INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE: The organization of (sometimes complex) online content into categories and the creation of an interface for displaying those categories. It is very important that your website “architecture” is compatible with your target market. Your site structure should be easy to navigate, and flow well for the people you intend to provide a product or service to.
A basic website includes the following architecture:
- a HEADER-which typically contains your logo or business name and states the purpose of the site as quickly as possible through text and images. Some other items included in a header might be: trust symbols (such as security certificates, or BBB, etc.), a search box, a tagline, or contact information (such as a phone number, or email link).
- NAVIGATION-links to other sections of your site-typically on the top, left, right, or all 3-should be easy to read and understand. Text navigation is preferable for better SEO. Drop down navigation can provide better structure, and easier flow through the information on your site, and can help to lead your visitors to the right section. Lower or footer navigation is important when your pages require the visitor to scroll down for viewing. Lower navigation allows the visitor to find their way without having to scroll back up to the top of the page.
- the BODY of the website-the place where all of your information and images go. Placement is key in the body of your website. Important items should go “above the fold” (the area viewable before any scrolling is done).
- CONTACT INFORMATION-always make yourself easily accessible to your visitors. This is a key component for promoting security.
- COPYRIGHT-you should always include a copyright statement on your website to protect your content legally.