With Our Powers Combined: Content Strategy and UX to Create a Super-Powered IA

Session Recording: https://youtu.be/go7K25Zz90o

The information architecture (IA) is the critical master plan for creating or revising a website. It is the blueprint the development team will use to create the Drupal building blocks that frame your site.

This presentation demonstrates how the two disciplines of UX and content strategy analyze the building blocks of a site. Starting from two separate vantage points, they meet in the middle to enhance each other's work, creating a finished product that is more than the sum of its parts.

In this session, the attendee will learn:

  • The basic tools of both content strategist and user experience professionals;
  • How these tools help to analyze a project or site; and
  • How the data from the individual tools combine to help inform a complete IA.

Content Strategy – Looking from the bottom up

The content strategist looks at the site from the ground up, reviewing a site page-by-page using a full inventory of content. From there, he sees content groupings from a different perspective, noticing orphaned or out-of-place pages and formulating intuitive groupings based on a collection of individual pieces.

In the content strategy portion of the presentation, we’ll go over the tools in the content professionals' toolbox, including:

  • Content inventories
  • Page-by-page content audits
  • Metadata & taxonomies
  • Content types

User Experience – Looking from the top down

The User Experience professional starts with a 30,000 ft. view of a project, gaining insight on things like users, tasks, and content categories. From that, she tries to develop a sensible structure to a sight, and what individual pieces might fit within.

In the user experience portion of the presentation, we’ll go over some tools in the UX professionals' toolbox, including:

  • Usability testing - including tree tests & card sorts
  • Navigation maps
  • Wireframes

Where Design and Content Meet

A good content strategy/UX team will collaborate to bring their individual analysis data together, comparing one against the other and revising, adjusting, and enhancing where necessary.

During the collaborative portion of the presentation, we’ll go over best practices including how:

  • Content Inventories <> Influence <> Card Sorts <> Influence <> Draft Navigation
  • Content Audits <> Influence <> Tree Tests <> Influence <> IA Maps
  • Content Types <> Influence <> Wireframes <> Influence <> Development

Attendees for this presentation will typically have some idea of the basic concepts of content strategy and user experience. They will come away with a more detailed understanding of the tools used by both professions, and how to better collaborate to create a successful site architecture.


  • Dana Solano, User Experience Lead for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Booz Allen Hamilton, Drupal.org Profile
  • Kevin McDermott, Content Strategy Lead for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Booz Allen Hamilton, Drupal.org Profile
Experience Level
Schedule Info
Conference Year
Date / Time
Balcony C
Session Track
Design, UX, and Accessibility
Supporting Documents