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Plan out your site Web site

June 22nd, 2007 by tamuwebmaster

The object of any designer or developer of a Web site is to connect visitors with the information or experience they are expecting to find or encounter. To do that well means consideration, communication and common sense.

So before you begin building your site:

  • Identify the audience(s) for your site. Who visits your site regularly? What do you know about them? How do they identify themselves? And are those who visit the site the intended audience? If more than one audience, which one is the primary? Realize that internal audiences (such as current faculty or staff or students) will have familiarity with campus culture, systems and expectations different from those external to the university.
  • Identify users’ major tasks. What do your users want to accomplish on your site? What information are they looking for? You can determine this by conducting user interviews, administering surveys and examining existing search query records if you have them.
  • Organize information by audience, task, or both. Depending on the type and breadth of information you need to present, select one or two organizational systems for your page and clearly delineate them. Ideally, after one quick look, users will be able to understand how the information is organized. This does not mean that they will have memorized all of the information contained on the page. It just means that they will know how and where to look for what they want to find.
  • Further organize lists of material (lists of links, offices, etc.) alphabetically. Unless there is a very easily delineates system of organization, the lowest common denominator for organizational understanding is still alphabetical.
Friday, June 22nd, 2007 Site Architecture, Style Guide
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