Website Design: Organizing your Information. Ninette Gironella Assistant Registrar New York University. What you do love and hate about websites?. Web Site Critiques. Hate Can’t find information Lack of attention to detail (typos, broken links, out of date, technical errors)
Website Design: Organizing your Information
Ninette GironellaAssistant Registrar New York University
What you do love and hate about websites?
Can’t find information
Lack of attention to detail (typos, broken links, out of date, technical errors)
Poor Design and Layout
Gratuitous “Bells and Whistles”
Not written for the external audience (Tone, acronyms and structure)
Violates Web accessibility guidelines
Easy Navigation – Easy to find what you are looking for
Successful communication of ideas
Meets Target Audience Needs
As information proliferates exponentially, usability is becoming the critical success factor for websites and software applications.
The art and science of organizing and labeling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability.
-- Richard Saul Wurman
The Design behind the Design
Diagram from Jesse James Garett’s Elements of User Experience
Result: Mission and Goals statement for the website
When defining goals also define how you will measure success. For example:
Result: Ranking of audiences and their most important information needs
But“One Particular User”
Tell a story about each persona
Content is key
Content discussions include
The beginning of all understanding is classification.
-- Hayden White
Organization scheme shared characteristics of content itemsinfluences logical grouping
Organization structuretypes of relationships between content items and groups.
Organization scheme and structure drive the navigation systems
User driven: user should not need to know your institution’s administrative structure to find information
Good organization scheme and structure appear intuitive and assist navigation.
Websites frequently use a hybrid of schemes. Done poorly, this can confuse the user. If the integrity of each scheme is respected, it can be valuable.
Hierarchical: main options on each page usually based on the website hierarchy.
DON’T overwhelm with too many navigation choices
Main, Home, Homepage
Search, Find, Browse
Contents, Table of Contents, Index
Contact, Contact Us
News, What’s New
About, About US
Keep labels consistent within the website
Scope Notes: brief description to acquaint user with the meaning. Particularly important when introducing iconic labels.
Good labeling appears intuitive but reflects a lot of planning and consideration of the audience
Avoid vague labels (“Cool”, “Stuff”)
Avoid self-centered labels
Avoid buzzwords and acronyms
Provide clues so users know where they are