Information Architecture Analysis: Inkpug and Elaine

A drawing of a black pug, sleeping with tongue out.
Photo Credit: Inkpug

Analyzing Inkpug’s Website 

For this assignment, I have chosen to analyze the website for the cartoonist Inkpug.

Upon my initial look at the website, I noticed the main menu and labels used for the pages immediately. The main menu is on the top of the page under the logo and the social media links. It is easily visible and the labels for each page are clear and seem to be logically organized, though based on the type of content, I do not think that arranging the main menu labels differently would make much difference except for the home page.  

There is only one main menu label with subcategories and that is the Freebies + Printables label. Users can hover over the label and the submenu will appear, or they can click on the label and will be directed to a page where they can select the subcategory they want to view. I think the subcategory option for this section is appropriate and allows users to see just what they want to instead of all of the freebies on one page which could be overwhelming to some.  I would argue that the website might benefit from submenus under the “Our Books!” and the “Calendars” sections to allow users to go to a particular calendar or book they are interested in, but it is not necessary for the website to include this.  

The website’s content seems to be prioritized by what typical fans of Inkpug would like to see the most. For example, the home page is a database of Inkpug’s drawings, with the newest drawings at the top. The main menu gives options to view Inkpug’s calendars and books, where to buy Inkpug products, freebies and printables, and their FAQ page. Of course, since all of these are in the main menu, they can be navigated to in any order depending on what the visitor is looking for. 

I did notice that there is not a search bar on the website. I think that adding a search bar would improve the website some, but the main menu does a good job of telling visitors where they can find things. In addition, the information that is presented on each page is easily scannable thanks to small blocks of text and effective use of white space.  

Analyzing My Website 

My website already has some IA principles in use. I contribute this to GoDaddy’s template options and not myself, but I am pleased to see that some of the IA principles already apply to my website. Of course, now that I am more familiar with IA and what that means, I can start to make sure that my website incorporates them further.  

My main menu and labels seem to follow IA principles. I feel that they are clear and are arranged logically. Each main menu label is clickable and navigation from one page to another is simple. I worry that the navigation within my publications page is a bit convoluted, though. I may try simplifying this so that the pathways are more clearly defined for visitors. I also think that organizing the publications, perhaps by date, would be helpful for navigation as well.  

As far as the organization of my website is concerned, my hope for the website was to draw attention to the information I consider most important, which would be my work. I did this by trying to center the “Writing” section in the menu bar and by making it a submenu. The black arrow next to the writing section draws some more attention to it, I think. I chose not to make the writing section the default homepage because I felt like an introduction to myself would be more appropriate for the portfolio style I am using.  

Another reason I include a sub menu under the “Writing” label is so that visitors can look for the type of writing they are interested in rather than be overwhelmed by all my pieces. I am also considering adding a drop down to the “Publications” page so that visitors can more easily find that information as well rather than being shown all my publications at once.  

Another critical element of IA that my website is missing is a search bar. I think that there is some searchability to my website in terms of being able to quickly scan a page visually for information, but I do not have an actual search bar that visitors could use to make the process quicker. The addition of a search bar, though a simple element, will be a great improvement for my website. And as Rosenfeld points out, the search bar can be useful for my own research purposes. I could discover, over time, what visitors to my site are most interested in through the search data.  

Elaine Streeter

Elaine Streeter

Elaine is a creative and professional writer based in Columbus, GA.