Organization and Labeling
The first step in any information architecture project is correctly organizing and labeling relevant documents, pages, ideas, and things. Correct organization will form the backbone of navigation and site structure. Informative labels will communicate that organizational structure effectively to users.
Approaches to Organization
Strong labels and titles help a visitor determine whether a page, link, or content under a heading will have the desired information. Users typically scan titles, headings, and links first, and long bodies of text only after they have decided that doing so is likely to be worth their time. To maximize usability, use labels that provide users a good “information scent”.
The best labels are familiar to users already, using language they already use in their daily lives. The best labels are visitor-oriented, not site-owner- or producer-oriented. Avoid the temptation to make up or use unfamiliar words in an attempt to build interest, as these often come at an expense to navigation.