N341 Chapter 4 Site Content Organization
According to several surveys, most people respond to the question of "What do you hate most about the Web" with "I can't find what I'm looking for", meaning they are often lost. Good content organization creates the foundation for effective site navigation.
Much of the following discussion is based on the project, the stock trading Web site.
- Organizational schemes - A classification system for content items, a way to cluster things into groups based on some common characteristic such as color, size, etc.
- Organizational structures - Determines the relationship between the groups. For example, a family tree would define the relationship of each person to you using a hierarchical structure with you at the root.
Divide information into mutually groups. Effective when you know what you want, called known-item searching. Rarely useable, consider searching for information using the exact organization of books by author versus keyword search. Examples are:
No clear cut categorization rules, some items may be clearly in one category, other items may be in several. Four ambiguous schemes:
- Topical - Organizes content items by subject, large number of subjects organized in some hierarchy from general to more specific. For example, stock trading is a specific form of investing.
- Task-oriented - Organize content into a collection of functions, services or tasks. Used in program menu systems grouping file, edit, help, etc. functions.
- Audience-specific - Effective when two or more identifiably distinct audiences. The stock trader site could be tailored for individual and institutional investors.
- Metaphor-driven - Effective when users possess content knowledge. For example, a garage site might organize content by tune-up, lube, brakes, etc.
Defines the relationships among the groups created by an organizational scheme. Organizational schemes create groups.
Three common structures:
- Hierarchical - Top-down structure according to rank or level. Advantage of familiar and predictable structure. First shows big picture followed by levels of successively finer detail as user moves down through structure. Breadth is number of links available at each level, depth is the number of levels. Pure hierarchical organization makes moving up and down the hierarchy simple but moving across difficult. Cross links can mitigate problem.
- Hypertext - Content linked together, very flexible but easy for user to get lost in links, unable to form mental model of structure. Best to avoid pure use.
- Database - Bottom-up view of site, search of database allows user to directly access content without navigation. Works well if content compatible with database. Consider Amazon.com's use of author, ISBN, etc. to locate books directly. Yahoo! provides both a hierarchy subject list and search.
|Interactive - Visitors see a
different view of the Website with each visit. Generally requires server
programs that generate personalized pages from a database and store personal
information to the database.
Static - Visitors see basically the same view with each visit, little or no visitor information retained for later use. This page is an example of static content. Most of our pages will be static because we are not programming the server-side..
|The structure of website is defined
by the links from one HTML file to another HTML file. The text defines four
- What structure is used by most online air ticketing?
- What structure would be best for the following:
- IUS or similar educational institution.
- Term paper sales.