Question

Website Information Architecture | Website Layout

Answer

Throwing together a quick website to push your information out there may seem cost effective in the short term. However, here at evolve we know that things that start fast finish fast. There are no tricks for organising your web content other than planning, planning and more planning. Trying to add content to a rushed site not capable of supporting new content will look and feel cumbersome and will ultimately distract customers.

Logic, common sense and a good knowledge of design are the first steps in organising your website’s information architecture (IA). Understanding what is important, where to put what, and lay out based on how users react to content, is your goal. There are templates that can help you see what is the best format for your site, but your business is unique and will have it’s own individual style.

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Website Information Architecture | Website Layout

Answer

Throwing together a quick website to push your information out there may seem cost effective in the short term. However, here at evolve we know that things that start fast finish fast. There are no tricks for organising your web content other than planning, planning and more planning. Trying to add content to a rushed site not capable of supporting new content will look and feel cumbersome and will ultimately distract customers.

Logic, common sense and a good knowledge of design are the first steps in organising your website’s information architecture (IA). Understanding what is important, where to put what, and lay out based on how users react to content, is your goal. There are templates that can help you see what is the best format for your site, but your business is unique and will have it’s own individual style.

Information Architecture is a term used for the layout and categorisation of displayed information. What it means for you and your website layout is looking at what your users will want to see on your website and delivering that content. Organising content using this system will help you understand the flow of your website. But how do you begin?

 Pen & Paper

Drawing sketches of how your website will be looking is a great first step. Working together with your team, all contributing to design will give you good grounds for what people expect to see. It is quick and collaborative and will help generate lots of ideas.

Site Maps Diagrams

Site Maps Diagrams is a visual map helping you organise your pen and paper method into a more concrete blueprint. It is versatile and easily changed, allowing you to crop and paste different ideas for content. Begin with your hierarchy and work down, turn it upside down and start again. Return and see if the hierarchy still prevails. Your clients and team will understand this point of the design stage by keeping things clear and logical.

Organise content according to users needs

Looking at your business, understanding who your client is, will help you organise content. Create personas based on your customer research and examine how they would use your website. What will be on your home page? Do you want all your information on one page? Google searches don’t like information stuffed with keywords on your landing page and will avoid them. Give individual   pages to your content.

Plus, your Home Page should tell your ‘story’ at a glance. Simple succinct design and information of ‘what you do/offer’ and ‘why we are different’ is your primary website goal. Having a short snappy tagline near your logo will help customers make the connection and reinforce your brand (tweet this) .

The ‘about page’ is one of the most visited page on a company’s website. This gives you the chance to really sum up who you are and what it is that makes you different. Show some personality, provide images of you and your team naturally. Make it fun and enjoyable for users to read or quickly scan.

General Content Layout

Each business and website is unique but they all follow a similar format. Generally it is best to have landing pages for each individual service you provide. Thus, providing the content that is needed for each different type of customer, a page dedicated to each services will give a logical flow and help customer navigate your site.