HOC Book Launch

Information architecture – It’s not always less is more

We have recently completed a book publication for the Herefordshire Ornithological Club (HOC). This project has been a feat of rare magnitude. The book is a 430 page encyclopaedic study of all the species of birds in Herefordshire. The club has spent the last ten years completing the study.

We were then tasked with bringing it all together, giving it relevance to a variety of audiences. From schools, to ornithological enthusiasts and from National bodies to HRH the Prince of Wales, we had to present the huge amount of information in an engaging and informative structure.

Often books of encyclopaedic scale begin well with an attractive cover then quickly tail off in to monotony. This not due to lack of effort from the publishers, it is because of the amount of content.

Many businesses suffer from the same problem. ‘What information should I present to my audience?’ The age-old predicament of what to include and what to exclude and in the end everything goes in, to the detriment of effective engagement. Whether your content is presented offline or online (where often a content rich online presence is beneficial with search engine optimisation), it is not necessarily about stripping out good content for the sake of a ‘less is more approach,’ it is moreover about establish an effective architecture to your content.

When we are working with businesses to improve their audience engagement, we always establish a strong content architecture. This starts with establishing a compelling entry point to your offer. Whether this is a strong message or experience, it has to be the perfect segue through to all subsequent facets/ categories of your proposition. Here your audience can effectively navigate a businesses’ offer, no matter the scale of its content.

Often the invisible considerations and structure of a brand have just as much effectiveness as the more immediate visual aspects, yet are often overlooked and businesses wonder why their brand and its online and offline presence is making little effect to their operations. Simple really, it lacks the invisible power of ‘information architecture.’

I’m sure His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, has been enjoying his copy of the HOC book and acknowledging his pleasure because of its information architecture!

Chris Fogg,