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9

Organizations are so hung up on deliverables that it turns a proper UX process into a deliverable process instead. Which is bad UX. The ideal is to educate the organization that UX isn't a step in the process with a set of defined deliverables, but rather it is part of the process itself, and the deliverables will change from project to project and even ...


8

Hagan Rivers proposed a very useful model of representing a site's navigation during her presentation Escaping Navigation Hell, you should look into it. She says it's better to use an application map since the navigation system can be viewed as an application on itself that has the objective of taking you to the screen you need. It's so much clearer than a ...


8

Gives me problems recommending Microsoft products, however, give the 30 day trial of Visio a go. Visio was awesome when Microsoft bought it 15+ years ago, it also enables you to do clever things with data sources such as Excel spreadsheets. One feature I particularly like is how you can neatly arrange your diagram elements and then get them to fit onto a ...


6

Jesse James Garrett's Visual Vocabulary for IA has the concept of a "conditional area", represented by a dotted line grouping the elements. http://www.jjg.net/ia/visvocab/#conarea The example he gives is the following: In your example, you'd have the condition based on their role and throw some sort of error when the user tries to access a page outside ...


5

In addition to the technique described by Rahul, I've also had success in applying Hagan Rivers' approach of "Application Maps" in certain contexts. Rather than an exact one-to-one representation of each screen, her technique tries to consider how a user "perceives" the flow of an application with regards to the menu system. She also uses the concepts of ...


5

It's worthwhile creating a sitemap that's part of the IA documentation. You'll find that a microsite is always a few pages bigger than expected. This includes Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Response pages and Landing Pages if part of a campaign. It's also a useful negotiating tool if client has signed off on a project and wants to add more content. ...


5

I'd have to point you to this BBC Internet Blog post for an excellent reference. This blog post describes the technology strategy the BBC Future Media department is using to evolve from a relational content model and static publishing framework towards a fully dynamic semantic publishing (DSP) architecture. You will need to define and describe a set of ...


5

I vote no for UX and yes for SEO (with a caveat). If your site requires a sitemap for a user to find their way around, then that's a smell that you have a poor information architecture. I don't buy the argument that they support users who know what they are looking for - like an index in a book. A website and book are sufficiently different that the ...


4

For starters I recommend looking at this excellent article from UX Matters which talks about how to extend Jesse James Garret’s visual vocabulary to reflect rich interactive applications which recommends highlighting the interactions as synchronous (requiring a page load)and asynchronous (happening within the page). To quote the article For user ...


4

I'd (rather laboriously) go through the site page-by-page and log it all down in a spreadsheet, such as the example I've attached: Give each page a reference number based on the hierarchy in the site, list the usual details (title, URL) and a brief summary of the content. I've also started listing out all the features found on the page (text, imagery, flash ...


3

Site maps are still useful in the same way that an index is still useful in a book that has a table of contents. It provides a different way of organizing information. A great website will naturally lead the users to where they want to go normally, particularly if they don't know exactly what they are looking for, but a site map is invaluable for quickly ...


3

I think this could be handled by providing simple affordance. If it looks like a generic link, it will be a link. If it looks like a button, it will be a button. If you want to increase the affordance in your Mega Menu, you may want to consider: A down-pointing arrow next to each horizontal menu item or a right-pointing arrow next to a vertical menu ...


2

Sketchflow by Microsoft is great for developing rough WPF and Silverlight applications. The only catch is that it is not free. If you are working with Microsoft products thought it can be well worth it. Skecthflow


2

It depends on the exact nature of the deliverable. I'm puzzled that you'd distribute them in paper full stop, actually, unless you've a client who insist that submissions for tender go through a paper process (not that rare in the public sector, actually). But the paper size depends on the exact reading context. Is this one person who's going to be reading ...


2

It depends on the project, but I tend to merge the user flow with whatever stage of design I'm at. For example, if I'm getting down the use cases, I put those into a flow. If I'm figuring out the sequence of screens, I use those to depict flow. If I'm in wireframing, I assemble the wireframes into a flow. This approach usually requires me to escort the team ...


2

What do you want the sitemap for? For your own piece of mind, so a user can look at it and decide where to go? The latter will happen in your taxonomy, which is why getting the taxonomy right in eCommerce is so important. Any eCommerce sitemap is going to be category and product listing specific.


2

This is an "it depends" answer, and I apologize for that. But I think the question can only be answered if we knew the goal of the SEO activities. If the main goal is to draw attention (that is visitors PPC) then yes. You would want to get attention from using the right keywords and get (ultimately) a lot of hits. But ... … if you want to sell anything and ...


2

I would think no, not always needed. Particulars broken down by audience: For the sake of the page builders, content creators: no, not needed for 5 pages. You would likely just list these out in other documentation (or be creating the pages yourself). For the sake of the end users: no, it just becomes an extra link with little value, and is possibly ...


2

To create "any type of diagram" I'd say you need a drawing application of some sort maybe Illustrator or InDesign. These will require a little more effort but will allow you to create diagrams that fit your need whilst avoiding the problems of only using shapes that you have available in the pallet.


2

It's a reality of the Internet that the sitemap for any given site is never "fully worked out"; websites need to be designed from the get-go to be scalable and to adapt to change, especially since most sites nowadays are driven by a CMS that allows people to add new articles and even pages as necessary. For me the information architecture (IA) is designed ...


2

I would speak to your Project Manager and explain that the sitemap is a living document as stated above by DA01. Site maps change constantly and never sit still, even during the development stage the site map can change, UX is about testing and refining so quite how they expect you to product a sitemap before hand is baffling. A PM is all about ...


2

Every design decision should be justified by either empirical or logical means (which are ideally based on previous research and empirical testing) . Surely if you think your design is better, you have a way of arguing it? As far as site maps are concerned, analytics is an invaluable resource for their design. User testing is the next thing to do to affirm ...


2

I am gonna say - Sitemaps, Google Analytics, Meta Tags all come under SEO and are all essential factors for improving the visibility. Here are the things you can do to make things better: DOCTYPE declaration Character Encoding Title Tag (unique titles for each page) Meta Description Heading Tags Hierarchy (h1, h2, h3, h4) Keywords in Anchor Text Title ...


2

I feel that creating a sitemap for a site of that scale may impede on the whole purpose for the sitemap which is to orient the user. You can definitely bi-pass this with your search function by placing it in a primary location. Here is an example applied to a knowledge-base. In this case, the designer has included some commonly used links as well. If ...


1

A simple icon, such as a keyhole lock, that can show the page is locked (and therefore unlockable with the correct key), is a good way of identifying which pages are behind the login or firewall. Using a dotted line pointing away from the lock to an error page/box, along with other lines that connect the page to represent typical navigation, should be make ...


1

Create the full map first, then edit it with the user in mind. I've done this before for large-scale e-commerce sites. A typical first edit might be an inclusionary edit--mark off what you definitely want to include, like product categories, as others have said. Look at your processes, such as your shopping cart, and try to view them from a user's ...


1

The first thing I do with site inventories to do a quick scope assessment survey of the site - just note down the basic hierarchy and count of pages, don't worry about the finer details. This sometimes reveals surprising assumptions - one Wine Sellers website turned out to have less than one hundred products, something which got missed in the briefing. All ...


1

I've tried a variety of techniques (and I'm excited to hear about new tools & methods from others), but our current go-to approach is to first run a quick audit using Website Auditor (yes, the website is kind of scuzzy-looking, but the tool is good). This app crawls your site structure and delivers a nested hierarchy view, including titles, URLs, meta ...



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