Simply put, IA (information architecture) is the blueprint for a website. You can liken it to an architect’s plans for a house. Most IA projects will include the building of a wireframe prototype. The IA suggests design layouts, the types of content that can be included and how the website will function. For example, the links in the menu will function, and a hero image may be shown through a greyed out box and text.
How does IA affect professional web design? Well, web design isn’t just the look and feel of a website, but how it functions. Just because a website looks good, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work well (which I’ll cover later on in Functional Design).
Coming back to IA… IA maps out the design, suggesting where the content will sit, and the different types available. It allows designers to plan where key content will sit based on how important it is. For instance, you’re not going to put an important call to action (CTA) to a sale landing page in the footer.