Information architecture – how to arrange a catalogue well

What is information architecture?

Richard Saul Wurman, American architect and graphic designer, founder of the well-known TED conferences, is considered to be the founder of information architecture. The Institute of Information Architecture defines it as the art of deciding how to order the parts of something so that the whole is understandable. Information architecture creates a way for users to get to the desired information as easily as possible. We usually associate it with web design, but it also finds its way into catalogue design and is now an integral and necessary stage in the work.

What is included in information architecture?

To use information architecture consciously, you need to know that it’s not just a way of logically dividing and categorising information, but also knowing how users browse and search for information. This will allow you to design in such a way that you navigate the user through the catalogue the way you want.

What do I need to bear in mind when creating a catalogue?

1. The visual hierarchy

That is, the visual arrangement of information in such a way that users can understand the level of importance of each element. This is based on Gestalt’s psychological theory and activates the brain’s ability to distinguish objects based on their physical differences, such as size, colour, contrast, alignment, etc. If the most important thing for your customer is to present an attractive price – focus the user’s eyes on it, and if the modern technology used is the main feature, you can place the price in a less visible place and without any additional distinction.

2. Knowledge of the principles of image reception

In addition to the visual hierarchy, you need to know how users view your material and how they process it. As research shows, elements that are on the left go to the right hemisphere of the brain and vice versa. This is especially important in terms of how our brain completes tasks. The left hemisphere is responsible for analytics, which means that charts, numbers and text are best suited to it, while the right hemisphere is more creative and is where the graphic elements of a design will reach. The conclusion is simple – the image should be placed on the left side, so that the reader has a chance to fully see the attractiveness of the image. Of course this is not an absolute rule – this only applies to complex images and information. For simple messages – you have complete freedom.

What does a well thought-out information architecture deliver?

  • easy navigation in printed materials
  • effectively highlighting the most important things
  • clear offer segmentation
  • faster information retrieval
  • interest of the reader



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