Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, September 26, 2004

How To Create Web Information Maps

A Well designed web site information map must visually convey the structural and functional information about a Web site.

The creation of Web site information maps is one of the key activities of the effective information architect. In dissecting content, page types, user navigation paths and best user experience approaches the information maps create the key vehicle for communication between stakeholders while facilitating the easy visualization of the "big picture".

Creating effective and professionally-designed Web site information maps is a rare craft that I have seen only a few agencies and I-architects being able to use and apply effectively.

But Web site information mapping need not be an exclusive or difficult to master craft. By following the good foundations set out by Jesse James Garrett in his Visual Vocabulary and by adding to them the refined, practical and well illustrated advice of Jason Withrow, it is difficult to go wrong.

Yes, this is work that requires lots of patience, precision and attention to details.

But the fruits that a well executed Web site information map can bear for the effective communication of the project strategy and for simplifying stakeholders access to what has been kept under the too close control of the technical Web team are well worth the efforts it may require.

"Understanding the structure of an information space for a website boils down to the following questions:
  • What is the information structure?
  • How do I visually represent that structure?
  • What relationships exist among the web pages?
  • How are those page relationships represented?

...To be useful to my audience, the diagrams must communicate the "big picture" of the website to stakeholders, while providing enough detail to be useful for the development team.

...The ultimate goal is to produce a diagram that accurately describes either what has been created or what is yet to be created, and do so in a manner easily grasped by various stakeholder groups."



Jason Withrow -
Reference: Boxes and Arrows [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Sunday, September 26 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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