of people do not really know. Today I bumped into a great article at UX Booth which will let you understand the basics of it. De
sign, IA and UX mingle a lot, but there are professionals out there who are experts in understanding business goals, audience and the load of information and turning that into logical and effective taxonomies. In short an IA professional should:
Research the audience and the Business
IAs take on a myriad of responsibilities for the project. To learn about the project’s audiences, IAs should have access to the results of, or conduct: usability tests, card sorting exercises, stakeholder interviews, user polling, etc. The goal is to provide as much information about what factors are influencing the project as possible. Information architects need to know what people will do with your application, how people will use information provided by the application, and what mental models user’s create while using your application
The IA takes knowledge gained from the discovery period to define what the site’s primary objectives are and how it will realize those goals. At this point, it’s helpful for the IA to work hand-in-hand with the designers, developers, and other members of the team with an interest in the project deliverable. By analyzing data, the IA may generate a set of user personas.
A user persona is a representation of the goals and behavior of a real group of users. In most cases, personas are synthesized from data collected from interviews with users. They are captured in 1–2 page descriptions that include behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and environment, with a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character. For each product, more than one persona is usually created, but one persona should always be the primary focus for the design.
Develop labeling/navigation/site structures
Finally, an Information Architect will, in essence, architect the site. IAs will produce things such as site maps, site-flow diagrams, and wireframes to convey how the site will work from a practical perspective. Indeed, the best Information ARchitects will take all perspectives into account while creating these deliverables: business, technological, and social (user). From this point on, the IA will help make decisions about the overall direction the site gravitates towards. For example, the IA should be involved in periodically testing the site, reading the copy, and evaluating any user-testing that is occurring during development cycles.