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Content - What is it / Where do I get it

Organizing Your Content

Related Topics:

  • Page Layout
  • Writing for the Internet
  • Navigation Design

Good organization will make your site content communicate more effectively to your users. There are several steps that can help you improve your site organization.

Identify the Content

Most sites offer several types of content:

  • Text
  • Images
  • Linked documents
  • Links to pages within your site
  • Links to other sites

A good first step is to inventory the content for the site. Be sure that every piece of content supports the goals of the site and contributes to the message(s) you want to communicate.

Creating or Obtaining Content

 

Tools:

  • BitTorrent - A free, open-source peer-to-peer program, not really FTP, but great for rapidly downloading large multimedia files (such as music and movies). For Windows, Mac, and Linux.

 

Organizing the Content Pieces

Think like your users. Using the Principles of Information Architecture, place the content into logical sections/pages according to the way users will expect to access it.

One good approach is to identify the tasks users will most often come to your site to accomplish and then organize the content to support those tasks. If possible, pull the most often-used information or tasks to the top level of the site organization.

Determine what information the user needs in order to accomplish a specific task, and then place all the supporting information and links on the same page. Be sure to think in terms of user needs and expectations, not necessarily according to the organization of your department or group.

Create Page Structure

Related Topics:

  • Marking Up Your Content
  • Structural Markup
  • CSS 101
  • Page Zones
  • After you've organized your content pieces into pages, you're ready to begin organizing the content within the page. The organization of the content will determine the way it is presented to the user.

    In addition to your content, each intranet page will require several other important elements such as a banner, page title (header), and navigation. It's important to consider each of these elements when designing your pages:

    • The banner The banner will appear on all pages of your website.
    • Page header Page headers to identify the site are optional. If the site does use page headers, it is better to create the page header using HTML text instead of a graphic. This helps the search engine index the site.
    • Primary site navigation Navigation can appear on the left-side or at the top of the page. Primary navigation should be consistent throughout the site.
    • Secondary navigation (optional) If the navigation sections have sub-sections, the site will require secondary navigation.
    • Content This will include all copy, linked documents, images, and links to other sites that are required for the site.
    • Footer information typically, a copyright notice, an email address, and other contact information appears here.

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