Web architectures have pros and cons, but the benefits far outweigh the downfalls. In this article, I will use the term ‘web architectures’ in the broader since, including defining the website plan, drafting web architectures, and designing the web prototype.
Clarifies Fuzzy Ideas
Website ideas are loose concepts that are a great jumping off point. Yet, the goal of internet development planning is to define clear requirements. So, by really digging into an idea, you help uncover a solution that works.
Defines Measurable Goals
Websites need to make money and web architectures achieve this. When information architects understand the goals of your business, they guide the creation of navigation when drafting and prototyping during internet development planning.
Satisfies User Needs
A website also needs to be useful. Websites that provide value in the form of content that is useful make people happy. Successful internet development planning focuses on making users happy. Web architectures allow the creator to think like a user. Therefore, content is categorized, prioritized, and shaped in a way that makes sense.
Saves Money & Time
This sounds cliché, but architecting out a clearly defined, drafted, and prototyped website structure helps you get accurate quotes and timelines from developers. You can even present your plans to multiple companies without having to explain yourself to death. It’s all documented and digitally structured so there are no inflated quotes.
Sells Your Idea
Your website might be a multi-million dollar project that requires you to pitch your ideas to investors. Maybe you don’t have the budget to develop your website this year, but want to make sure decision makers allocate enough funds next year. Web architectures provide a visual prototype that sells your idea because others can see and interact with your vision.
Test Your Concept Before It Goes To Market
Web architectures encourage usability testing and user acceptance before it’s too late. Testing your website prototype with real people who fit your target audience helps validate your design. If there are obstacles, changes can be made quickly to a prototype during the internet development planning phase.
Web architectures are efficient. As mentioned a moment ago, changes are made much faster at this stage. Implementing solutions is quicker because it is free of complex programming and detailed graphics.
The thought of internet development planning, architecting, and prototyping can seem unnecessary. This is partially true. Depending on the type of website you are creating, you might not have to get so detailed in the wireframe and prototyping phase.
Doing It All Can Be Redundant
If your website doesn’t require the user to perform a lot of tasks (low interaction), then you could get by with just internet development planning, creating a site map, and some light wireframing. This will be more efficient.
If your website requires a lot of interaction, but doesn’t present a lot of information to organize, less time can be spent structuring information
Color Wastes Time
Another downfall can occur when colors are added to the wireframe or prototype. Color should be left to visual designers in the development phase. Colors slow down the process and lead to tangents that have nothing to do with architecting. Web architectures are about function rather than the formation of color.
Functionality Isn’t Perfect
Functionality of prototypes isn’t perfect. Although it’s a real representation of what you want your website to look like, it will not function perfectly. Prototypes simulate how users navigate and interact with elements, but this experience isn’t always true to how it will work when it’s live on the internet.
As stated at the beginning, the benefits of web architectures far outweigh the downfalls. Web architecting is a necessary tool, although it needs to be used correctly to be efficient and effective.