What is an Information Architect in Web Design?

An information architect in web design helps an organization to understand user needs and improve the accessibility of the company’s databases and websites. Information architects research the database platform of their clients in order to identify problems and understand how it is being used by the company. By making changes to data design that help users locate information more easily, information architects strive to increase efficiency for users. Information architects can work either full- or part-time, but in both cases, it is beneficial to have strong people skills since they will need to interview an organization’s employees to learn about how the company uses its database platform.

Job Duties

A crucial part of an information architect’s job is to analyze and gather data about a company’s database platform such as the Intranet or Web, in order to understand how the platform should be used, according to Usability.gov. Information architects may consult with business representatives to gain this knowledge. Then, to optimize interaction for users, information architects may either relocate the positioning of the platform or reorganize the structures of the database in order to create readable and clear content matrices, personas, taxonomies, and sitemaps. The goal of the information architect is to optimize the design of the database and make information easier for users to locate on a network or website. Information architects may collaborate with a number of content strategists, programmers, technologists, and designers, or they may write code and work independently.

Required Skills

To work as an information architect in web design, individuals must be able to identify and translate users’ behaviors and research into human-centered design. In order to do this, an information architect must have knowledge of the metadata templates and frameworks used in content management systems (CMSs) as well as strong web analysis skills. This includes familiarity with programming platforms and languages such as JavaScript, CSS, AJAX, FLASH, XHTML, ColdFusion, Microsoft WCF Data Services, and Microsoft applications such as OpenRasta. Information architects must also be somewhat familiar with web design software such as Microsoft Visio, Axure, or Adobe InDesign in order to implement the changes.


The field of information architecture is expanding as rapidly as technology. Information technology is available at the certificate level and as part of master’s or bachelor’s degree programs. Coursework provides aspiring information architects with an introduction to the fundamental concepts of the field. Students also learn how to make flow diagrams, set up wireframes, create sitemaps, and perform basic diagnostic tests. In addition, students will learn how to write code as well as how to operate some of the latest data-structuring software and programs. Some employers may require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in information technology or a related field such as information or library science. This is mainly attributed to the high level of field specialization that is required for the position.

Related Resource: What is a User Interface Designer?

Students seeking a career as an information architect should have a strong foundation in liberal arts, including business communication, as well as an advanced and broad knowledge of the information technology field to stay ahead of rapid changes. As updated versions of software, platforms, and programs develop, part of the responsibility of an information architect in web design is to continue one’s research and education by keeping current with new program services, updates, and improvements.