I have a question about a more complex information architecture. A website with a lot of content and over 1000 pages is being redesigned.

My task is to create a sitemap. The aim is to remove duplicate content and create better topic blocks. We will conduct various UX research workshops. Card sorting is also planned. But my question is, how do you do it, to show such complex structures? As a deliverable, an Excel file is expected that shows all existing pages and provides them with corresponding taxonomies.

Do you have any experience with this? What is your approach?


1 Answer 1


You are working on the information architecture (IA) for a website, but the sitemap only forms a small part of the output or asset that you will create, because the key to managing complex IA is to understand the way that information can be structured and managed within the context of the website. You can read more about the relationship between IA and sitemaps before you start.

Having lots of pages doesn't necessarily always mean more complex IA, because many e-commerce based website will have thousands of pages of products, but the type of content and how it is structured remain identical.

As with all research activities, start from where the source is and try to understand it as best as you can. That means start with the data that exists within the pages. What are the key datasets? What are their relationships to each other? What does the lifecycle of the datasets look like?

It also means start with the end-users. What are their goals? How do they want to go about achieving it? What will their interaction with the website look like?

All these questions will go a long way to defining some of the objectives of your research. And you can use this information to guide decisions around how the data can be grouped and classified, as well as how the navigation and page contents should be designed.

You have mentioned research activities that you plan to conduct, but it is much more important to list the questions that you need answered from your research. In terms of presenting the information, usually if you can present high level findings visually, it will help with processing the large volumes of information that you are planning to provide in Excel as an expected deliverable. You can see this breakdown of key activities and deliverables by NNg:

enter image description here Image source: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/information-architecture-sitemaps/

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