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I'm working on a sitemap for a client who has a number of different user types (each of whom requires varying goals and tasks associated with using the site). They are concerned that the various users will have difficulty finding the right information, so they've asked that we include a drop-down item that directs the different types of users (members, non-members, parents, teachers, administrators, etc) to a relevant informational page (for example, an anonymous user comes to the site, clicks this top-level item, self-identifies as a "member", clicks the link and is directed to a page that includes information about how to renew their membership, buy members-only products, etc). We also have the usual first-level navigation items such as "About Us", "Products", "Memberships", etc.

We're stuck on what we should call this navigation item. I suggested something equivalent to "Resources for...", but hate ending a navigation item with an ellipsis. And "How to Use this Site" isn't exactly right either.

I suppose this is a question of semantics, more than UX, but since the client absolutely wants this item to be present in the first-level navigation, I need to figure out what to call it.

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What's wrong with site map? –  Naoise Golden Jan 17 '12 at 0:31
    
I feel like TMB's right to ask this question...to me, as a user, "Site Map" doesn't make sense, and wouldn't tell me to go to that place. It seems to be something more of a landing page for different personas/user roles. I think the purpose of the page can be hidden semantically from the user - they don't need to know it's a landing page/control panel. What they need to know is the situation you presented: They're a ____ and they need to know what the common activities for their user type is. –  borego Jan 17 '12 at 2:15
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3 Answers 3

I would go for an iama, or whatever you wish to term it. Something like this:

enter image description here

I'd add this to the top of the page either within the primary navigation or (preferrably because it's not actually navigation itself) into the header of the page at the top. It's not called anything on the navigation because it is described by its action, the same as a control for changing the font size 'aAA' or changing the language 'EN | US'. The item itself is evident enough to describe its purpose.

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If there are maximum 5 types of users, than I would definitely use some visual elements on the home page through which I could segment users.

For example five major blocks under the top story. enter image description here

But if you have more users, I would try what Jon W adviced.

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Rather than "Resources For..." how about just "Resources?" Then you can place the 'for' at the beginning of the options - For Users, For Members, For Parents, etc. or even leave the 'for' off altogether.

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having the same word at the beginning of each word in a list will make it much harder to scan the list –  jk. Jan 17 '12 at 12:51
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