Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Site map, information architecture proposed

Talking about what we'd like to do online is pretty easy, if not fun. Opening the conversation to include anything and all is simple. But when push comes to shove and you don't have a solid foundation to build upon, the Christmas Tree Effect threatens to strike.

CTE is the inevitable, and unfortunate situation to be in, when your information needs outgrow your architecture and you begin to 'hang things' on your website.

I'm definitely guilty of it, but the goal early on for us is to develop a comprehensive navigation scheme that allows for integration of our campaigns, promotion of our 'goods', and elevation of our advocacy efforts. To do so, we really want to nail down a solid information architecture that addresses our goals.

The site structure will be a key ingredient as we proceed and attempt to avoid CTE. In addition to our meeting with the focus team to review the site map, I've chatted with folks in our field offices as well as held an open meeting to review our work to date. As a result, I've gotten great feedback, but I'd like to also open it to folks outside of our organization and ask for ideas, suggestions, feedback, etc.

Some of the key points related to the site structure that surfaced during our initial planning meeting:

  • The need to streamline and/or eliminate redundancies among the following sections: “In Your Region” and “Regional Offices”
  • The need to link “In Your Region” clearly to ongoing campaign work
  • The need to elevate resources (such as toolkits) so they are easier to find
  • The need to evaluate the Member Login feature on the Home Page; currently not wrapped with contextual info to make it clear that this is for activists
  • The need to elevate Action Alerts to the Home Page, and to eliminate the need for users to register before they take action
  • From a global navigation perspective, there is a desire to ensure that it is easier to navigate back to home, as well as between and within key sections
Site Map


Main Navigation

Success Stories
Research Tools
Action Center
Join Us

Header (SubNav2)

About Us
Search (box)

Footer (SubNav3)

Site Map

Left-hand Navigation (SubNav1)

Donate Now: Help protect and restore our nation’s rivers
Get Involved: Five reasons to join American Rivers today
Rivers 101
Research Tools* (formerly Resources) –[select a topic drop-down]
Publications Archive
Find an Expert [by topic, by name]
Newsroom (or Media Center)
Fun Stuff

*Consider hovers or clickable drop-down menus.

Promotional Areas on the Home Page:

Feature Area (prominent campaign or multimedia)
Action Alerts
Stay Current (or Stay Informed) [e-newsletter sign-up]
Hot Topics (or What’s New)

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