Information Architecture Vs. Interaction Design – What Are the Differences ?

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Information Architecture Vs. Interaction Design – What Are the Differences ?

“What are the salient difference between information architecture and Interaction Design” – Are you able to recall this important question that was asked at you around a decade back while being technically evaluated for the designer post of a web development company in Pimpri-Chinchwad or any other IT hub? The question still has the same vigor of significance and infact has gained multiple dimensions since the advent of the word ‘user experience’.

Although there are clear differences between these two phrases, unfortunately they are never expressed clearly without blurs or overlaps. Moreover, with different versions of explanations floating in the online resources, it rather adds more confusion than clarity. Better late than never, we have attempted to throw light on these concepts and provide the clear cut difference between these two.

Information architecture (IA)

If IA has to be defined crisply in a sentence, it is all about grasping the essence and the systematic organizing of data that are rendered by the product. IA not only defines and identifies the functionality of a site but also is about the structure and organization of relationships that exists among different functionalities of the site. Information architecture is never at the forefront of the webpage, but does a robust job behind the scene.

Dealing mainly with the essentialities of the factors that decide the flow of site, it demands rigorous analysis of data with user-centered design strategies. Needless to say, this involves tons of survey results, persona research, polling and testing to duplicate the user’s flow of action. The job of an information architect cannot be completed without the suitable support from developers, designers, and even marketing professionals.

It’s only after the completion of comprehensive data analysis, that the architecture can contemplate the possible placements of top level aggregated nodes & leaf nodes and even site maps. Infact IA is also an excellent tool to understand the intricacy associated with the projects and helps to gauge the volume of information that needs to be handled.

Interaction Design (IxD)

Interaction design is always about the methods used by the users to interact with the front end interface and how they accomplish the task. Mostly concerned about the visual elements such as buttons, the menu, tabs, dropdown lists, charts, graphics, IxD becomes a part of exercise to improve the most sought out factor – user experience. As an Ix designer prepares the models, page layouts and workflows as per the user’s experience on the site, he / she rely heavily on the customer reviews and in-house testing techniques. Many a time, the results of IxD validity tests may lead to complete revamp of the site and necessitate the information architect to revisit the rationale behind the chosen scheme.

An attempt for lucid difference

Information architecture deals with ‘WHY’ and Interaction Design revolves around ‘WHAT’. Let us explain. Based on the detailed survey and needs of the users, the information architecture scripts the essential elements of the site and plans the route of progression. Having determined the flow of site, now it boils down to the ability of Interaction design to decide what can be done to achieve the flow and bring out the best experience for users.

But it should be understood that both these aspects are indispensable and inseparable. Ofcourse, there are no second thoughts on the fact that a sync of good information architecture and interaction design can only deliver a good user experience.

As we travelled the concepts of these two aspects and uncovered their differences, we are sure that you would have got a fair idea about them. In a nutshell, while IA is concerned about importance of data to the users, IxD deals with the manipulative controls that fetch the data to the users. At our website design company in Pimpri-Chinchwad, we always ensure the right consideration of information architecture’s work flow and infuse the necessary interaction design to achieve the perfect and scintillating experience for our users!

Moustache Web Design is considered to be one of the best web design firms in Pune having the expertise and skills to build a large database for delivering optimal web designing solutions to your clients.
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