Top 10 Information Architecture Mistakes

Poor information architecture causes the majority of outright user failures and isn’t improving at the rate of other Web usability issues, reports usability authority Jakob Nielsen.

To determine why, he identified 10 long-term sore thumbs that together cost websites billions of dollars each year.

Many of these information architecture blunders can be quickly and easily corrected, such as made-up menu names. Why use “What makes XZY company tick” when people are looking for an “About us” button?

As Nielsen suggests, websites should communicate plainly and simply. Otherwise you’re likely frustrating your visitors and missing opportunities.

Check out Nielsen’s full report.

6 responses to “Top 10 Information Architecture Mistakes”

  1. Dale says:

    I actually like your “what makes xyz company tick” button, but I suppose that’s getting my ego in the way! It goes to show, we generally think of ourselves, which isn’t great when you are trying to persuade others. Web content writers and designers should remind themselves who they’re serving every time they tackle a website.

  2. Tim Wong says:

    Poor web usability isn’t due to web writers. It’s caused by web designers as they seem to think good design is about the looks of a website, not functionality.

  3. Kim says:

    Poor web usability is caused by ANYONE in the process who doesn’t abide by certain principles. You can’t blanket one group for errors on websites.

  4. Jay Miles says:

    Kim is right…don’t place blame on designers. While some are unqualified, many help usability.

  5. Paul L says:

    Designers and writers might screw things up. That’s why there are usability specialists! You can’t expect one person to cover everything. Too many technologies and factors when it comes to the Internet.

  6. Michel says:

    I agree to nielsen’s suggestion it is very necessary to communicate otherwise that may create misunderstandings. Technology should be used whenever required, this will saves time and will even minimize mistakes.

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