Tips and Tricks for Web Site Managers

By Mark Kerr | Go to book overview

Chapter 2

Information Architecture and Navigation Design

Content is only useful if it can be found. A robust information architecture to allow for expansion, and effective navigation to assist in the location of the required information, are both essential if the site is to deliver its information to the user reliably.


Selecting Content and Structure
The planning process should not be limited to new sites. Every web site should be subjected to a constant process of evaluation by its management. While many leading commercial sites are totally redesigned every 12-18 months, this is often impractical or unnecessary for services whose style does not need to change with each new season’s fashions. Nevertheless, the principle of continuous development is certainly one that should be applied to all sites. ‘In a survey of 200 web sites, 43 percent lacked basic navigation aids. Of these, 73 percent did not have text navigation at the bottom of their pages, 27 percent did not have a link back to the home page from all interior pages, 50 percent did not link to the site map from the home page and 39 percent did not have a search tool. ’ Giga Information Group
(http://www.gigaweb.com)There are a number of design considerations that should be clarified prior to developing or redeveloping a site:
• What is the appropriate style and structure?
• How will the site be created and managed?
• How will the content be managed?

When designing a site, you need to imagine how the visitor will experience your design. There are several styles of site structure and navigation which dictate how the visitor moves from section to section, and this movement is governed by the links and connections you have installed. Whether or not you obey the three-click rule (a widely quoted standard

‘Make sure that the user can reach everything within three clicks and less than a second speed and convenience transcend graphics and visual design. ’

Peter Cochrane

Chief Technologist, BT

in navigation design, which states that the user should be able to get from the home page to any other page on the site within three clicks of the mouse) may depend on the content and style of your site, but your overriding aim should always be to get visitors to their intended destination as easily and smoothly as possible.

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Tips and Tricks for Web Site Managers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Acknowledgements iv
  • Introduction 6
  • Chapter 1 - Site Definition and Planning 8
  • Chapter 2 - Information Architecture and Navigation Design 20
  • Chapter 3 - Page Design and Graphics 73
  • Chapter 4 - Site Quality and Accessibility 94
  • Chapter 5 - Web Site Policies and E-Commerce 142
  • Chapter 6 - Marketing and Promotion 146
  • Conclusion 162
  • Appendix 163
  • Bibliography 165
  • Index 166
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