(for the rest of us!)
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The decision has been made. You've decided a web site is the answer to your marketing, branding and identity problems! OK, now what?
Get a web designer! That's the ticket. Yeah, somebody that can put all your "stuff" on the Internet.
Great, but before you leap to the assumption that your new Web Master is going to magically put your roadside attraction on the "Internet super highway," have a seat, take a deep breath and let's discuss something called Information Architecture.
Information architecture (IA) is the foundation and structural skeleton for your web site design. It's a blueprint from which a cohesive, intuitive, user-friendly and organized presentation of your site will be built. Building a web site without IA would be like building your new office suite from just a pile of "stuff"... no plan, no design, no architecture... just "stuff."
The better the plan the better the building. Likewise your web site.
It's not so difficult
As a web developer and designer, I've noticed that it's not difficult at all to walk into your favorite bookstore and find shelves of books nice thick and expensive ones on the subject of designing and building web sites. However, they are typically written by and for the web elite. There are extremely few manuals you can pick off these shelves that might actually get the nontechnically-inclined moving in the right direction toward understanding such notions as information architecture, graphic design for the world wide web, or mastering html.
One trip like this to your bookstore might leave you cross-eyed and wondering why you can't just find somebody on staff to make all this web stuff happen. Or, maybe you're that wonderful staff person who graciously volunteered to take the new corporate web site project on.
Well, chin up my friend, help is at hand. I'm about to give you a quick overview of how to develop your Information Architecture Design Document. And, believe it or not, it's not so difficult to do.