How to Create User-Focused Blogs

For your site to succeed, arrange the content around the user’s needs.

Many novice web designers underestimate the difficulty in designing an effective site structure, especially one that will be appreciated by novice and experienced users.

We are trained in childhood to retrieve data in certain ways. For example, in libraries we refer to chronological orders, subject categories, and alphabetical listings. We also use these methods to retrieve data on the Internet.

Thus, before any coding starts, gather, sort and organize your content. The more time spent on this, the more success visitors will have on your site.

Card Sorting
Card sorting is a popular ways to organize groups of information. Get a set of blank cards and do as follows:

  • Create cards for all topics on the site. For example, on a sport site, create cards for Football, Basketball, and Hockey etc.
  • Sub-divide these categories into Leagues, Players, and Venues and so forth.
  • Label these and cross-reference cards that overlap.
  • Create the optimum navigation structure based on your cards.

Test it by performing mock tasks, such as “how do I find information on Tiger Woods between 1999-2001”.

Flowcharts
Use these to outline the site structure, identify pages, navigation paths and content labels. Flowcharts offer an advantage in that everyone in the development process can see the site’s structure and make suggestions to alter or delete sections where necessary.

Breakdown Each Page
For each section, prepare an itemized list of contents. Include all text, images, sounds, video clips, audio clips, applets and downloadable items. List all links and their destination pages.

Separate links which appear on all pages from those appearing on specific pages only. Use Excel or Word to create this list as you can use color-codes for reference.

By breaking down each page, you also clarify each pages objectives and role.

Design for Breadth
Usability research shows that users get disorientated after the third level of depth on a site.

Therefore, help users find content within three clicks. If you can’t achieve this with the current design, start again — the rewards will be worth the efforts.

Ivan

Download these templates to start

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan