Dan Zollman

Information architecture, design, and strategy

Resource guide: Information architecture & navigation

New England Drupal Camp: Designing human-centered navigation

I presented an introductory session on information architecture at the Design4Drupal conference on July 20, 2023 and New England Drupal Camp on November 18, 2023.

See below for the slides, notes, and a resource guide to accompany the presentation.

Thank you to all of the IA thinkers whose work I discussed in this presentation, and to the colleagues who provide input and constructive feedback.

Session description

Fundamentally, a website is built for users to navigate information—but designing navigation can be a mysterious part of the process. For important elements like menus and search, we may struggle to decide on a structure, or to give it due attention while busy with other aspects of the project. For the global navigation menu, menu items are sometimes chosen casually; sometimes through political compromise rather than thoughtful UX.

This session, presented by information architecture and UX strategy consultant Dan Zollman, introduces approaches that will help you make confident decisions about website navigation. Beyond guessing, brainstorming, or even card sorting, we’ll discuss how effective information architecture (IA) is grounded in core conceptual models for the business and its audiences. Along the way, we’ll cover principles for making navigation systems user-friendly.

Highlights include:

  • How humans navigate: information-seeking behaviors, and other basic cognitive principles, that impact how you’ll organize content
  • The difference between a website’s conceptual structure, its sitemap, and its menu structure
  • Using concept modeling as a first step to define website structure, as well as your content model in the CMS/Drupal
  • The four main goals that a site’s main menu, specifically, should achieve
  • Tips on arriving at the final labeling & classification for a navigation menu

Slides and speaker notes

These slides and notes will be available for a limited time.

Fonts and layout in these exported slides have some differences from the actual presentation. Apologies for any readability issues.

Recommended resources

Introductions to information architecture in general


Shorter and/or more accessible books:

More in-depth:

Information-seeking behaviors*

* Information-seeking as a subset of all information behaviors & needs that should be supported by information architecture.

Modeling & diagramming

Structure & navigation

Contact Dan