Information architecture is the organization of functionality and content of a system into a specific structure with the intent of making navigation of the system easier or more intuitive for its users. Information architecture is used in web development, content management systems, database development, programming, etc.
In web development, information architecture includes link architecture as well as the graphical user interface (GUI). The link architecture is very important because it determine how the web pages are linked to each other and how accessible each is with respect to the current page the user is at.
Good link architecture will ensure that users can easily go back to previous pages visited, particularly the home page or landing page, and that there is a way for users to transfer to a page with another parallel topic.
To help users find their way, most websites nowadays use what is called breadcrumbs at the top of the page, to show the users the path they took to get to a specific page. This allows the link architecture to make better sense for users and is part of what we call the graphical user interface or GUI. The GUI is the “liaison” between the user and the sites link architecture because it is all the parts of the web page that the user sees.
In short, it is the web page itself in the user’s eyes. The link architecture works in the background and the GUI is how it is presented. This is very important for websites because without it users will not be able to navigate a site effectively, if at all.