Information Architecture (IA) & navigation design is key to users finding things on any website or app. Most times, the navigation is sorted by a marketing manager or a web designer in a what-makes-sense kind of way. I’ve done that. That is an excellent starting point.
Most times, users have a different method of how navigation should be organised and will spend a few clicks looking for things in misleading navigation headings. In recent times, I was fortunate enough to test this approach. Using card sorting, we were able to run multiple tests on how to organise the Internap navigation.
We tested the navigation sorting against top management and product marketing managers to get their insight. We tested clients as well. We tested open ended sorting and somewhat of a controlled test. One where there were no top level “buckets” and the latter with pre-defined “buckets”.
The results were analysed to see common factors that helped us make decisions. As for the labeling, I researched organic traffic and Keyword Planner to see the most common phrases users were using to find out pages.
Excellent information architecture is nothing without excellent communication. So IA goes hand in hand with content. Eliminating jargon and using the language of the common man.
OptimalWorkshop is an excellent tool that I used for card sorting and more.