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The Web is Flat


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How to match the structure of your site with how users navigate.

Published in: Technology, Design
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The Web is Flat

  1. 1. The Web is Flat How to Match the Structure of Your Site with How Users Navigate Eric Hodgson July 23, 2007
  2. 2. Find This Presentation <ul><li> </li></ul>
  3. 3. Critical Web Principles <ul><li>Web sites are built for visitors — plain and simple </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>A Web site must serve a purpose. </li></ul>Critical Web Principles
  5. 5. Key Takeaway from Today: Audience understanding beats Web knowledge when it comes to content
  6. 6. Two-Way Communication
  7. 7. “ The Web is a selfish place. People don't have time. They scan pages looking for something specific. Most people have absolutely no interest in links such as &quot;What We Do&quot; and &quot;Who We Are&quot;. They only care about what you can do for them.” Gerry McGovern
  8. 8. Key Web Audiences <ul><li>An institutional Web site is built to serve: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friends & donors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty & staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media & community </li></ul></ul>What do they do online?
  9. 9. Their Needs, Your Actions <ul><li>Their goal is to find information </li></ul><ul><li>Your goal is to move the relationship forward </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Messaging – top level influence </li></ul><ul><li>Releases – relevance from many sources </li></ul><ul><li>Actions – most common purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Personality – key selling points </li></ul>Content Categories
  11. 12. Determine Focus <ul><li>Every page has a unique purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Every page should drive visitors to the next step </li></ul><ul><li>Every page should move the relationship forward </li></ul>
  12. 14. Third Impression <ul><li>Go beyond first visit…why do they come back? </li></ul><ul><li>What stage of the relationship are they in when they come to your page? </li></ul><ul><li>Not all things to all people </li></ul>
  13. 16. New Role of ‘Author’
  14. 17. Common Model of Site Development <ul><li>Central design/development </li></ul><ul><li>Central content migration </li></ul><ul><li>Site launch </li></ul><ul><li>Author contribution </li></ul>
  15. 18. New Model of Site Development <ul><li>Site goals and role identification </li></ul><ul><li>Central design/development </li></ul><ul><li>Author content migration </li></ul><ul><li>Site launch </li></ul><ul><li>Site maintenance </li></ul>
  16. 19. “ Your job is not to put content up on your Web site. Your job is to help your customers complete common tasks quickly and easily. That’s how you measure success.” Gerry McGovern
  17. 20. Five Key Author Characteristics <ul><li>Web literate </li></ul><ul><li>Computer comfort </li></ul><ul><li>Audience understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Writing skills </li></ul><ul><li>Go-getter </li></ul>
  18. 21. Author Role in Site Development <ul><li>Content Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Needs/Actions Review </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Content Editing/Migration </li></ul><ul><li>Site Maintenance </li></ul>
  19. 22. Content Analysis <ul><li>Unedited </li></ul><ul><li>Edited </li></ul><ul><li>New content </li></ul><ul><li>Deleted </li></ul><ul><li>Categorization </li></ul><ul><li>Reuse </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul>
  20. 24. Content Reuse <ul><li>Encourage cross referencing of related content </li></ul><ul><li>Establish taxonomy and tagging </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in social networks </li></ul>
  21. 26. 10 Minute Usability Test <ul><li>10-20 participants of each audience </li></ul><ul><li>Two or three times per year </li></ul><ul><li>Basic Site Usage </li></ul><ul><li>List of Tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Watch them complete 3-5 tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them how it went </li></ul>
  22. 27. Find This Presentation <ul><li> </li></ul>
  23. 28. Thank You! <ul><li>Eric Hodgson </li></ul><ul><li>Web Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Estrada </li></ul><ul><li>319.396.5013 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  24. 29. Let’s take some questions ?