I had previously written about creating an IA basically through inventorying an existing site and using some basic assumptions to choose what to include.
I was recently tasked with creating another new section or portal to the website, but this time, I was not working off of an existing section. Instead, I am creating a new section based on our needs and what other similar organizations have done. So, this time I did it differently. In a sort of two step process:
- looking at other websites
The websites I looked at were actually chosen by my boss because he knows which ones generally had the resources to do a lot of testing with their users and a good IT department with experienced staff members (or maybe it was just that he found these ones to be really good, probably both). Looking at other websites helped create some initial categories as well as identify items that we might have missed in our inventory since there was no easy way to search for the content we needed.
Based on logical groupings and categories that other sites used, I created an initial IA to be used as part of the card sort study.