In our course,IA 1:构建和组织基于Web的信息那上e of the topics is "Mini Information Architecture." This isn't something that's often discussed, and several people have asked me what we mean by this term.

迷你IA的定义is simple: it's how you结构有关单个主题的信息那concept, product, or article. For example, the Alertbox column you're reading now has the simplest possible mini-IA — a single page, with a linear presentation of the information.

在单个页面上涵盖某些东西时,我们通常不会将演示文稿视为“信息架构”。实际上,本页中的信息的结构通常会在我们的课程中涵盖为网络写作2:呈现引人注目的内容。However, the verydecision to stick to a single-page format是一个IA的重要。

Often, it's better to break up information into multiple units rather than use an overly long linear flow. You can then present these multiple units across a few pages or use a within-page navigation system, such as tabs or carrousels.

Linear Paging? Usually Bad

Let me first dismiss a popular mini-IA as being almost universally bad for usability: If you have a long article, it's almost从来没有好的把它切成线性序列of pages. If the only navigation is a link saying "continue" or "next page," then it's typically better to stick it all on a single page andrely on scrolling instead of page-turning

(The exception here is for content presented on tablets such as theiPad,刷手势提供了一个泛型命令for moving between pages.)

In many situations, the best alternative is to块信息进入单个内容单位,重点关注逻辑凝聚力;然后,您可以相应地描述每个单元,让用户直接导航到满足其需求的设备。(注意:“第3页,共5页”既不是描述性,也不是值得自己的页面。)

(用于向导式互动,如e-commerce checkout那a linear page-turning progression is usually best because even though each step is logically cohesive, they're in an应用程序工作流程如果您无法首先完成步骤2.),因此您无法转到步骤3。)

Example: Usage-Relevant Structure

为了说明usage-relevant结构,让我们瞧ok at two example structures that present information about exercises in a mobile fitness app:

Screenshots of two iPhone fitness apps

该example on the left employs a useful mini-IA for pushup exercises: it puts all the exercises together in a list that'sordered from the easiest to the hardest。相比之下,右侧的示例对练习进行了分类按字母顺序上,通常是坏的


“修改”显然发出差信息香味— the word tells you what the exercise is那instead of what itis。“倾斜”更好,尽管不像等同的“手升高”标签一样清楚你是你自己的健身房。Quick, what's the difference between an incline and a decline pushup? I bet you can't answer that as quickly (or as correctly) as you might decipher "hands elevated" vs. "feet elevated."更简单的单词通常最好


设计师全健身would have surely benefited from the course on写在线。That said, their main problem is structural. Even with improved labels, the current全健身scheme would remain less usable than the你是你自己的健身房solution, which recognizes that pushup variationsdeserve their own mini-IA根据符合不同俯卧撑练习的最佳方式的结构。(这里:当你变得更强壮时,从易于努力进步。)

As an aside, both apps use缩略图照片to further explain the exercises and help users determine which one to choose. And both have usability problems.你是你自己的健身房由于它们的体积小,因此照片有太多的背景细节。全健身这些照片清洁,几乎易于掌握自己的健身房照片,即使它们要小得多。我通常批评微小的缩略图,但大多数全健身图像(两种机器练习除外)足以充分区分锻炼。(有关如何选择小屏幕的正确图像,请参阅课程Visual Design for Mobile Devices and Tablets。)



  • 一长is a simple choice, but makes it harder for users to access individual subtopics. You also risk摄入疲劳as users slog their way through the page to the bitter end (andmany will give up在发生太痛苦之前)。
  • 迷你IA.允许您将信息拆分为适当的块。这允许直接访问感兴趣的副主学,并可以让用户更好地了解概念空间,而不是他们在将鼻子放到磨石到无休止地滚动的同时。
  • 分布式信息让您将许多主题的副主题混合在一起,如在俯卧撑练习,电缆机练习等中全健身关于“胸部锻炼”的一部分。


Since the Web's beginning,internally focused structuring一直是最具用户避免的设计错误之一。我们的研究intranet IA那for example, has repeatedly found that both usage and employee productivity skyrocket when a department-based IA is replaced by a task-based IA.

沿着类似的线路,如果根据您的内部组织图表或任何其他方式无法满足客户如何访问信息的方式,则迷你IA不会有帮助。但如果你拥抱迷你IA - 识别一个基于用法的结构scheme as a basis for a清除和适度的导航系统 - 你可能会有一个胜利者。