I’m working on a several information architecture projects at the moment and figured it might be useful to understand how I decide whether or not to create a page. Here’s a checklist that I start from, but that I over-ride based on specific needs obviously.
- What kind of content element is being organized?
- Is there already a classification for the elements being organized? Is it a slightly disguised variation on something that already exists?
- Which audience is expected to show gratitude for the existence of this page?
- Is there an opportunity to show gratitude connected to this page?
“Content elements” is a way to think abstractly about the real-world dimensions that are relevant to the content. For example, events are mostly about time, information is often about category, some things are dependent on location or place (which are not the same thing), and so on.
If these questions can’t be answered clearly, then maybe a page shouldn’t exist for what is being requested. By _not_ generating a page, you can save current work (no one has to write the copy, get approvals on the content, get the photos, design the page template or deploy the page) and even more importantly you can save future work (no one has to update that page or worry about whether it is accurate any longer or whether the photos look out of date etc).
This leaves more time and resources to devote to pages where the above questions can be answered more cleanly (and probably help your goals in a more direct way).