Like Architects in the Physical World…

Our process translates your core objectives and strategy into architectural plans for a digital place that will delight your visitors.

The PASS Process

Information architects provide the vision and leadership for realizing complex projects. We’ve adapted the basic process used by architects in the physical world to guide our work with digital places: Programming, Analysis, Synthesis, and Specification.

This methodology is highly collaborative and includes time for alignment between you and your stakeholders, all along the way. TUG’s PASS framework works well on projects with multiple stakeholders, complex information, and diverse audiences.

PASS: TUG Information Architecture Framework

Programming: Deciding Together

In the Programming phase, we focus on establishing clearly the “Why” and “Who” for the site. Organizational goals are articulated and prioritized, the audience is clearly identified, and the ultimate measures of success—key performance indicators (KPIs)—are agreed upon. Activities in this phase may include:

  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Expert reviews and competitive research
  • Intention modeling
  • Content strategy audit
  • Alignment workshops

Analysis: Learning Together

During the Analysis phase, it’s important to learn about your external audiences, and research how your users approach your current site. We evaluate the website and its information architecture, and we benchmark it against your competitors. Analysis activities may include:

  • User interviews
  • Content analysis
  • Business process mapping
  • Page analysis
  • Web analytics review
  • Taxonomy audit of the site

Synthesis: Modeling Together

In this phase we take into account what we’ve learned so far and synthesize the details into high-level models that represent both user needs and a high-level information architecture—the “What.” Synthesis outcomes can include:

  • Personas
  • Journey maps
  • User needs landscape
  • Strategic themes
  • High-level structural design and global navigation
  • Content strategy

Specification: Executing from Blueprints

Finally we focus on the “How,” or the way in which the goals will be achieved through site structure and performance. Typical deliverables for the Specifications phase include:

  • Taxonomies
  • Wireframes with annotated specifications
  • Sitemaps and navigation
  • Content strategy documentation
  • Voice and tone details
  • Governance framework
  • Editorial calendars

See the Results of our Process

Curious about how this works? Take a look at some of the work we’ve done for our clients: our process can be scaled to meet the needs and budget of organizations large and small.