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Mobile Design and Development by Brian Fling

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Chapter 7. Mobile Information Architecture

Your information architecture (also known as IA), is the foundation of your mobile product. A well-engineered product with good visual design can still fail because of poor information architecture. The truly successful mobile products always have a well-thought-out information architecture.

From a simple mobile website to an iPhone application, the mobile information architecture defines not just how your information will be structured, but also how people will interact with it. This is made especially tricky when you consider that different devices have different capabilities and therefore different interaction models. Take the way people interact with their devices: for example, a touch device on which the user literally points and clicks, or a more basic device on which the user uses the directional pad to navigate to the desired location.

Also, don’t forget that the information architecture emphasizes how you address context. In other words, a good mobile information architecture is based around the various user contexts that I talked about in Chapter 4. The secret is that mobile information architecture isn’t all that different from how you might architect software or a website; it just has a few added challenges.

What Is Information Architecture?

Before we get into the specifics of mobile information architecture, let’s first talk about exactly what information is. I can think of no better definition than the seminal O’Reilly book

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