Like architects in the physical world…

We translate your objectives and strategy into architectural plans for a digital place that will delight your visitors.

The PASS process

Using the same basic process as architects in the physical world, information architects provide vision and leadership for complicated projects. We typically guide our clients through four phases: Programming, Analysis, Synthesis, and Specification.

This collaborative approach includes time for you and your stakeholders to reach consensus in every phase. It is well-suited to projects with multiple stakeholders, complex information, and diverse audiences.

I was very impressed with their straightforward, no-nonsense approach. Their knowledge and experience was obviously excellent.”

-Doug Howell, Web Communications Manager, Internet2

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.