Topic: Information Architecture

Infinite Scrolling Is Not for Every Website

February 2, 2014

Endless scrolling saves people from having to attend to the mechanics of pagination in browsing tasks, but is not a good choice for websites that support goal-oriented finding tasks.

Avoid Category Names That Suck

December 15, 2013

Categories and hypertext act as signs and should give people a strong indication of what will happen even before they click on the link. People avoid clicking on unknown items or, even worse, ignore them all together.

Alphabetical Sorting Must (Mostly) Die

October 4, 2010

Ordinal sequences, logical structuring, time lines, or prioritization by importance or frequency are usually better than A-Z listings for presenting options to users.

Investor Relations (IR) on Corporate Websites

May 25, 2009

Individual investors are intimidated by overly complex IR sites and need simple summaries of financial data. Both individual and professional investors want the company's own story and investment vision.

Top 10 Information Architecture (IA) Mistakes

May 11, 2009

Structure and navigation must support each other and integrate with search and across subsites. Complexity, inconsistency, hidden options, and clumsy UI mechanics prevent users from finding what they need.

IA Task Failures Remain Costly

April 16, 2009

Task success is up substantially compared with usability statistics from 2004. Bad information architecture causes most of the remaining user failures.

Apple's Flatland Aesthetic, Part 2: iPhone, iPod Touch & Apple TV (at

March 10, 2009

In Part 1, I discussed the ill-effects to the Macintosh of Apple's Flatland aesthetic, a visual simplicity that threatens to bury Apple's users with unnecessary clutter and complexity. This month, it's time to turn our attention to Apple's other devices, beginning with what users are faced with when it’s time to upload images.

Site Map Usability

September 2, 2008

New user testing of site maps shows that they are still useful as a secondary navigation aide, and that they're much easier to use than they were during our research 7 years ago.

Intranet Information Architecture (IA) Methods

November 26, 2007

In analyzing 56 intranets, we found many common top-level categories, labels, and navigation designs, but ultimately, the diversity was too great to recommend a single IA.

Deceivingly Strong Information Scent Costs Sales

August 2, 2004

Users will often overlook the actual location of information or products if another website area seems like the perfect place to look. Cross-references and clear labels alleviate this problem.

Card Sorting: How Many Users to Test

July 19, 2004

Testing ever-more users in card sorting has diminishing returns, but test at least 15 users - 3 times more than you would in traditional usability tests.

1994 Design of SunWeb: Sun Microsystems' Intranet

December 31, 1994

This paper presents the methods used to design the user interface and overall structure of Sun Microsystems' first intranet. Sun had an extensive set of information available on the WWW with the home page as the access point, but also wanted to provide employees access to internal information that could not be made available to the Internet at large.