Elements of information architecture

The navigation model - the types of navigation you expect to have on the site (persistent, contextual, utility) and the rules for putting them together. I’ve never made an actual sitemap, I’ve never worked on anything small enough, but when people ask for a sitemap, this is what they want.

The content model - The reusable pieces of content this site is made up of and their relationships to each other. If we are a recipe site, it’s probably recipes, but maybe also Chefs, Ingredients, Menus, Blog posts, and Reviews.

The information model - The infrastructure of taxonomies and other metadata that string it all together and make it work. Pro-tip: If you want somebody to pay for this, call it a knowledge graph, even if it isn’t one yet. Worked for us.