Information Architecture - Part 2

Chunking - LATCH method

Information or content can be categorized or chunked in many ways and connections can be created between each piece of information. One proposed way by Richard Saul Wurman is the 5 hat racks. He said that an infinite amount of information can be organized using LATCH- Location, Alphabet, Time, Category, and Hierarchy.

Location

This is when any information or anything that has place, area or space is specially organized.  This need not always mean organizing geographically.

 

Alphabet

This is probably the most common way to organize content. Probably even the most easily thought of too. However, it need not work all the time.

Time

Here, the content is organized based on the temporal nature of the information.

Category

Here the information is ordered based on their similarities. This is probably the most commonly used way to sort the content in a product. Now remember that a category that makes sense to one person can seem wired to another. Also, categories can be artificial constructs to accommodate all the information in some or the other group.

Hierarchy

This is where the information can be categorized based on the magnitude, value or scale of the thing. Primarily they are information that can be measured numerically.



Example:

Look at how information can be organized or categorized in an online food store using LATCH method.

Location

The online grocery store can give you a list of items available based on your location. These items need not be available if you were accessing the site from another location.

Alphabetical

The store can organize its food products in alphabetical order. Users can locate a particular food by going to that particular alphabet.

Time

The store can probably organize the food listing seasonally. Like Mangoes in summer or grapes in winter.

Category

The food in the store can be categorized under fruits, vegetables, poultry, diary etc..

Hierarchy

Food in the online store can be displayed based on most popular to least popular, or most expensive to least expensive.

Task based

If the user chooses to checkout with wallet payment the information will be sequenced differently as to if he was to checkout with cash on delivery process.

Type of user

Not everyone visiting the site might be a buyer of food. Someone might visit the site to check for career opportunities in the store, or even to check just the contact information. Some other kinds of sites have options for registered users and non-registered users.



Information can also be organized based on:

Task: That is information is given based on what the user chooses to do.

Type of user: Information can be categorized based on who is trying to access the information.