Thursday, 27 January 2011

Information Architecture for SharePoint

Overview: I was speaking to a client recently about there SharePoint Intranet and I mentioned they should have a Information Architecture (IA).  This should preferably be done by an Information architect but at a minimum the organisation can get the IA from project stakeholders.  Below I list the 2 most commonly found IA representations approaches: Wireframes & Hierarchy/structure diagrams.

What is IA?
Wikipedia define IA as "Information architecture is the categorization of information into a coherent structure, preferably one that most people can understand quickly, if not inherently. It's usually hierarchical, but can have other structures".
For web based projects, the best 2 methods for defining IA are a hierarchy and a wireframe other useful tools are defining the taxonomy against the hierarchy IA diagram.  I have seen various techniques to achieve this but keeping it simple as listed below and having a separate annotated version defining the term set or formal business taxonomy at each level is useful.

Hierarchy IA Diagram
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Update 23 April 2011 - I have seen people looking for a starting point for an Intranet Menu structure, this is a generic option I propose for Intranets.  Please feel free to suggest your own structure.


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