Full day training course offered at The UX Conference New York City

Information Architecture

Organize and structure information to improve findability and discoverability

Course Date: March 17, 2013

The Information Architecture (IA), or organization, of a website or application is critical, because it determines whether or not users are successful in finding desired information and completing tasks. This course introduces the core components of a good IA, as well as essential IA design methods and strategies.

"In just one day, this course provided me with actionable items I will use to both improve and add onto the IA of my company's website. The course also gave me a new perspective on how to analyze my website and the most important aspects I should focus on improving."

Laura Normile
HD Supply Facilities Maintenance

Topics Covered

Topics Covered

  • How to explain why information architecture (IA) is important for your website or application
  • Why a good IA can save your company time and money during and after development
  • Return on investment (ROI) of information architecture
  • Essential logic and concepts you need to build a useful, usable, and extensible information architecture
  • Five components of information architecture
    • Structure types: Hierarchy, linear, and web
    • Organization schemes: Topic, task, format, audience, alphabet, time, geographical, attributes, tags, and popularity
    • Label names: Being specific vs. concise
    • Search: Designing search for content to be found
    • Logic: Taxonomy and metadata, when and why they're needed
  • Documenting information architecture
    • Content inventories
    • Site maps
  • Evaluating information architecture
    • Identifying issues and potential solutions
    • Measuring baseline performance
    • Testing structure, schemes, and labels
  • Designing information architecture
    • Mental models and scenarios
    • Domain modeling and task flow sketching
    • Card sorting method



This course is an interactive lecture. A series of in-depth exercises let you apply and practice new principles and techniques, while staying grounded in the research that supports them.

In groups, you will analyze a website’s information architecture by considering the site’s target audiences and top tasks, evaluating the organization scheme and existing structure, and documenting a new structure for the site.

The course also includes:

  • Findings from our own usability studies, including eyetracking
  • Videos from user testing showing people's behavior in response to a design
  • Screenshots of designs that work and don’t work, and why
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers

Participant Comments

Participant Comments

"Course was fast-paced and concise, which kept me well engaged."

Nicole Funaro, Travelers Insurance

"Fantastic instructor — very knowledgeable and approachable, comprehensive."

Karina Sekanaka, AFK

"This IA course was incredibly informative. Kathryn is an amazing instructor who is thorough, covers a large range of IA related topics clearly and concisely. I would definitely recommend this class and instructor to other Uxers."

Robert Turner, Booz Allen Hamilton

  • More Participant Comments
    "Clearly presented cross-section of useful, timely and relevant info that provides an excellent foundation for thinking about a site structure."

    Denise Popovic, Royal Australasian College of Physicans

    "Fast-paced, content rich presentation, instructor was extremely knowledgable and managed time balancing comments by students with presenting all the content. Can't wait to take the follow up course."

    Stan Palmer, Braintrust Holdings

    "If you want to make your web development more useable and attractive to users, take this course."


    "Great class. Really liked the way Katie explained things. I especially liked how the content was structured and the slide that plainly showed IA process."

    Burundi Fletcher, UX Designer

    "Extremely helpful, rich insights and robust examples made this session very productive."

    Kim Diaz, Web Producer - Digital Content & UX, AICPA

    "This course provided a very detailed overview of key information architecture principles. I left the session with valuable frameworks and specific resources I can take back to my organization."


    "Loved the video examples provided — helped drill in concepts; and made some of them much easier to grasp."

    Saffron Davis, The Regional Municipality of York

    "For UX designers, this is a great introduction to the study of IA. Just the right amount of depth given the class time."

    Kim Paetzold, GE Oil & Gas

    "This course is about everything you go back and forth about when organizing your content. Great concrete ways to make decisions about categorizing and grouping information for your users. I want to share this with stakeholders in my organization."

    Lauralee Haefner, University of Rochester Medical Center - Pediatrics

    "Great course content. Very engaging speaker. Learned so many tools to use."

    Venod Krishaan, Entrust Datacard

    "Most of my knowledge on this topic is self-taught, so it's good to have this clarify my knowledge and fill in the gaps. The instructor is very friendly, easy to understand and willing to stop for questions."

    Tracy LeGault, Simpleview

    "The course inspired me to go home and re-work this interface I'm working on."

    Hans Grunth, Grundfos



Garrett Goldfield

Garrett Goldfield is a User Experience Specialist at Nielsen Norman Group with 20 years of practical experience. At Nielsen Norman Group, Goldfield has consulted for clients in a broad range of industries, including e-commerce, automotive, health care, financial, media, telecommunications, education, art and non-profits, as well as highly specialized B2B sites. Read more about Garrett.