Content Architecture vs. Information Architecture
Which is what and how do you separate the two?
The terms website Content Architecture and website Information Architecture are often wrongly used interchangeably—although nobody should go to jail for doing so. But there is a difference, so to avoid confusion we call the latter “Information Hierarchy” throughout our website.
Content Architecture is the broader process of organizing your website in a way that is meaningful, clear, and intuitive for your primary audience. E.g. how many landing pages you have, how many Web pages under each, the order of those pages, the main navigation, the “learn more” hyperlinks, etc. Your sitemap will articulate a great deal of this, and many people are in the habit of going directly to the sitemap when they visit a website for the first time.
Information Hierarchy (aka Information Architecture) is a narrower concept and refers to the arrangement of the copy within and across your website pages. We recommend the classic Inverted Triangle—also known as the Inverted Pyramid:
- Your broadest and most important website copy comes first, and should clarify your positioning.
- Subsequent website copy should be increasingly specific and speak to your points of differentiation.
- Optional website copy is more detailed and reinforces what you said within (1) and (2).