Sticking the Landing - Creating UX Site Maps
Why create a site map when you know what needs to be placed on the page?
It's like writing an essay or a blog, sometimes you get lost in the sauce if you don't have some type of structure before you get started. Using a site map, which is a guide for placement of content and media for a webpage, when designing or redesigning gives the stakeholders and development team a pathway to the possible outcome of the project. I like to start my designing process after completing a site audit to get an understanding of what the clients like and to align with the target audience.
For redesigning a website, a site map is best - it allows for restructuring what's currently there and adding additional pieces of content and media as needed. With my current client, Ryter Cooperative Industries, I created a site map to add & redefine additional content, create an online store, and debut a blog. Ryter, also know as RCI wanted a fresh look for their site and to be able to sell their solar equipment online. Their previous site focused on building a sense of community and education for solar energy - so the new goal was figuring out how to marry the content from the old site with a blog and store for the new site. Using the site audit and navigation from the old RCI site I began to sketch out a new layout.
I utilized the analytics that were available on the previous RCI site to understand what was working well, as I wasn't able to conduct user testing during the design phase. Using the "Traffic By Pages Viewed" available by WIX, I was able to place nav items with other like items. This technique ensured that the most viewed pages will be shown and easily accessible along with related content for each page both web and mobile. As the new site is still in production, both I and RCI are excited to see the launch of the website this fall. **Site is still in production