Why Is Information Architecture Important?

info-architecture

Information architecture is the informational structure associated with an organization. Therefore, any person who operates a business should understand what information architecture is and why it’s important for a business. In order to understand what this term represents and how a business may implement information architecture effectively, exploring the fundamental elements of the concept could be helpful.

Information Architecture Defined

The term, information architecture (IA), may be defined in a few ways, depending on the context in which it is being applied. At the most basic and general level, the term could be described as the “structural design” of the various environments that enable information to be shared within an organization (source: http://www.iainstitute.org/en/learn/resources/what_is_ia.php). Most modern businesses must share information via a digital format, and devising a functional and flexible structure to support such an environment is known as information architecture. Another way to describe IA is to define it as the foundation from which all actions and solutions are carried out within a business platform (source: http://community.aiim.org/blogs/rich-blank/2010/10/25/what-is-information-architecture-and-why-is-it-important). In the same way that the structure of a building is designed in a certain way, so is the structure of any system of information.

Why Information Architecture Is Important to a Start Up Business

Because of the structural design of the information environment associated with a particular start up, the individuals involved with that business are able to access important information. Whether a start up is modest or massive in scope, designing an efficient system of information architecture can be advantageous to everyone involved, from the principals to the associates to the clients. Designing a solid information structure can help the decision makers to make the best choices possible for a company. In addition to better decision making, a well-constructed informational foundation can lead to more efficient meetings, the capacity to identify and adopt solutions more efficiently, and smoother business operations overall (Source: Biz Forum). This may ultimately result in higher profits and greater opportunities for expansion.

One crucial aspect of IA is that it must be designed in such a way that it allows for flexibility. Business operations are often fluid, and this is especially true in a business world that is continually adapting to changing technologies. A solid information structure is a must for any business, but that foundation should be flexible enough to match changing needs.

An Example of Adapting Information Architecture to Meet a Need

To better understand the value of flexibility in relation to information architecture, a person might consider a brief example of IA at work. If IA is the basis by which information flows throughout a company, then it directly affects how that information is utilized. A florist might offer customers an ordering page on its website that enables them to order arrangements based on color theme. After doing market research on the subject, the florist may realize that this method is not as useful to customers as listing arrangements by price. By reorganizing the ordering page to suit the needs of customers, the florist is adapting the information architecture of the website to meet the needs of the people who keep the florist in business (Source: Huber & Associates). By adapting the structure of information to serve customers better, the florist is virtually ensuring an increase in sales.

Information architecture is the basis from which information is shared and utilized in an organization. Most businesses would not survive without a strong foundation of information exchange and implementation. When a company’s information architecture is both well-organized and flexible, that company may operate effectively, build client relations, and enjoy healthy profits.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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