7 Common Keys in Designing Website Infrastructure

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

7 Common Keys in Designing Website Infrastructure

1. Site mapping

Before we jump into a website’s site map design, you’ll require three things:

Time

A strong sitemap can’t be designed in 20 minutes. Does your business have the necessary time?

People

Key participants should contribute to the sitemap design. Who could these people be? Are they the right people?

Research

What are the website’s objectives? Who are our target audiences? What kind of detailed information are they looking for? What do our analytics explain to us?

2. Content

Before you get into defining navigational elements (Step #3), you will need to consider your website’s content. What services/products are you marketing? How much company information is going to be offered? Do you have sufficient customer testimonials? What helpful resources can you offer on the website?

Don’t focus on where that content goes in the sitemap for now (Step #4).  Provide yourself the liberty to ponder openly — even passionately! Problematic content thoughts will logically work themselves out with time.

3. Describe Primary Navigation

Also described as “Main,” “World Wide,” “Tier 1,” or “Top Level,” primary navigation is normally found at the top of a website in a horizontal design. Though there are examples which contradict vertical navigation, many websites still take this approach (e.g. Amazon).

4. Check Out Second/Third Level Structure & Content

With your primary navigation in place, it’s time to look deeper into each section.

For most websites which have fewer than 50 pages, a second level of structure should be adequate. For bigger websites, a third level is often required to preserve a compact hierarchy. I’ve even seen some websites which are four levels deep.

Unlike your primary navigation, in which the number of elements should be concise, secondary/tertiary stages of content are nearly unlimited — within reason of course. The challenge with multiple levels is designing a structure of menu systems which will allow for easy searchability and navigation.

5. Don’t Skip Utility Pages

Disclaimers, Privacy policies, legal information — these are all precarious pages which require a home in your website. Don’t lose the pathway to these in the website’s sitemap. Slice out a spot for them in your footer or elsewhere. This content could take weeks or even months to finalize!

6. Generate Records and High-level Provisions For Each Page

“We will only have a bit of basic content for this page.”

Wait! It shouldn’t be like this!

Take a minute to think in depth about each page’s content. What current assets are available? What innovative properties need to be created? How far do your archives go? What will be the topics for your blogs?

7. Entitle The Design Pattern

Is this page a photo gallery? Conversion form? Table of contents? PDF?

This action can be like the question of chicken or the egg. How can you classify a design infrastructure for your content when the content isn’t completed?

The key here is that you’re not essentially focusing on structuring the user interface (UI) — you’re classifying the type of content. This classification benefits the content curation process and warms the engine for UI design down the road.

About Matcha Design

Matcha Design is a full-service creative B2B agency with decades of experience executing its client’s visions. The award-winning company specializes in web design, logo design, branding, marketing campaign, print, UX/UI, video production, commercial photography, advertising, and more. Matcha Design upholds the highest personal standards for excellence and can see things from a unique perspective due to its multicultural background.  The company consistently delivers custom, high-quality, innovative solutions to its clients using technical savvy and endless creativity. For more information, visit MatchaDesign.com.

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