Whenever we engage in a web production, we always build a site map. A site map is the architectural framework for the project, whether a large-scale system or a five-page website. When clients understand how to build site maps, the web design process becomes increasingly efficient for both parties. The following is a resource we’ve created to assist clients in preparing and organizing for small to medium size websites.
Since information architecture in large scale applications and systems is a bit more intricate, we’ll stay away from that and focus on small to medium size websites, including small five-page sites to larger, more dynamic websites.
Identify All Pages Involved in the Project
After understanding the basic ideas and goals for a project, we usually try to build a list of pages included in the website. To simply put together a numerical list of pages. These are considered the primary pages of your website, regardless of how they are going to be displayed across the website.
Now that we have our primary pages, we can build upon our site map with relevant sub-pages, which includes the following pages:
Homepage, About Us, History, Mission and Philosophy, Managing Staff, Services, Business Plans, Business Analysis, Manager Coaching, Marketing Strategies, Growth and Transition, Blog, Contact
These subpages can be displayed as drop down menu.
Content Analysis for Each Page
Once you have outlined all the pages, it is important to build upon our framework. Most client don’t take this step, usually because they are not aware of how to approach it. This step is important for both you and the designer. It helps the designer understand your need and the project deliverables and consequently helps him put together more accurate design concepts. Most of the time, you can save money by identifying these elements prior to design or production, otherwise it may be extra work to fill in these elements down the road.
So now we’ve outlined almost all the content on the website. A designer sees this as an opportunity to play around with the design with a bit more trust in the project. His first step will be to wire frame the website and then build a nice interface that includes the content you added in the site map, i.e. rotating image, welcome paragraph, inquiry form, etc.
Sitemap provides a high-level view of the prospective website, and it is a catalyst for getting your initial thoughts on paper. You can use a site map to assign areas of responsibility to team members or as a checklist to record progress.
When a client possesses this kind of knowledge then your project is likely to proceed smoother and with less problems. This gives the client a clear understanding of the project scope and it gives the designer a lot to work with, rather than just making things up and waiting for you to comment. And as it turns out, most successful projects occur when the client and designer are on the same track. Foe an in-depth understanding, contact us today!