When creating a website, it is crucial to plan the layout and structure, the process of doing this is referred to as a site map or navigation diagram. The site map is “the frame, or at least the foundation, which defines how people see, navigate and experience a system of information” (Deer, 2013) it provides and understanding for the client and/or the creator as to the direction the website is going in, in terms of how it will look and operate. Furthermore “A site map is also very helpful to give your visitors an at-a-glance view of your site, how it’s organised” and “what information is available where.” (Jennifer, 2016).
When developing a site map, it is important to keep in mind, what will work and what won’t. Visitors do not want to visit a page that is full of unnecessary navigation pages with titles that only confuse and deter them from visiting again, page titles must be easy to understand with logical categorisation and naming (Drell, 2012) for instance Contact, FAQ etc. Categorisation is mandatory when building a site map, failure to do so will not only take up space but will also damage the websites aesthetic. Categorisation can be done by placing “the content into different related categories and sub-categories. This will enhance the site’s navigation” (User, 2016) making it easier to navigate and find products whilst aiding the creator to produce a visually attractive website.
Based on the above information here is a demonstration on how the site map was created for Modus Novels.
The first site map created was cluttered and for the most part uncategorised. It featured too much information on one navigation bar and would have confused and refused to captivate the audience.
Following the first development, Modus Novels then generated the second map(s). This version is more effective as it utilises both header and main menu navigation bars, separating the sites pages into, purchase, accounts, and contact (upper menu) with basic shopping and general information below (main menu). Critically as Modus Novels began sourcing the products for their site it was identified they would require more sub-categories under the main navigation menu to aid the visitor in searching for a product.
Below is the most up to date version of the site map. Following product research, Modus Novels have added additional sub categories under the Magazines navigation, which will open the site to be easier to navigate by the visitor.
Deer, J. (2013). How to Architect a Better Site-Map. [online] Web Design Envato Tuts+. Available at: https://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-architect-a-better-site-map–webdesign-14180 [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
Jennifer, D. (2016). Why a Good Site Map is SO Crucial for SEO, and How To Do It RIGHT – BlogPress. [online] Theblogpress.com. Available at: https://theblogpress.com/blog/site-map-why-a-good-site-map-is-so-crucial-for-seo-and-how-to-do-it-right/ [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
Drell, L. (2012). 10 Essential Features of Every Good Business Website. [online] Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2012/02/09/website-must-haves/#oUHY9a7mZkqz [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
User, S. (2016). Building A Powerful Sitemap – What You Need to Know. [online] Dynomapper.com. Available at: https://dynomapper.com/blog/13-create-sitemaps/51-building-a-powerful-sitemap-what-you-need-to-know [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].