to ensure that users know where to find information. They include the design of the page flows and the specification of the functionalities of a website or application. All these design decisions are expressed in the design of the user interface itself through wireframes and/or interactive prototypes.
Design is a two-sided coin: one side is the look and feel, the graphic design; the other is the design of the information architecture, which defines the inner workings of a website or application. Without a sound IA, a user interface with the most beautiful graphic design cannot deliver a successful user experience.