Themes: Information architecture
Posted on June 10, 2009
As we're rethinking the design of the Wheaton web site we're also rethinking its organization and navigation. White Whale's recommendations sometimes sound simple and obvious, but following them carefully will make a difference. Here are a few samples. If you manage a department web site, please consider the implications for your site.
- Navigation should not reflect the institution’s organizational chart.
Navigation should present information in a way that people with no special knowledge of the existing organizational structure or office/initiative name can easily follow.
- Order links based on use.
Navigation should list the most sought-after information first. It is a convention to put contact information (staff lists, directions) last.
- Link only to pages within the section.
With few exceptions, the navigation should link to internal pages only. Links that are part of the primary navigation should not take the user to another site or to a pdf (or other) downloadable file. If these external links are important, find ways to feature them in the page text rather than in the menus.