Planning a Website
The purpose of this module is to practice the planning aspects needed to create a quality website. By now you have visited and critiqued web sites, studied the basics of color theory and design basics, explored web standards and the need to ensure that websites are accessible to all users. Now you will consider the importance of developing an orgnizational structure to a website. This is the final step before you get started on creating your own web pages. This module provides an exposure to organizational theory and hands-on experience organizing the content of a website.
Organizing a Website
A key to successfully designing a large website is to organize the information logically, so that users can easily locate the information they’re looking for. The first step in organizing a website is a concept called “chunking,”, dividing the site’s content into manageable chunks of information, with all chunks related conceptually to one another. Content within each chunk can then be arranged hierarchically, so that the most important topics within a chunk will appear first in a navigational system.
At the completion of this exercise:
you will have learned theories and techniques for effectively organizing content on a website.
Read the Web Style Guide chapter on Information Architecture.
Reading Check. Write or type your reponses to the following questions. Have your instructor review your answers.
List the five basic steps to organizing information for a website.
Briefly describe the three essential structures for organizing websites.
How might programmers utilize site diagrams as they move a new website project from planning to production?
Receive a set of index cards from your teacher and read the following scenario:
You have been hired by a client whose website has gotten unwieldy after years of willy-nilly development. The client is wanting the site to be better organized, starting from the ground up. Each of the cards you received includes a different topic that is addressed on the client’s website.
Organize the cards into meaningful chunks and propose to the client a new navigational system, where each chunk represents a link on the navigational menu of the home page. Write or type your navigation links and show them to your instructor. The navigational system should successfully balance the following needs:
There should be no more than ten chunks
Every page on the website should be no more than three clicks away from the home page.