Monday, March 30, 2020

The Focus Areas of Information Architecture (IA)

Information Architecture defines the current state, future state and guidance of information management; information systems incorporate both ends and means.

Information is one of the most invaluable business assets which can create or multiply the business value and maximize its return on investment. Information Architecture describes through a set of requirements, principles, and models, the current state, future state and guidance necessary to flexibly share and exchange information assets to achieve effective enterprise change.

There are three focus areas of Information Architecture (IA), specializing in different areas complementing each other and overlapping from time-to-time depending on the work structure in an organization.

The Front-End IA is most frequently seen with the closest relationship to UX: Digital is the age of people-centricity. Information Architecture is a structural design technique of the various shared environments, especially at the user-facing level, for how the information could be organized to make it searchable and usable by its users, as well as how these data interrelationships make sense to them. Organizations with fine design and UX competencies are more capable of attracting and delighting customers, and properly implementing and accelerating their digital transformation.

The insightful architects should keep pondering what users want to know or do, what logical information architecture or content structure is needed to do this, how can the information be packaged in UI cohesively to meet the users’ goals. Keep in mind, just because you have abundant information or relevant business content doesn't mean you have everything. They're not perfect - considering user flows (and needs/wants/expectations), an effective architecture enables information assets refinement and exchange to drive effective enterprise change and transformation.

The Back-End IA deals with the structuring and relationship of information so that the information can be presented in a useful manner to the user: With the exponential growth of information, the management attention needs to be placed on the conditions that allow information to flow and generate value rather than try to manipulate or control. Information is not isolated, it has to flow into the company, flow out of it, flow to customers. It’s important to identify how information is associated with the tangible value of businesses. The back end IA helps to deal with information structure and relationships to ensure information quality, accessibility, reliability and meet the users’ needs in an acceptable manner for bringing business value consistently.

There arises an opportunity to analyze and reuse information people create as they go about their activities, and from that to generate valuable knowledge that can be shared to improve productivity and innovation. A highly intellectual organization has a higher level of responsiveness that companies should leverage information architecture and design the digital business around information & technology in order to streamline flow and achieve business autonomy.

The Middle IA deals with the infrastructure of getting information from the back to the front and makes a great deal with transformations, styles, and system interfaces: Digital organizations with fluidity are able to circulate information within the ecosystem seamlessly and respond to changes continuously. Information management systems based on a fine designed information architecture play a fundamental role in deploying and continuously open to new information from the dynamic business environment and manage information cycle - collecting, storing, processing and transforming information into customer insight or business foresight.

From a user application development perspective, do research about what the user needs, then the logical content and related information lead to some aspects of the initial design. It continues as you collaborate with the wider team and involve Interaction design, Information Architecture design, Database design, Service design, App structure design, Visual design, etc. The Middle IA makes a great deal with IT infrastructure so that the process design and system interface design integrates at the user to ensure information system cohesiveness.

Forward-thinking companies across the vertical sectors claim they are in the information Management business regardless of the sector and nature of their organization. Information Architecture defines the current state, future state and guidance of information management; information systems incorporate both ends and means, continuously open to new information from the dynamic business environment and are able to circulate information within the ecosystem seamlessly. The goal is to improve organizational fluidity and accelerate business transformation.


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