Information architecture

In the words of Nielsen Norman Group, information architecture (IA) “is the information backbone of the site”. A good IA helps users get quickly to where they want to go.

When working on long-term content projects, in which clients are looking to seriously improve conversion, I begin with a full IA review.

If you’d like a free IA review and associated recommendations, contact me.

Case study: The International Baccalaureate

From July to December 2014 I was part of a project group aimed at completely redesigning the International Baccalaureate (IB) website.

As well as rewriting all text content for the website and advising on functional and graphic design, I maintained and developed the website’s new information architecture (IA).

By redesigning the website’s IA, the IB drastically increased conversion.

The principle behind the changes was simple:

Provide an IA that worked for people interested in teaching the IB rather than one that catered to internal stakeholders, thus getting users quickly to the website’s core conversion pieces: Become an IB School, and paid events. 

Secondary to that core principle were may other considerations – including programme information for existing schools, and access to research – but I made the key changes necessary to drive traffic to the places that really mattered.

In other words, I made sure that the IB website could generate revenue as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Guess what? It worked

One year on from the December 2014 relaunch I performed a traffic analysis and found plenty to be happy about:

  • Double the number of clicks through to the IB’s key revenue driver. Compared with the preceding year, users visiting the IB’s ‘School Information Form’ (the form used to express interest in teaching the IB and therefore in beginning to pay fees for accreditation and subsequent programmes) increased by more than double following the IA change.
  • Triple the number of visits to the IB’s paid event search. As part of schools’ commitment to providing the IB, teachers are expected to attend a certain number of development sessions a year: but, of course, the goal of the IB is to have as many teachers attend as many events as possible. Through the IA change, we increased visits threefold to the event search, while conversion rates remained stable.
  • An increase of a fifth to the IB’s professional development section. As well as paid events, the IB offered other forms of paid professional development. Through the IA change we were able to increase traffic to professional development as a whole (including the paid events search), increasing it by around 20%

The success continues

I’m currently working on a similar project at Albelli, a European e-commerce company with seven websites. When enough data is available, I’m confident I’ll be able to report the same successes.

Get in touch now to discuss a free IA review and how I can improve conversions for your organisation.