Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Structuring Your Site

One of the primary rules of web design is "don't make your visitors think". It's much better to present them with what they expect and what they expect is an "information tree" approach.
A site like ours has 150+ pages and we have to employ every possible artifice to make it properly and easily navigable by anyone who might visit it.

We use menus, search boxes and site-maps to aid visitors in finding what they need but mechanism is the structure of the site itself.

Like most sites we define four types of page

The 'Home' Page
Normally the first page on which a new visitor 'lands'
On most sites this will contain a single message with a few links to key areas of the site.
Social networking sites differ in that there are often dozens of links on the home page often leading to specialist areas or individual contributions - normally in date order.


Transitional or Node Pages
These might be 'departmental' pages in a commercial site. There main function is to guide the visitor to the relevant...

Content Pages
Contain the 'meat' of your site and are there to be read. They need to be clear and printable.
When your visitors have read your content you will probably want them to move on to an...

Action Pages
Where they can order and pay for your goods, contact you to discuss your services etc.

Menus
On most sites there are menus on every page, often across the top of the page, under or over the header, and down the side bars. These can be site-wide or page-specific. They allow logical jumps from one branch of the tree to another. For instance a camera shop might want to sell a photography book to someone who has just bought a camera.

Search Boxes
Most sites offer search boxes to allow searches for keywords that may be contained in the titles or text of any of the site's pages. This allows the searcher to locate everything on your site that is relevant to his or her quest irrespective of what branch of the tree it is on.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7403331

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