Your information architecture (IA) can strongly influence your employee and client experience. If it is not good, user experience will suffer, which causes frustration and productivity to plummet. For example, if you have poor IA, employees may spend more time finding information than completing tasks.
First thing’s first though – what is Information Architecture and why does it matter?
IA refers to the organisation, structure and labelling of information within an organisation, with the end goal of helping users find the information they need and complete tasks in a timely manner. Finding information that matters shouldn’t have to be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Figure 1: Knowledge Doubling Curve by Buckminster Fuller.
In a recent poll across 1,000 international companies, employees indicated that information is more easily accessible outside their organisation than inside.
If you want to create great information architecture, you need to consider all three of these elements:
It’s important that you have a solid understanding of your audience from the outset. That way, when it comes time to design the legal information architecture, you have a clear picture of who your audience is and what they will be using it for.
For example, if you have many non-legal business users, you should avoid legal “jargon” terms when labelling information.
If your organization is large, complex, and growing, you need to consider the overarching context of that growth. Make sure that your Information Architecture aligns with your processes and is flexible enough to absorb future change management needs. You should also reflect the company culture, corporate identity and language so that finding answers fits seamlessly into the day to day activities of your business.
Content is important for legal operations at every level. Employees need reliable information to avoid spending hours searching or, in the worst case scenario, re-creating content. But information overload can prevent them from getting important information about legislative changes, updates for clients and projects.
To help you make better informed decisions, some content needs to be clearly organised based on tasks rather than departments, in order to ensure that your content is easily accessible and satisfies the demands of employees.
A Legal Information Architecture Health Check can analyse the strengths and weaknesses of content structures. Highlighting what needs to be done to meet user expectations and ensure optimal experience for your employees.
An effective content audit is the first step towards achieving optimal information architecture health. The content audit means itemising all your existing content, deciding what to keep and what to rewrite or delete, and more importantly identifying any new content that will be created by users daily. As part of this process, ownership of the content also needs to be assigned or reassigned.
Marius spent 23 years in corporate and decided to jump ship. Professional experience and skills in strategic thinking, ECM, intelligent automation, low-code application development, design thinking and conversational AI. To discuss your information architecture needs, please contact Marius.email@example.com