Overview and setup
A speciality cooking and baking website called "Foodie Fanatic" created a website.
While the content was appreciated by customers, they didn't like the initial IA and designs.
My team and I were called upon to rehash the information architecture of their website.
My Role & Team Structure
My main role was working in project manager, wireframing, and taxonomy, but I also did labeling and persona creation work.
I focused on encouraging exploration as our core conceit.
Creating Information Personas
I had to decide between revising the existing information provided by the professor. I decided to create some fresh personas more attuned to our goals. Three are shown below.
The fresh research was drawn from the following sources:
- Marketing profiles
- Existing profiles
- Marketing research from Foodie Fanatic competitors like Williams-Sonoma and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
In creating the sitemap, I had several problems on my hands:
- What is the best way to organize?
- What would the high level domains look like?
- What would the headers and footers consist of?
The answer lay in creating a division between "customer menu" on the top right and "customer engagement" at the bottom. Labels were deliberately chosen to be familiar to customers.
In addition, the top level domains we chosen as verbs.
I created the final sitemap using Slickplan, with some additions from my team mates.
In turning the sitemap into a wireframe in Balsamiq, we focused on the kinds of content to display. There are several notable elements:
- Williams-Sonoma for top level "verb" domains to encourage customer engagement
- Featured content for customers like Heather, who prefer to see many new things
- Heavily visual calendar section for social people lie Sydney
- All featured products in the "Annual Clearance" and "New Arrivals" are large panels á la Amazon for visual flair
Note: to scroll wireframes below, click on thumbnails underneath the frame
Making multiple Taxonomies
As a food culture website, Foodie Fanatic faces a few classic information architecture problems:
- How can bring up massive amounts of buried content up to the surface?
- Is the organization shown to customers adequate?
So I created four taxonomies in total.
As the only top-to-bottom IA project I have done, this project really clarified and contextualized many of my previous project work and has impacted my subsequent work as well. My main learnings are summarized below.