Abhinit Parelkar - UX/Interaction Designer


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Information Architecture of IxDA Chicago Website

Duration: Winter Quarter 2018

The problem:

"For various reasons, the Local leaders feel that supporting the current site both limits and hinders their ability to provide experience for this community. Therefore, IxDA Chicago has been leveraging Meetup.com to coordinate events." - Notice from IxDA Chicago about retiring their website on February 6th, 2018.

We took advantage of this opportunity to revamp the information architecture of this website to deliver a connected experience for its users.


We had a time constraint of seven weeks to execute information architecture process to deliver sitemap and wire flows based on two key tasks.. 



The process:

  • We initiated the process by defining the two key tasks. First, “Attending Local Events”. Second, “Viewing Member’s Profile”. The task flows were based on user personas.

  • We conducted content inventory to explore and import the existing content categories for card sorting.

  • We conducted the following studies using Optimal Workshop:
    • Open card sort study to standardize the categories.
    • Hybrid card sort study to solidify the categories.
    • Task based (Treejack) study (with two iterations) to analyze the user interactions.

  • We built a “Sitemap” to visually represent the structure and navigation flow of the site.

  • We designed “Wire-Flows” based on two key tasks.

The progress: We conducted a second task based study (Iteration 2) to test our new card sort categories. We observed a significant progress of Key Tasks (One & Two) in the task based study 2 (using Treejack).  See the image gallery (Key Task 1, Key Task 1 (Iteration 2), Key Task 3, Key Task 3 (Iteration 2)).

For the detailed report: Click here

Technology used: 

Optimal Workshop, Adobe XD/Illustrator, Wayback Machine (web.archive.org), Microsoft Excel, Keynote


This project was a two-person based team effort.

The team had following contributions:

  • Abhinit Parelkar: Conducted studies (Card Sort, Treejack), Built Wire-flow (Task two), Site map, Report Writing. 
  • Amarvikash Vigneswaran: Built key task flows, Conducted content inventory, Built Wire-flow (Task one), Categorized Card Sorts, Report Writing. 

Learned Lesson(s):

We learnt that the right use of navigation labels act as pathway to users' goals. This is indeed achieved through the iterations we were able to make based on the number of tests we conducted using Optimal Workshop. 

The takeaway from this project was working in conjunction with users compels us (information architects) to think from users' perspective to fulfill their needs. This leads to the number of iterations which refines the product from its previous stage. We wish if we could conduct a user testing of wireframes using a Chalkmark tool from Optimal Workshop.



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